Last year a student came to me for help in forming a knitting club for the Honors College. This student, who happens to be from Japan, knew that a growing number of her peers were knitting and crocheting, and that many more were expressing interest in learning.
I thought it was a great idea -- what knitter wouldn't want a knitting circle started in her workplace? But something was standing in the way. It's just my own neurosis, I'm sure, but I couldn't start the group until we had a good name. Luckily a student suggested Knitwise. Perfect -- now we could move forward.
We've had a great semester in Knitwise. A number of people have stopped by to learn how to knit, and then become regulars at our Thursday afternoon meetings. I've seen students go from never having handled needles, to making useful (and beautiful) objects. I've seen students become almost as obsessed with knitting as I am. And other students have become the teachers and mentors of the group. Still others stop in from time to time to revive their skills or just socialize.
I have big plans for this group. I'd like to bring in guests for demonstrations; run workshops to teach techniques; work together on charity projects; introduce them to Ravelry. But all of that can wait. Right now we're all just plopping down on couches, talking yarn and needles and hooks, discussing projects, helping each other with finishing, complimenting progress, oohing and ahhing over the astonishing work we're producing. It's quite enough to share that with a few students, adding stitch by stitch to my own projects, and dreaming about the power of one crafter added to another and to another. About the circle creating, expanding, developing its own gravity, and spreading change one beautiful, functional, warm object at a time.