Knitting groups: aren’t they great?

The benefits of knitting and knitting groups have been well documented. Both Lora and I are firm believers in the positive effects of being part of a knitting group – our own group has been meeting every Wednesday evening for almost 10 years – and in truth, we’d be lost without our ‘gang’.

Since starting Olann and we’ve had messages and comments from loads of you telling us about your knitting group. The various initiatives you get involved with, the charity knitting you take part in, the classes and workshops you participate in and of course, the laughs and social outings too!

Knitting groups meet anywhere from yarn shops to coffee shops, people’s houses to bars. And every group is made up of different characters, different levels of knitters and different ages. What we can all claim to have in common though is a sense of togetherness and camaraderie that comes from having a shared interest. And in many cases this togetherness evolves into true and lasting friendships.

Belfast Stitch ‘n Bitch

We’ll be exploring the phenomenon of the knitting group in an upcoming issue of Olann and, but in the meantime we wanted to highlight a group from Belfast that came to our attention via Instagram. The Belfast SnB came into being 10 years ago when they first began meeting in Starbucks in Belfast. To celebrate their 10th anniversary the ladies have published a book called Knit 10 together – a pattern book celebrating 10 years of community crafting.

This lovely book features six designs (four knitting and two crochet) from the ladies of the knitting group. There’s a pair of mitts, a hat, a cowl, a water bottle cover, a little bunny and a novelty chemistry set. The book itself captures the fun-loving spirit of the group and their obvious closeness. It’s a great example of what a knitting group can achieve.

The book was launched on 10th June to coincide with World Wide Knit in Public Day(WWKIPD). It’s available to buy for £10 from the group itself by emailing craftingrabbithole@gmail.com and you can also pick up a copy at The Wool Shop in Newscastle, Lighthouse Yarns in Whitehead and Top Floor Art Gallery in Saintfield. If the book isn’t enough for you, and you’d like to read more about the group’s adventures, you can visit their blog at https://downthecraftingrabbithole.wordpress.com/.

What we love about stories like those of the Belfast SnB, and other knitting groups around the country, is their desire to play an active part in the community. Over the years the Belfast SnB has taken part in a huge range of knitting initiatives from WWKIPD and Craft Month, to knitting for various charities. We know from talking to knitters and crafters over the years that knitting groups can and have become active members of local communities. Who can forget the amazing knitted replica of the GPO created by the knitting group from Dunmanway, Co. Cork to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising last year. And the many charity events that knitters organise and take part in – take a look at our charity page for some ideas including Knitted Knockers and teddies for the Surgeon Noonan Society.

We’d love to hear from knitting groups around the country. Tell us what you get up to, what charity events you’re involved in, what outings you’ve enjoyed.

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