When I moved to MA, I was introduced to a knitting group that meets every Monday at a local church. It is a small group with quite an international flare. Two members don't have English as their first language but they both understand the language of knitting.
Chen moved here from China a few years ago - I think she's in her late 70's. When I first met her two years ago she had a small vocabulary but insisted on learning the vocabulary of knitting when we were all together. She wrote down everything in a little book. Chen knits on long, long DPNs and rarely follows a pattern. She is a prolific, proficient knitter. She's taken to reading patterns and always wants to know that the abbreviations mean...she knows how to do them intuitively but has never read them.
Parthena's native tongue is Greek. She usually crochets but recently showed me a knit pair of slippers/footies and asked how to re-create them. She too doesn't read patterns but has an intuitive flare for creating or recreating.
Yesterday, Parthena was showing Chen how to make the slippers...I caught this moment of three native tongues working together - Chinese, Greek, and Knitting with the new tongue of English tying them all together. It was a joy to listen to them communicate and share this passion - this universal language we share.