How to start a local knitting group?

June 27, 2007 at 8:47 am 1 comment

Dear SweaterBabe,

I am wondering if you have any advice for someone wanting to start a local meeting for people who want to learn how to knit? I know there are several people in the area who would be interesting in coming to something like that, but nobody knows how to go about setting one up or getting a place to meet. I also don’t know how often it would be good to have the meeting. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

— Cristi

Dear Cristi,

What a wonderful thing to do!  I can certainly give you some advice, and I’m sure there are others that might chime in on the comments to this post.

Here goes…

LOCATION IDEAS:

— Maybe a local coffee shop?  Many coffee shops, whether the big chains like Starbucks or Coffee Bean, or the independant ones, have great comfy sofas/chairs or lots of seating that you can group together. 

Visit a few.  Here are the things I would consider:
-Do they have good/easy parking?
-Are they open to allowing small groups to gather?  Maybe there are certain times of the day that the cafe is less busy and they would love the business?
-Will they have a minimum order per person?
-Do they have decent lighting if you are meeting in the evenings?
-Maybe they have a community board and will let you post a notice about your meeting there?
-Maybe they are even willing to provide a food/beverage discount if you are going to be regulars?

— How about your local library?  Many local branches offer knitting nights, which I presume meant someone like you suggested it to them!  Worth a phone call or a visit.  Plus. GREAT air-conditioning and you can browse knitting books together!  And, they will most likely post flyers for your knitting group meetings to the whole library community. 

— Ask your nearby yarn shops.  Many have knitting groups already set up or would be happy to host new ones.  It’s great for their business and you and your knitting buddies get to knit in a very inspiring environment.

— Check if there is already a Stitch-n-bitch group in your area.  I’d do an online search and see if you can locate one.  There are so many across the U.S., it’s a great community to join! 

OTHER THOUGHTS:

— Meet as often as there is interest.  I think many groups meet 1-2 times a month.  I think it depends on how many you have in your group as well.  If you have 30 members, then having more frequent meetings might work as you may get your critical mass at most meetings. 

— Communicate with your group via email if at all possible. It will make your life so much easier if you are the co-ordinator.  Many groups set up a special Yahoo Group to do so.  That way, you can easily send out an email to the group and be sure that all members should receive it.

— Keep it casual and fun.  Maybe you can invite members to share their favorite cookies (and the recipe) at meetings. 

— Set expectations in terms of whether your group is to “teach how to knit” or more of a “come and get some help here and there”.  The more experienced knitters are usually more than happy to help the less experienced; however, if you are finding that those interested are total newbies, you’ll need to be sure you have enough experienced ones that feel comfortable teaching (and don’t mind taking the extra time) before you set up the meetings.

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Entry filed under: Ask SweaterBabe, Knitting Questions and How to.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Diane Vavak  |  June 27, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I started a prayer shawl ministry in January and since have gotten a great response. We are making prayer patches for the military men and women to let them know that we are praying for them. We have about a dozen new members and another ministry that has joined us for this project. I think a common cause brings any knitting or crocheting club to life. We happen to meet at the church because my house is in the country but originally I had them at my house. People are more comfortable to be at a neutral location. Ours is just a place that we all have in common….our church.

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