Monday, August 20, 2007

Knitting Is Way More Fun With A Group

If it weren't for learning to knit within a group, I probably wouldn't be knitting today. Why? It's about energy, personalities, and eclectic creative perspectives all coming to the table together forming a synergy with whatever degree of experience each knitter possesses. And experience, as we all know, is an invaluable commodity.

Thursday morning meetup group

I know that knitting in a vacuum isn't for me. I'm just an unabashedly social animal, and love a sense of community. Tapping into their expertise and experiences saves me a thousand tears and provides a million inspirations. There was one small problem, though: As a relative newcomer to Austin, I didn't know anyone else who knit. Didn't know many other people, period. Once again, I used Ann's advice to utilize the internet for knitting resources, this time looking for a knitting group who were as crazy as I am.

Google is my friend. One of my best friends.

Typing 'Austin TX knitting groups' into the search bar, I was feeling lucky. The very first search result produced the Austin Knitting and Crocheting Meetup Group. I immediately joined, attending my first knitting meetup a few days later. About 7 other knitters attended that chilly November Sunday, and I knew I'd found the kinship that would keep me interested and juiced. Skill levels of members run the gamut, all of them were friendly and helpful. On my first day, I was the only one there who was brand new to the craft.
Saturdays at Central Market

Many meetups later, I found I was not the least experienced person in the group, no Sirree Bob. Some newcomers come to learn from scratch, and are always made to feel welcome. They are encouraged and supported, and, little by little, will spread their wings as I have, leaping into projects they wouldn't have dreamed of trying on their own.

What better way to learn techniques for more complex projects? Who better to get great ideas from? Why, from kindred spirits, of course. Tackling my first sweater, my first bag, my first tank top, my first shawl were all due to the courage that knitting within this supportive community provides. We laugh, share, and the gorilla glue holding us together is the passion for exquisite fibers and beautiful objects.

In a little over a year, this group has grown from a handful to over 300 members. If you live in Austin, come join us. If you are visiting the area, we'd love to have you come, too!
Two North Austin Meetup members

This post is inspired by and dedicated to one of the very first Austin Knitting and Crocheting Meetup Group members I met, Amy. Through my many trevails and knitting foibles, Amy is among those I consult (harrass?), patiently showing me techniques that mystify me, and rescuing me countless times from dropped stitches and pattern disconnects. She's leaving us for the Bay area in northern California, and she will be sorely and profoundly missed here in Austin, not only by me, but ALL of us. (We love you, Amy!)

Amy, one talented knitting/crocheting/designing fiber goddess and Renaissance woman extraordinaire, working on socks of her own design

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