Knitting with friends

If it’s a Wednesday night there’s only one place you can find me – T-Bone’s Records & Cafe. Why? Because it’s Stitch ‘n Bitch night! My favorite night of the week! Do you have a group of friends that you knit with regularly? If not, you should! Knitting (and crafting of any kind) is always best when shared with others. And if you can’t find a local group to join, then create one! That’s what I did!

When we were living in Columbia, SC I had a group that got together weekly for coffee, stitching, and shared stories. For those with kids, it was a break from the chaos. For those in school, it was a break from studying. For all of us, it was a break from the constant buzz of busy lives and something we all looked forward to. We even caught the attention of the local newspaper!


When we made the move to Hattiesburg, MS I was leaving behind not only a lifetime of friends and family (I had lived in Columbia my entire life!) but I was also leaving behind my crafting community. A community that was built on shared interests and a love for the handmade and grew to become a family of sorts that rode the peaks and valleys of life together. I knew NO ONE in Hattiesburg. Not a soul. How was I going to survive?

But you know what? Knitters are EVERYWHERE. And it turns out I didn’t have to venture any farther than my front yard to meet my first one in Hattiesburg. Her name was Heidi and she lived just a few blocks away! She was walking her dogs and stopped to chat. When she asked what I do for a living I sheepishly (ba-dum-bum!) said that I used to be a librarian but was now pursuing knitwear design. I expected her to go “huh?” but instead, her face lit up! “I’M A KNITTER, TOO!” she exclaimed. And BAM, in an instant, a friendship was born.

After that, it seemed like Hattiesburg knitters and crafters started coming out of the woodwork. But it wasn’t until I met my friend, Sam, that the idea to form another knitting group became a reality. Sam knew other knitters/crafters from a group that used to get together regularly and mentioned that she missed the camaraderie. It was then that Hub City Crafters was born.

Every week we descend on the local record shop/cafe, eat some great food, drink some great beer and coffee, and talk about what’s going on in our lives. We are an eclectic mix of ladies and gents who knit, crochet, embroider, make jewelry, and more! These gals (and guys!) have seen me through each of my pattern releases and are my best cheering section when the self-doubt creeps in. They are also my best “idea-bouncer-off-ers” when it comes to the look (or the name!) of any design I’m working on.

What would I do without them? I don’t know and I don’t want to find out. I can honestly say that ALL of my closest friends here in Hattiesburg I have met through my knitting group. What started out as a handful of people has grown to two (sometimes three!) tables full of laughter (and sometimes even some stitching). We’ve made coffee cozies to sell in the cafe for Habitat for Humanity. We’ve yarnbombed downtown Hattiesburg. Who knows what’s next on our crafty agenda!

So take some time to create with others. In my opinion, it is a requirement when it comes to your own creative growth. And thankfully, with websites like Ravelry and Craftsy, even if you live in a place where getting together in person is not an easy task, you can still be part of a community that can nurture and help grow your own creative side. If you are looking for a crafting community in your area to join, there are two great places to search! If you are on Ravelry, you can browse their groups by location to find a group near you! There is also a directory of local Stitch ‘n Bitch groups at stitchnbitch.org.

By the way, all of YOU are part of my creative community, too, and for that I say Thank You. xoxo

 

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What’s new?

Well, the cowl design I was working on is now in time-out. I’m not 100% happy with it (I think a change in the yarn will help) so I’m going to revisit it towards the end of summer and get it out in time for fall. I can’t think about cowls right now anyway! Spring has sprung here in Mississippi! And this warmer weather makes me crave more lace! Something light! Something airy!

So a new lace shawl is in the works! I am almost finished with the knitting (it’s a lot farther along than the pic above) and hope to get the pattern out to my tech editor and test knitters in a couple of weeks! If you’re a lace lover, I will be posting a call for test knitters in my Ravelry group and on my Facebook page so watch those spaces! And yes, I created a Facebook page yesterday! So give it a “LIKE” if you’re on Facebook! I wanted a place where I could post quick announcements, show sneak peeks at new designs and post calls for test knitters, etc. So I hope you’ll join me there! I know the timing kinda sucks on this as Facebook is getting some backlash about the current reach of Pages but I’m giving it a shot and hope you’ll join me on the journey!

Another “new” thing for me is starting an Etsy shop. I had never sold my patterns on Etsy in the past because they didn’t have an automatic download service for digital files and I felt that the whole wait-for-me-to-email-you-the-file system was kind of clunky. But now they DO offer instant downloads so I’m open for business there as well. So if you’re on Etsy, “favorite” my shop so you can keep up with its growth! I’m excited about building up my pattern collection there!

I also have a “new friend” that came into my life this past weekend. Darby the Dressform! She and I are becoming fast friends. She’s modeling my Flower Market Shawl above and will probably be making several modeling appearances in the future. Next to the dogs, this is the third thing in the house that I now have lengthy one-sided conversations with during the day. And I’m now getting to the point where I don’t scream when I turn the corner and catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye. Progress!

So what’s new in your world? I hope it’s starting to warm up where you are! What do you like to knit when the weather heats up?