An avid knitter for over 10 years, Donna enjoys sharing her free patterns and knitting experience with other fiber fans and yarn lovers.
Knitting is a popular craft and hobby that is shared by people in every city and town - and knitting groups can play a fun part in getting them together. In these groups, knitters can work on projects while socializing and sharing information with others who enjoy the same activity. It is a great way to get to know other people in the community while building a support system and knowledge bank for your craft.
If your community does not have a knitting group, here's how to start your own!
First - Decide What Type of Group It's Going to Be
Most "knitting" groups I know of are really "knit and crochet groups". The two crafts are very similar and a lot of knitters also crochet, and vice versa. By welcoming both crafts, you can get more members and attendees.
If you live in a large city, you can probably gather a group of just knitters, or knitters and crocheters. However, if you live in a smaller city or less populated area, you may want to open your group up to all needle crafts (embroidery, cross stitch, crewel work, and lace makers). Hopefully by welcoming all needle workers, you will create a large and diverse group of dedicated members.
You should also determine whether the group is going to meet weekly or monthly, whatever works for the members. This may be best decided at the first meeting by asking the attendees.
My knit group meets every Monday at a local cafe. We meet from about 6 PM to the cafe's closing time. It is a drop-in type of casual meeting, with people coming as their schedules allow and staying as long as they want.
Pick a Fun Name For Your Group
Clever or fun names always attract people's attention. If you can't think of anything, try something traditional like "(Name of Community) Knit and Natter" or "(Name) Stitch & B*itch".
Find a Meeting Place
I would suggest you pick a meeting place that is centrally located, safe, and convenient. I find it is also best if your meeting place either serves food or allows you to bring food and beverages in. (Every meeting is better with food!)
It may be tempting to hold your meetings in someone's home, but this can be both intimidating for someone who might not know the group very well and also puts a lot of responsibility on the host.
Instead, pick a place that is well-known in your community and preferably free to use. A friendly cafe, or your library, local church, yarn store, or community center might be good choices. If you choose to meet at a cafe or restaurant, you should suggest to the members that they order items from the establishment as a gesture of thanks for letting you meet there.
Advertise Your Knitting Group
One of the most important steps in forming a successful knitting group is getting the word out about the group. There are many places to post electronic messages, public notices, and flyers about the group.
- Start an electronic bboard for your group on Ravelry.com.
- Post a notice on your Facebook page and/or start a Facebook page for your group.
- Contact your local yarn or craft store and ask if they would send a message to their email list.
- See if there is a knitting or needlework guild in your area that can help spread news about the group.
- Place listings or ads in your local community paper, church or school bulletin, or even your neighborhood/HoA newsletter.
- Ask if you can hang flyers at local cafes, stores, libraries, churches, activity centers, gyms, schools, and other places where potential members might see them.
Start advertising at least a month before your first meeting date. Be sure to include a contact email address in case people have questions or need more information. It would be nice if you could ask people to RSVP so you know how many people to expect, but you also want to leave it somewhat casual so people don't feel any pressure. Be sure to post that beginning knitters are welcome!
Plan for Your First Meeting
The most important thing - be early! No one likes to be the first one at an event and everyone likes to be welcomed by a warm smile. Try to be the first one at your meeting place so everyone knows they're in the right place, etc.
Think about asking some friends to come along to the first meeting - even if they don't knit, crochet, do needlework, etc. Just having a couple of other people there to keep the conversation going will be a big help and make things more fun.
Bring some knitting magazines or books (you can borrow these from your library if needed) to pass around and discuss. Knitters always like talking about new patterns and different types of yarn :) You can also bring along a tablet if you have one to visit websites like Ravelry.com and other knitting sites.
Sometimes it is hard to engage people in the conversation. There are a lot of websites that have lists of introductory questions for getting to know someone new. But here are some knitting-related questions you can ask each new member:
1. How long have you been knitting, crocheting, doing needle work?
2. Do you do any other types of crafts?
3. Where do you buy your yarn and supplies?
4. What is your favorite type of project to make?
5. How did you learn to do your craft? Have you taught anyone else?
6. Have you taken any knitting classe or gone to any knitting retreats? Did you enjoy them?
7. Are you on Ravelry or do you visit any knitting-related websites?
Possible Project Ideas
Some knitting groups are open groups where the members just work in personal projects. I always have a small project on my knitting needles that I bring to my group. Smaller projects are easy to transport and won't get damaged or lost during travel. I also pick something somewhat simple (and mindless) to bring to my knitting group, so I won't screw it up if I get carried away talking and don't really pay attention to my knitting :) I keep my cable or lace projects at home where I don't have as many distractions.
Other groups might pick community or charity projects that their members can choose to work on. These projects are a nice way for the group to serve their community and can be fun, quick things for members to knit.
These projects can include:
- little hats for premature babies
- chemotherapy caps for cancer patients
- lap blankets for nursing homes or wheelchair patients
- warm winter goods (hats, scarves, mittens) for the homeless
You can find lots of free knitting patterns for these items on the internet. Contact your local hospital, churches, social service agencies, or non-profits to find organizations that might need these items for their clients.
I hope this information gets you excited about starting a knit group in your community. Stop by and tell me how it's going, or post ideas you have to share!
Copyright © 2013 by Donna Herron. All rights reserved.
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Donna Herron (author) from USA on April 17, 2017:
Hi Athlyn - Yes, the internet has been a wonderful way to build community for crafters. There are so many resources on the web. In fact, I wrote another post about the best websites for knitters and crocheters - https://discover.hubpages.com/art/The-Best-FREE-We...
Thanks again for all your comments and support!
Athlyn Green from West Kootenays on April 15, 2017:
You're welcome. I'm thrilled to be able to connect with other knitters and crocheters. YouTube is great, too, for tutorials on how to work stitches.
I had a yarn room in my home and met so many talented locals. And a friend and I discussed giving lessons, as well.
It's funny, it was believed the internet would alienate people, but the opposite seems to have happened. People are keeping up with each other's lives more than ever before, and crafters sharing photos, tips and free patterns.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on April 15, 2017:
I couldn't agree more, Athlyn! I think the internet has also helped to change people's attitudes towards knitting and crocheting as "granny" crafts. Thanks for adding your thoughts and ideas! I appreciate it!
Athlyn Green from West Kootenays on April 14, 2017:
It's interesting how knitting and crocheting are in vogue again and I believe it has to do with the internet, allowing crafters to connect in local areas and further afield. And this, of course, also makes it easier to advertise if you want to form a knitter's group.
What a great way to get together, share a passion for knitting, mentor one another, visit, and form friendships.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on April 16, 2016:
I'm glad this hub has inspired you to start your own knitting group. I'm sure your local library will be a great resource for beginning your group, regardless of where you decide to meet. Be sure to ask if you can post or leave fliers at your library to advertise your meetings! Good luck!
Jean Bakula from New Jersey on April 12, 2016:
I would love to do something like this. I live in a small town. Maybe the local library would let me do it there. I also live near a Starbucks. Thanks for the idea.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on September 09, 2014:
Thanks, jennabee25! I appreciate you stopping by and reading. I'm glad you found this hub of interest :)
Jenn Dixon from PA on September 09, 2014:
Donna Herron (author) from USA on December 07, 2013:
Thanks so much, TwilightDream! It's great to meet other people who are interested in and like to do crafts. And I love meeting other knitters on Hubpages! Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your comments!!
Kingbell from Chennai, India on December 07, 2013:
Wow! What a great Art personality I met today!! HP posted your hub on my wall today in FB. Since I am also interested in most of the arts you are involved, it triggered me to read your hub here. One by one I've been going through almost all your hub for the past four hours. Knowing an art form is great thing. But putting it in a pleasant way of writing to please the reader is entirely a very great job. All your accolodes are the reflections of that.
I've voted this hub useful/interesting/awesome. Great ideas. Keep writing!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on August 29, 2013:
Hi Alison -
Great question about meeting length! In general, I think just an hour would be too short to enjoy your refreshments, get to know each other, and get any knitting done. However, a longer time might be intimidating for the first meeting. I would suggest advertising the meeting as being an hour to 90 minutes. You can always extend the time once the group gets going. You might also add that people are welcome to just stop by and introduce themselves if they can't stay for the whole time :)
Thanks for your question and comments. I wish you great success with your group! And, yes - I always try to include a copyright on my original material :)
Alison Dittmar from PA on August 28, 2013:
This is a great hub! I've always wanted to join a knitters club but they are too far or when I am otherwise occupied, this hub inspires me to start my own. How long should a session last, especially if holding at a cafe'? I'd guess an hour to an hour and a half tops, what's your opinion on that?
Thanks and do you copyright all your work?
Donna Herron (author) from USA on August 25, 2013:
Hi kidscrafts - I really enjoy crafting groups and I think there are a lot of benefits - beyond just socializing. Hopefully, you will find or start your own group when you have time :) Thanks for your comments and vote up! Have a great week!!
kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on August 25, 2013:
What a great hub and great suggestions, Purl3Agony!
Most of my friends don't do any crochet, knitting or needle work :-(
For several years, I was part of a group who was doing bobbin lace. It's was nice but it takes so much time that I decided that I will do it again when I retire!
What I love in being part of a group, it's stimulating and you can help each other and learn! It's a win -win - win situation!
Thank you for sharing!
Voted up, useful and interesting!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on August 23, 2013:
Hi theframjak - Good to hear from you, and as always, thanks for your comments! Glad you found some helpful information here. Good luck starting your own knitting group!
theframjak from East Coast on August 23, 2013:
Purl3agony, great hub! There are a lot of good, practical tips here. Thanks for sharing.