Steps and tips for beginning your own knitting group
Imagine this cozy setting: a group of women getting together for tea and knitting once a week.
In addition to the fun of knitting and tea (and, I must imagine, plenty of conversation), these ladies donate their finished projects to charity.
This is the reality for a group called Knitting for Chari-tea in Vero Beach, Florida. Doesn’t this sound like a great idea?
Maybe you, too, would love to spend time knitting with a group regularly, especially for charity. If so, it may be time to start a knitting group!
Starting Your Own Knitting Group
Before you start your own knitting group, you might want to first make sure there isn’t already a group in your area. Of course, you can still start one even so, but if you live in a small town, you might have trouble finding folks willing to join you if a group already exists!
If you’re sure there’s no group nearby that you would like to join, go ahead and start your own!
You may find the following tips helpful. These were compiled from several different online resources, including About.com, Squidoo and Stitch ‘n’ Bitch Nation.
1. Finding members The first thing you’ll need to do, of course, is find people who would like to join a knitting group. There are a few ways to do this. You can simply shoot for word of mouth; let your friends know you’re interested in starting a group, and have them ask around.
If you don’t know many people in your area, or if you’ve exhausted your local social network and have found no knitters, then it’s time to do some advertising. Nothing major; you could just hang a notice in your local yarn shop, library, craft store, and/or church or school (if it’s allowed). You may even want to take out an ad in the local paper.
2. Find a place to gather Once you’ve found some folks interested in knitting as a group, you need to find a place to meet and knit.
Some possibilities include the local yarn shop, the library, a local café (look for one that isn’t terribly busy, so you’re not taking up valuable space!), a craft store, or a book store. Be sure to check with the owners of whatever establishment interests you, especially if you want to provide refreshments.
You might be considering whether you could just hold the gathering at your or another’s own home. This might be a possibility if you already know the potential group members fairly well.
However, if not, potential knitting group members might feel a little uncomfortable about going to a meeting at a stranger’s house. At least in the beginning, it may be best to choose a neutral location.
3. Choose a purpose You all love to knit, and you all want to make it a group effort. Those are great things to have in common, but you might need to make your group a little more purposeful.
If your sole desire is to knit with other people, that might be acceptable if you are all a naturally chatty group of people. But if not, you might find the conversation running dry, particularly if you don’t know one another well. This is why it’s a good idea to offer a specific purpose for your knitting group.
Of course, one good possibility is knitting for charity. You can decide together who you might want to knit for and what you might want to knit.
Another possibility is to have group knitalongs, where you all knit the same thing.
A few other ideas include yarn, needle, or pattern swaps; combination knitting and book or movie clubs (so you’ll have something to discuss); or learning a new specific skill, like Magic Loop, cables, socks, or fair isle. Your group, of course, may come up with an entirely different idea.
4. Choose a meeting time When you choose a time to meet, you’ll have to carefully negotiate the line between too often and not often enough. There is no one-size-fits all here; it may depend on how busy group members’ lives are. Very busy members might not want to meet more often than once a month; others may desire every week or every other week.
A specific time needs to be chosen, too. Evening times seem to suit most people, but those who work in the evenings could have difficulty with this. Again, consult with the other members to find a workable compromise.
You may want to consider having a rotating leader. Unless you’re the type of person who loves to lead any group, having others lead the group from to time will keep you from burning out. If every member knows that the leadership will shift every few months, they may be more willing to assume that role from time to time!
I hope these tips are helpful to anyone who is interested in starting their own knitting group, whether or not it is for charity!