When you join a ladies club where the average age is 65 years old, you’re probably going to pick up some useful skills (and local gossip).

My first attempt at learning to knit was at 8 years old with my mother as my dutiful tutor. Who was I kidding? My mother and I are far too much alike to work together in such close quarters. The experiment failed, gloriously, after a shouting match and three rows of knitting riddled with dropped stitches.

The pink wool and needles sat in the corner of my room taunting me for years until I hid them away in the back of my closet. I convinced myself that I just didn’t have what it took to twist yarn around some metal needles in order to produce items that vaguely resembled scarves or mittens.

Some decades later and in a foreign country, I was looking to make new friends in my community and joined the local guild of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (yes, it’s an actual club believe it or not). The group tends to attract ladies of a certain age with a fondness for tea and crafty pursuits so I knew I’d fit right in.

And would you believe it, when I actually practiced twisting that yarn around those knitting needles under the tutelage of someone not my mother, it came almost naturally to me?

Does this look like a scarf yet?