From one local knitting group that knits at work, learn a few steps you can take to get started knitting with a group locally!
On Instagram and Facebook one day, I shared a photo of myself knitting a baby hat at my daughter’s swim practice. Yes, I really do knit just about anywhere… and I asked, “Where is the strangest place you knit?”
I received many fantastic answers that I will probably have to compile into a future post! However, the very first response immediately caught my eye:
“We knit at work on our lunch breaks.”
Yes, this isn’t the strangest place in the world to knit. But did you see that one little word? It made all the difference…
I’d not have batted an eye if this woman said “I knit at work on my lunch break.” But instead she said “we…our” meaning more than One. Person. At. Her. Job. Knits!
And they knit TOGETHER!
Folks, that got me intrigued! Tell me, wouldn’t you love to have a local knitting group at work?
I knew I had to find out more, so I messaged Veronica Bonilla at her Facebook group page, Sweet Knittings, and begged her to let me send her some questions so I could learn the rest of the story.
And here it is… the rest of the story!
The Start of a Local Knitting Group at Work: Sweet Knittings
Veronica was not a knitter when she began working at an elementary school cafeteria.
“A few years ago we were on our lunch break and a conversation started about knitting,” she said. “I didn’t know knitting at the time, so our manager Debbie showed me the knitting basics.
“There were others who knew knitting as well, so we all just kind of started knitting on our breaks. We also learned loom knitting and some of us even crochet.”
“We once did a secret Santa for Christmas and the gift was to be a knitted scarf. That to me was a great thing because it was someone’s handmade work and made especially with care and so much thoughtfulness,” Veronica said.
“Then one day, I came upon a page on Facebook about knitted hats for children with cancer. I remembered that feeling [of receiving a handmade gift], and finding that page sparked the beginning of wanting to give others a little joy, knowing that others care.”
That was how their knitting group went from just a handful of knitters relaxing on their lunch break to a group actively knitting for charity.
Growing a Local Knitting Group for Charity
“Our little group is about 3 or 4 at work, and recently my mom has been helping us out,” Veronica continued. “On occasion we get one or two ladies that donate handmade items to us, like hats and blankets. That’s a great help since we’re a small group. Tamie from Idaho has [also] been great in helping us out with many items.”
So not only does Sweet Knittings knit themselves, they also gather handmade donations others offer them.
The group has had its share of growing pains, as anyone who has tried to knit consistently for charity will relate to.
“One of the biggest bumps in the road we faced, besides learning the ropes and guidelines for different donation causes, was starting over,” Veronica said.
“We originally started out as ‘Heartfelt Stitches.’ Then we learned that some of our pictures and info were being taken and used by someone else for their own purposes. We didn’t want to take any chances and decided to start fresh again.
“Since then things have gone by smoothly, and even better!”
Like many charity knitting groups, Sweet Knittings decides what to knit based on what touches them. “For myself, angel babies and preemies are close to my heart, in memory of my brother’s baby, as well as cancer, as both of my grandmothers passed away from it.,” Veronica said.
“I know that every cause or place we donate to has some meaning for us or has just simply touched us deeply in some way. We currently are working on holiday items for preemies in the NICU, babies and children with various health issues, as well as some who’ve been through some form of abuse.”
What We Can Take from Sweet Knittings
I love the story of Sweet Knittings because it shows how a local knitting group can develop organically and thrive!
If you would like your own Sweet Knittings story, here are some things we can learn from Veronica’s story.
1. Become a knitting ambassador. If you love to knit, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Think about how Veronica started: with coworkers talking about knitting.
If talking about knitting doesn’t come easily to you, you can try wearing some of your handknitted items. Wear a scarf, or fingerless mitts, or a shawl, or even a cell phone purse. You’d be surprised at how often I wind up talking about my knitting because of the cell phone purse I tote nearly everywhere!
2. Knit in public as often as you can. That’s another great way to spark conversations about knitting. As I mentioned earlier, I like to knit at my daughter’s swim practices.
3. Be willing to teach others. That’s a big takeaway here! Sweet Knittings started because Veronica’s manager was willing to teach her how to knit. Listen for those magical words, “I wish I knew how to knit.”
I confess I hear this often. Don’t follow my example and let it roll aside without comment! Pick up on it and say, “I could teach you, if you like.” You might find an eager pupil — and a potential knitting group member!
4. Don’t be afraid to start small. Sweet Knittings started with just a handful of knitters, but they’ve already begun collecting donations from others. Even if you stay small, you can still get the satisfaction of working together.
5. No need to force charity knitting right away. Maybe in the beginning, you’ll just want to focus on teaching one or two others to knit, or practice your skills, or — like Sweet Knittings — just creating things for each other.
Once the group is comfortable with knitting and each other, then you can introduce the idea of knitting for others.
I hope you’ve found Veronica’s story of Sweet Knittings inspiring! If you’d like to connect with their group, swing by the Sweet Knittings Facebook page.
If you belong to a knitting group, how did it begin? Feel free to share your story in the comments!
For more about starting your own local knitting group, check out this post!