Knitting Away the Blues

Start knitting with friends or go solo during these tough times.

Time Outs

Close-Knit Friendships

Knitting to stay sane during tough times

-Mary Beth Sammons

knitted itemsBusy, busy, busy … Does the idea of getting together with friends conjure images of endless e-mails, voice-mails and chance encounters with friends saying “We’ve got to plan a girl’s night!” ?

Here’s an idea that doesn’t involve orchestrating an extravagant party or potluck for 100. In hectic times, when we’re all looking for affordable and no-stress ways to reach out and make emotional connections that can calm us, I’ve discovered the Knitalong.

Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together, by Larissa Brown and Martin John Brown (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008)

After a quick latte getaway last Saturday I stumbled into a knit shop. There, a group of women gathered around a table sipping coffee and laughing as they whipped up adorable creations. The key: They were knitting together to create shawls, scarves, gloves and other cute items for women with breast cancer. Thus, the concept of a Knitalong.

The idea is an old one – women have been transmitting their art to one another for centuries. When knitters teach and learn, their friendships grow. But what intrigued me most was the idea of chilling out for hours, sitting quietly or chatting with friends, and doing good for others at the same time.

Though I have trouble even casting on and my experience with knitting is making easy scarves, I was intrigued. After a little research, I discovered that Knitalongs emerged out of blogs and online discussion groups to describe the practice of knitters in different places working on the same project in the same time. Or, they are any organized event where people knit together for a common purpose or goal. Thousands of such events happen every day as knitters meet in cafes or homes to create comforting pieces for victims of disasters and other causes.

It’s not just a new term. It’s a movement. And, the first free moment I have, I plan to gather a circle of friends and start stitching my way to calm and emotional connection with others.


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