Community

Last weekend, I was out to dinner with my friend Sarah (also a knitter). As we were finishing up, a couple had just been seated at the table next to us and one quickly pulled out a knitting project to keep busy while they waited. We asked what he was making, chatted for a minute about his yarn choice, and said goodnight. As we walked away, I could hear him say to his dining companion, “See, they’re everywhere!”

By Snyder, Frank R. Flickr: Miami U. Libraries – Digital Collections, via Wikimedia Commons

Aside from the practical pros of knitting (making a thing! learning new stuff!), one of the best parts has been the discovery of community within of the craft. When I first wanted to learn, Sarah was the one who connected me with the woman who had taught her to knit, her friend Patricia. Over the course of an evening, she showed a great deal of patience while I fumbled my way through casting on and knit 2/purl 2 ribbing. It was great to not only find a new mentor, but now I had another thing to share with Sarah.

In the years since, I’ve found knitting to be like similar to the new car phenomenon – you never notice a particular make or model until you start driving one, then they’re everywhere on the road. I’ve forged friendships with people online, connected with patrons at work, and found peers at my local yarn store.

The release of a new mystery pattern creates sort of microcosm of community. We find each other on forums to ask questions and offer support. We share photos on Facebook and Instagram (check out the results for the “#westknitsmkal2015” tag on Instagram for some amazing progress photos!)

When you get a virtual high-five from one of your favorite yarn people….

If you’re looking to expand your knitting circle check these sources out:

  • Your local yarn shop – between the employees and other regulars, these guys are endless well of knowledge
  • The Stitch ‘n Bitch directory is wonderful for finding groups to join for regular knit nights.
  • Many churches and libraries have knitting groups (or are willing to help you host one!)
  • And of course, Ravelry – the social network dedicated to knitters and crocheters. You can catalog your yarn stash, find patterns, track projects, and most importantly, connect with other crafters and the designers

Just remember, knitters are everywhere.

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