Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Knitting Groups

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about "knitting communities".  Of course, there's Ravelry, the Mother of all online knitting communities.  (If you're not familiar with Ravelry, it's like Facebook for Knitters if Facebook was created by a really cool couple - she knits, he codes - who are committed to actually creating a sense of community and not by some ruthless Harvard grad who is more interested in stealing ideas and information for his own profit.)

But what about real face-to-face, person-to-person knitting communities?  Circles, Meetups, Groups, Stitch n' Bitches, whatever you may call them, groups of women (and men) who meet on a regular basis to knit, crochet, and spin together.  Recently I posted on a Ravelry board that there is a knitting group that meets every day of the week (except for Sundays and Fridays) in Palm Beach County.  And these are just the ones that are publicly posted.  So I set out to visit each one throughout the month of March.  Afterwards I posted a short review. 

So here it is - the end of the month and to wrap it all up, I thought I would review the two knitting groups I frequent the most: Boca Raton Knit & Crochet, The Fiber Freaks of Boynton Beach.

 Boca Raton Knit & Crochet meets every Thursday night at a Starbucks on Glades Road.  This is a moderate sized group with anywhere from 6 to 15 members on any given night.  The members are mostly women (one intrepid man) whose ages range from early thirties to beyond.  Of all the groups I've encountered in Palm Beach County, this group skews most  towards younger knitters with most members in their thirties, forties and active fifties.  But like all the other groups, there is a wide variety of skill levels (beginner to experienced) and preferred modalities (crochet, spinning, needlepoint).  Group members will often meet up outside of "Knit Nite" to visit various yarn stores (The Knitting Garden in Coral Gables is a frequent carpool destination), celebrate a holiday or birthday, or watch a movie. 

The staff at Starbucks is very friendly and accommodating (our favorite baristas treat us well).  We usually take up a corner of the store and spread out over a few tables.  There's always room to pull up another chair although the upholstered ones are usually the first to go.  Conversation is sometimes loud and bawdy (depending on the participants) but always interesting.  I always find myself looking forward to Thursday nights.

Fiber Freaks of Boynton Beach was started by two members of the Boca group who became close friends and wanted to supplement their Thursday night knitting sessions with more knitting.  They chose a roomy Starbucks near their homes and decided to invite all comers.  This tends to be a smaller subset of the Boca group - usually 4 to 6 people.  Since the numbers tend to be smaller, most members post on the group's Ravelry board as to whether or not they can make it that week.  Most arrive around 9:30A and stay until noon.  Sometimes we orchestrate an effort to meet earlier so we can snag the big table - we have an ongoing battle with a lone man who likes to hog the table and insists on keeping all the chairs for his (imaginary) friends - it's actually quite comical.

And that, my friends, is my Stitch n' Bitch Crawl.   It was fun - I got to meet some new people, saw some old friends and knit in new places.  I would urge every solitary knitter out there to try a group (or many groups).  Everyone needs friends and knitting friends are sometimes the best of friends.


  1. I've made some of my best friends at knit night (that includes you!). Thanks for the fantastic round-up.

    I think it is really interesting to consider the knitting communities and how they've transformed over time. All I know is that I would be a hermit without my local groups!