Thirsty Cougars We Are Not: Time with The Miami Valley Knitting Guild [#BreakTheRules]

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You know two things I miss about NOT living in a college town? Little kids and old people. To be honest I mostly miss little kids, but running up to God’s children in Oxford Community Park with a sack of fruit snacks is looked down upon in some circles. Strutting up to a table of retired women like a jive turkey in a coffee shop with a sack of yarn is apparently appreciated and a total hoot and a half.

After starving myself for a week on camera and dating Jeffrey you’re exhausting I realized something this week…

Boy, am I TIRED.

It was time for lighter fare.

The Miami Valley Knitting Guild GUILD? That’s how you know you made it is made up of 252 women and one dude named Steve who we DO NOT talk about. He’s kind of one of those living legends everyone decides is untouchable, and for good reason. Like Lord Voldemort or Brody Jenner.  The guild has been meeting for decades, and has been kicked out of 3 different coffee shops for their debaucherous knotiness! I decided I wanted to join. I also decided I didn’t want to join alone. As with almost everything in my life besides going to the bathroom I can handle myself I needed some epic wingmen:

Jake McCullough and Bryson Beaver are two of my favorite people on campus.

The incredibly lovable Bryson was featured in my personal favorite post, DATING IN THE DARK. He’s a phreshman and is totally down for whatever endangerment he is summoned to. My love langauge is when you roll with me through an adventure that has a 90% chance of blowing up in our faces. Last week, I also might have also told this super awesome girl that she should marry Bryson. He’s that great.

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^^ The old gang is back together.

About every conversation I have with Jake McCullough is the same… in a good way.

Jake: HAHAaHahaahHHaahHA

Me: HAHAaHahaahHHaahHA

Rinse. Repeat. Fellow groupie, Garrett Morton, does not let us sit together in public because it’s embarrassing. It’s also kind of the best. Jake is a genius mechanical engineer going to seminary next year, which is the coolest.

^^ Knotty love at first stitch.

I picked DaBoyzDaBoyzDaBoyz Jake and Bryson up at noon for an hour-long drive each way to knit with senior citizens. Typical Saturday afternoon if you ask me.

On the way down my worst nightmare unfolded.

I have a friggin’ HUGE stack of CD’s in my car because mix CD’s are a love letter to the soul… and because my car is like 400 years old and is incapable of having aux chords, blue tooth, seatbelts, or brakes that work. Jake, because he’s nosey, was digging through my CD’s and found SKELETONS FROM MY PAST. In high school long-term bestie Cooper Goeke and I made mixtapes called Boner JamsBoner Jams are epic, electronically driven, “better than sex” going on record to say that’s the worst expression ever playlists that are like Viagra for the soul. My copilot just so happened to stumble across Boner Smashers 2. Jake and Bryson completley lose their minds as I threaten to TURN THIS SHIP AROUND. Jake rips the CD from the stack and jams it into the CD player. “This better be good, I need to know what a ‘boner jam’ is.” A huge bead of sweat, or a tear, I don’t remember, rolls down my cheek as the 4 second pause it takes my Flintstones’ car to read the CD deafens the car.

I pray to myself, “God, if you’re real, please let this be good. Please be a club BANGER.”

*Hysterical laughter*

“Guys wait for the drop!”

*Hysterical laughter*

I give up. No coming back from that one.

This is not the first time Boner Jams has been discovered much to my dismay. I accidentally left Boner Jams 8 in the Stagnaro family boat while visiting them in Michigan over the summer. I hope it was the soundtrack to their summer because it’s the soundtrack OF MY LIFE.


After an hour of giggling, we roll up to the city God forgot about Dayton’s own Saxby’s coffee shop with our borrowed yarn and needles from the lovely and talented Libby Mueller.

My dream for this experience was to have Jake and Bryson be eaten alive by thirsty cougars while I slip out the back door screaming. That wasn’t quite the case… because all 3 of us got eaten alive by thirsty cougars. JUST KIDDING. Us twenty-somethings had an absolute blast hanging out with older women while learning a new skill that was not typical college kid stuff like smashing mailboxes, sniffing glue behind the Princess, or trying to bring back the spirit of my dead grandmother.

Our positive experience, however, did not stop the three of us from formulating a few lies we could tell our friends to make our adventure sound way more #college.

My favorites were:

  • We had to shotgun a beer every 10 stitches.
  • Knitting is code for “sports.”

We busted into the back door of Saxby’s, timidly crept up to the counter, and immediately saw about 12 women viciously diddling their arms and pumping out winter-wearables at about 400 miles of yarn per hour.

I SEE THEM. We get closer.

Me: “HeEeeEeY guys smooth is this the knitting guild?”

Everyone freakishly in unison: *Drops needles in a deafening clank* “YES.”

Imagine not seeing older folk for 4 years and then running into the arms of 12 loving grandmas at once. It was like magic.

And vaguely like this:

Lots were casted and each of us men were assigned a teacher who was entirely too pateint with us. I got Benevolent Barb and she was the best. Bryson got Unpredictable Pam. Jake got Secretive Sheila, AKA he did not remember her name. ONE JOB, JACOB.

^^ Life is simply better with a Barb. Everyone should get one.

Barb gave me crash course on knitting a scarf and the results were astonishing. Usually muscle memory tasks like that take me weeks to pick up; learning how to do 12 stitches to make a row only took me the entire meeting! Things got competitive real fast. Bryson is a BEAUTIFUL knitter. After every row he completed he MADE SURE I saw each stitch eloquently executed with his puke-green thread. He even made me feel it every time. I kind of liked it. Jake, on the other hand, went for the quantity over quality approach and banged out 1/2 a scarf in about an hour and half. The trash talk was prime too. I made jokes about crawling under the table to unravel his creation while he fell out of his chair laughing every time half the group had to assemble to fix my mistakes. Jake accurately communicated that he was obsessed with beating me. His constant laughter and bullying really struck a chord with Barb as I played the role of, “Helpless Boy 1” a real role I played as a theatre child. Whenever I would get up from my chair to get coffee or use the restroom which was like every 5 minutes, it’s a vicious cycle she would rapid fire stitch 8 more rows into my scarf. “You have to beat THAT boy,” she insisted. Aw BARB <3. I like to think she won’t be joining that mean, mean man’s Jake’s congregation when he becomes a pastor, and rightfully so. SWERVE.

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^^ Prime example of Barb cheating for me to defeat evil.

Bryson and Pam had a great time chatting it up. Pam loves Alaska: The New Frontier and she let us know by starting her story 8 times and then getting distracted by Bryson & I’s incessant needs as new knitters. The conclusion: it was a good story. She also watches Survivor which makes her a soul sister.

In the blink of an eye 2 hours passed and we had a BLAST. We had SO MANY amazing conversations. Only one of them was about menopause and thank God for it. The generational gap became an afterthought. Saxby’s was filled 15 people congregated over creating gifts for loved ones, which is a pretty awesome reason to bond. Pam even emailed a sophomore at Miami to hold us accountable for keeping up the craft. No promises Pam. I can say that I have a verbal commitment from Bryson and Jake that one afternoon in Armstrong we will whip out our needles to create itchy wearables in our little woolly world. Just follow the trash talk and puncture wounds.

^^ GET WELL SOON PAM. Stay away Marissa, we need A LOT of help.

This week’s Jaekle Jam:

^^ Obsessed with their artistry. RUB OFF ON ME.




3 Comments Add yours

  1. Pam says:

    Christian, I love your post tonight! Thanks (I think) for your loving comments about all of us in the Miami Valley Knitting Guild — but you pushed several women over the top (including one who was ready to get your information to ask you out on a date after reading your blog yesterday. She was so in love with your beautiful eyes and great sense of humor! But now I’m not so sure!! She might indeed be a cougar, but by less than two or three years!!
    Two of our members who happened to be in the room with you on Saturday would love nothing more than to be the grandma of such polite, respectful and wonderful young men — please come back and be with us again!

  2. You shall now add “Knit All the Yarn” to the top of your page. 😉 Sorry I missed you guys! Happy knitting!!

  3. Kathy Jaekle says:

    Oh Christian this is my favorite post so far and I want to see your knitted purple square creation!

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