Five years ago having recently joined the wonderful world of self-employment, I was completely and utterly delighted to be working from home in my purpose made craft room. I’d just left a full-time position at a local University, which didn’t leave a great deal of time for pursuing creative goals and dreams.
The thought of having endless hours to work creatively, tucked away in this cosy little haven, was, without a doubt, a dream come true. I was, and still of course am, incredibly grateful to have been in the position where I was able to transform my life in this way. I can wholeheartedly say that it was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made.
Fast forward six months later, and Felix, the ever so adorable black miniature poodle, became part of my life. He turned my world upside down in ways that I could truly never have imagined. Toilet training, shredded household items, 3am whines and interrupted face masks aside, he was, and still is, absolutely wonderful company.
As the months passed, however, I really started to miss the level of human interaction I was once used to. After all, there’s only so many one way conversations we can have with our rather furry and ever so faithful friends. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘is there really?’ If you are, I’ll let you into a little secret. Felix and I still have our fair share of dog to human ‘conversations’, there’s no judgement here.
Canine communication aside, I excitedly scoured the web for local craft groups, specifically knitting and crochet related. To my disappointment, I wasn’t able to find one single established group in the entire area of Bath, Somerset. This was the moment I realised that I needed to create my own.
Having absolutely no experience in running anything like this before, and possessing the classic personality traits of a strong introvert, I honestly didn’t know where on earth to start. I could have quite easily waited for another group to present itself. However, I’m so glad I took the first step towards establishing my own.
If you happen to find yourself in a similar situation, you’ve come to the best place possible, yay! Below, I’ve condensed everything I’ve learnt over the past five years into a mini-guide. So, go and make yourself an extra large cup of tea in your favourite mug, open the biscuits, and read on. I promise you’ll be a successful knitting and crochet group guru in absolutely no time.
If you have a large circle of ‘crafty’ friends, contact them. Explain that you’d like to establish a regular knitting and crochet group and name a time, date and place for it to be held on. Depending on the anticipated size of the group, your friends may wish to invite their friends, and you can continue to expand the group. If you’re not in this position, here are a few ways you can find them:
- Sign up to meetup.com, as I did, and create your own group, which you’ll need to name. Unbeknown to me, there were many other local knitters and crocheters seeking similar groups. This website played a significant role in connecting us.
- Create a flyer, post it in as many appropriate places you can think of.
- Create a page on Facebook, try to attract as many relevant locals as you can. Once established, this will provide a useful space for information and can be used as one of your advertising tools.
Organising Your Group
- As above, decide the time, date, location and frequency of your group. Try to be as consistent as possible. My group runs on a fortnightly basis, it’s always held on a Thursday evening. We meet in a very well loved, independent coffee shop.
- If you decide to use meetup.com, go ahead and create your group. Each group has its own calendar, so you can schedule regular meet ups there. Your members will be informed of upcoming meet ups and can RSVP.
- Your first group may be very busy (as mine was), so be try to be prepared for this. Make a point of introducing yourself to as many members as possible, and create a happy, productive, welcoming environment for all. These people are crucial to the success of your group, continuously thank them for being a part of it, they’re amazing!
Listen To Fellow Members
Last year when my own knitting and crochet group was about to turn four, we worked on a collaborative project in celebration, which now lives permanently in the coffee shop. We shared yarn, hooks, needles, patterns and had an absolutely fabulous time creating it. New bonds were created over crochet, tea and cake, and a cushion was made for all to enjoy. This idea originated from a much appreciated, fellow member. Without her suggestion and my acceptance, this may never have happened, so be as open as you possibly can to new suggestions.
The main point of a knitting and crochet group is to be able to meet existing craftspeople and to share your hobbies and interests with others. Personally for me, it feels incredibly heartwarming to know that I’ve been able to connect so many local knitters and crocheters, whilst supporting a local business. If your group, like mine, continues to run for years to come, continuously remind yourself why you set it up and always make an effort to appreciate it.
Now, please go on and create your own unique group. If it’s anything like mine, it’s going to be an amazing experience. Enjoy!