Monday, October 4, 2010


In March of last year I decided to check out a new knitting group that was meeting at the local library.  For the past decade I have piddled about with yarn and needles and manufactured a few rather odd looking dishcloths in the process.  I couldn't seem to hold the thread right and the rhythm of the needles was way beyond my grasp.

A year and half later I am nearing the end of my first sweater and have made all manner of knitted stuff.  I look forward to every Tuesday morning when our little group meets.  I get out of the house no matter what the weather and get to the library to hang out and knit. 

Recently one of my knitting friends suggested that we write a column about the group.  And we did.  Writing the column has been an incredible experience, reopening doors and revealing ideas and knowledge that I thought were long gone.  It has rejuvenated me!

Here's a pic of some of our most faithful members and me, of course! And, the first newspaper article about our group. KEEPING YOU IN STITCHES is published once a week in two of our local newspapers.


If you haven’t already heard the news, we are here to tell you that knitting and crocheting are “IN”!  One of the coolest things happening right now is a revival of needlework skills from long ago.  Housewives, college students, retirees, folks from all walks of life are picking up needles, hooks and yarns to create beautiful, wearable, durable art.  Many celebrities are into needlework.  Vanna White from “Wheel” and author Debbie McComber have their own yarn lines.  Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tracey Ullman have all been spotted with needles in hand.  It’s not just for girls either.  Retired NFL football players, Roosevelt Greer and Randy Grossman and actor, Laurence Fishburne are all knitters!

The renewed interest in needlework made us think that there might be interest in a local needlework group.  And there was!  The Little Dixie Regional Library graciously opened their doors to us.  We have been meeting there every Tuesday morning for nearly two years.  We call ourselves, “Hooks, Yarns, and Thinkers”.  We are many different ages.  Perhaps when you think of needlework you have an image of a little old lady bent over her needles. Sure, some of us are seniors and have been senior for a while now.  But, we are also middle-aged stay-at- home moms and even quite youthful home schoolers. We come from many different backgrounds and even different countries.  

 Right now we are all female, but would enjoy seeing some male participation.  Some of our knitters were actually taught by their fathers.  More and more men are learning needlework. Published in 2007 there is a great book titled, “Men Who Knit and the Dogs Who Love Them.”  Did you know that tough guy Russell Crowe is a knitter?

Let’s be honest.  We are writing this column to encourage participation in our group, to show you who we are and hope that we spark your interest in joining us.  We are a great group and have lots of fun as well as learning new and improving old skills.  Meetings are loosely structured with no dues, agendas, or officers.  Some of our members have been doing needlework of many kinds for more than 50 years and they are always ready to give instructions and assistance to newcomers. 

Needlework does not have to be costly.  You can often borrow needles, hooks and yarn scraps from your grandmother, aunt or a neighbor.  For a small investment you can buy a single skein of yarn and a crochet hook or pair of knitting needles and be ready to go.  We have plenty of patterns to share, and the library has some excellent books too.  Supplies are available from Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Ben Franklin, Jo-Anne Fabrics and the local “Mart” as well as online.  A good size for beginners is an H-8 crochet hook or size 7 knitting needles paired with a worsted weight yarn.

Haven’t you always admired those beautiful handmade garments, mittens and afghans made by someone else?  Haven’t you wished you could do it too?  You can.  Check out “Hooks, Yarns, and Thinkers” any Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. upstairs at the Little Dixie Regional Library and learn the art of creating with yarn.  See you there!