A common misconception about knitters is that we are all introverted. Sure, it is nice to cozy up in a comfortable, quiet space and knit in peaceful meditation, but we like to connect, also! If you are feeling a bit isolated and are considering starting a new knitting group, this is for you. Here are our steps for creating a thriving knitting group that will bring joy for years to come.
Steps for Starting a New Knitting Group
Step 1: Define Your Group
What do you want your knitting group to look like? Do you want to start one for young moms, people you work with, retired folks, experienced knitters? Or would you like to open it up to all demographics and levels of experience? Think about whether you want to include other fiber arts in your group- like crochet, embroidery, or quilting. Or will this be a knitting only group? Consider where your knitting group will be located and think about a general distance that knitters will be willing to travel.
Another aspect to consider is whether your group will be a place for free knitting or will you specify a project to be completed by the group. Will you charge a fee to join the group or will it be more informal? Will supplies be provided or is it BYOK (bring your own knitting)?
Step 2: Name Your Knitting Group
Your group name will help you to attract the type of knitters you are hoping to bring to the group. It is easy to get creative by adding knitting puns to your group name. Clever names such as Knitty Gritty Group, Purly Knitters, Knit Happens, or Tight Knit Bunch will speak to prospective knitters and give them a chuckle, too. If you are looking to add other fiber arts to your group, name your group something like Yarn Squad or Knotty Girls. If you want to be clear and focused about the intent of the group, no clever name needed. Name your group Neighborhood Knitting Group or include your specific community name.
Step 3: Secure a Location
If you plan to start a knitting group with friends, acquaintances, or neighbors and you have space in your home, this step may be simple. But, if hosting the knitting group in your home doesn't make sense for you, there are many other options. Consider the following locations:
Local church. Many local churches are willing to offer their community rooms during week nights to various groups. You may have to pay a small fee for rent, but you may be able to barter by providing some knitted garments to the church community.
Community clubhouse or center. If you live in a gated community, you may be able to use the neighborhood clubhouse for your knitting group. If not, a local community center may have rooms available for clubs and meetings.
Yarn or craft store. Having a knitting group meet in a craft store will likely result in sales for the store, so many owners are happy to accommodate groups like knitting circles.
Outdoor spaces. If you live in a location with a moderate year round climate, designate a park or other outdoor space to meet. Look for a space with a pavilion that can keep you dry in the event of rain.
Once you identify a location, ensure that you will be able to hold your group there consistently at the same time. Groups that change the location or time of their groups frequently are less likely to be successful.
Step 4: Advertise
Start your group by asking a few of your knitting friends to join. Ask them to invite a friend and grow your group by word-of-mouth. Once you exhaust that, create flyers to hang at local craft stores, grocery stores, and community centers. Use social media to advertise your group. If you belong to local online knitting groups, post about your new knitting group. If there aren't any local social media groups for knitting, consider starting one as a way to grow your new knitting group. Direct your advertising language to attract the types of knitters you want in your group.
Once you have a handful of regular knitting group members, plan a few projects. Projects with purpose will unite group members and they will feel like they are part of something really special. Partner with a local children's hospital or retirement home and knit hats and scarves to donate. Plan a charity drive or sponsor children who want to knit and invite them to your group. Keep the group fresh and fun and it will grow into the knitting group you envisioned.
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