Joining a knitting group is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a knitter. If you're new to knitting, it's a great way to pick up new tricks and always have someone at the ready to help you through difficult parts of patterns or explain a new-to-you technique.
For knitters of all skill levels committing to a knitting group is a commitment to your knitting, a way of making a time and place for it that hopefully you will stick with for a long time.
But what if you can't find an established knitting group where you live, or you just want to start your own? Here are a few tips on getting a knitting group started in your area.
If you have a lot of friends who knit you may be able to just send an e-mail saying you want to start a formal knitting group and naming a time and place for people to meet up. You can allow them to invite friends or not, depending on how large you want the group to get.
If you don't know a lot of knitters or would like to branch out to other local knitters, there are a few ways to find them:
- Post a notice at your local yarn store, if you have one, at the library, your church if you attend, and on other community bulletin boards.
- Have a notice printed in the community calendar of your local newspaper.
- Check online for a local or statewide Stitch 'n Bitch group (many of these are on Yahoo Groups) or check for local knitting groups on Ravelry if you are a member there. Send a note to see if anyone else is interested.
- Ask your local friends if they have knitting (and crocheting) friends who might be interested. Send an e-mail to friends and ask them to pass it along to anyone who might be interested.
- If you're into social networking, post a notice on your MySpace or Facebook page or tweet about it on Twitter.
Organizing Your Group
It's a great idea to start out by picking a date, time and location for an organizational/getting to know you meeting.
You can set this up yourself or, if you've already been chatting with some interested folks online, you can take an informal poll to come up with a good time and place.
At this first meeting you'll want everyone to introduce themselves, talk a little bit about their knitting experience and maybe explain what they hope to get out of the group.
You might want to have an informal discussion about what people want the group to be: an informal sit and knit on a particular night and in a particular place each time, a rotating meeting at different participants' homes, a more formal meeting with talks and demonstrations, a charity knitting group or one where people work on their own things, and so on.
Of course not everyone is going to be interested in the same things all the time, so it may be that there are sub-groups or a couple of different types of meetings going on as part of the group.
It's no fun to do all the organizing of your knitting group alone, so get a couple of buddies or other people to volunteer to help with things like finding likely sites for meetings, organizing speakers or snacks if necessary, compiling your e-mail list and other necessary tasks.
You may also decide that you want to have rotating leadership in your group so that one person is "in charge" for six months or so, then someone else takes over.
That way hopefully no one will get burned out on organizing.
The main point of a knitting group is to be able to meet other knitters and to have fun sharing your favorite craft with others. Remember that when the inevitable personality clashes happen. Sometimes it's hard to make everyone happy. If someone in your group is trying to cause trouble, maybe you should send them a copy of this article.