I live in a small town. While visiting a local sanctuary for abandoned animals, the tour guide (knowing I’m a crocheter), asked if I could refer her to any spinners. They had just sheared their alpacas, sheep and other yarn-producing animals and they wanted to sell the “wool” at a large discount to someone who could process it further. Our community has many artists, including a very active quilting organization; however, I personally didn’t know any other yarn crafters. So I decided it was time to change that.
Recently the book store and the scrapbooking store have introduced yarn into their stocks. Since the scrapbooking store had a room for classes and parties, I decided to approach the owner with my idea. Kathi wanted to expand her yarn area and had already started to offer knitting and crochet classes. She liked my idea and we decided to name out gathering – Fiber Fun, to include all fiber enthusiasts – knitters, crocheters, spinners, needle crafters, etc. Her store is located in the center of the town, near various art galleries and antique stores. On the first Friday of each month from 5pm-8pm the gallery features different artists and holds a small reception. Other stores follow suit offering music and snacks to their visitors. We thought this would be the perfect time for our meeting also.
We added Fiber Fun to the local calendar and invited everyone we met. It has proved to be a very pleasant experience. Crafters bring their current projects, coming and going as they please. We even take a break to visit the other exhibits. Other guests stop by to see what is going on in our space.
Sharing projects and yarn knowledge has proved to be very beneficial for everyone involved. The more experienced crocheters help those that are learning, especially with reading patterns and then exchange ideas and techniques with each other.
At our last meeting, the knitters were making a ruffled boa-like scarf from a new-to-me Bernat’s mesh yarn. They were following the directions on the label. The crocheters wanted to make the same scarf, but there were no crochet instructions. As a result, I bought a few skeins and took them home. After some experimentation, I came up with three crocheted scarves using this yarn. (Two free patterns are available under Simple & Sensational: Afghan Ruffle Scarf and Double Crochet Ruffle scarf.) If it wasn’t for meeting with this group, I probably would never have thought to do this.
To look for an established group in your area check out the Crochet Guild of American (www.crochet.org). If there is none, why not take the initiative and start your own? Find a location, pick a convenient time and start inviting people. You’ll find this artistic association not only fun, but educational as well.