Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Once a month, a small group of ladies and girls meets at our local library to knit.

The young girls who come are brought by a non-knitting mom, who waits in another part of the library for them. Young Miss R. started coming first and she now brings along her younger sister, Miss S. We have had some other girls come in the past, as well, inspired by an after school learn-to-knit class run by a Malta Avenue School teacher.

These are brave and charming girls who are not too shy to ask for help when they need it. (I think the girls like the snacks, too.)

Knitting projects vary. Some are small. Above, Linda is working on a hat.

Here, Martha is making socks.

This week, I, too, am attempting socks. I am using some ancient yarn from my yarn archives. I probably bought this yarn in the 1970s. It is so old that the color palette is coming back into fashion again, heaven help us.

This beautiful work, above and in the first photo, will be an afghan.

Trish likes to knit scarves.

I have learned some useful knitting tips from this group. But what I value most is the time to reconnect with some good folks. One lady has just lost a dear sister. Another is dealing with a major health challenge. We sit together and chat and knit, offering advice on a knitting conundrum or quiet companionship. In this way, we carry on a tradition that must go back to the
Neolithic Revolution: women with their needlework, sitting together and sharing skills and news and worries.

And the young girls? They are good listeners. I suspect that they are learning a lot more than just knitting. As it has always been; as it should be.

The knitting group of the Malta branch of the Round Lake (NY) Library meets on the last Tuesday of each month from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  All levels of skill are welcome. Click here for more information.

A further note:  Many libraries and independent knitting stores  across the world sponsor similar social knitting groups, along with classes and related programs. Check out what is available in your own neck of the woods. Times are often listed on store and library websites and in newspaper weekly calendars.



  1. You are all very creative. My sister, Trisha, never ceases to amaze me with her beautiful, unique and fashinable scarves. She has a real talent! I always look forward to see what she is going to create next. Keep knitting!!

  2. I love seeing girls learning craft skills with women. My grandmother (b. 1906) used to tell me about growing up in rural Canton, NY. Girls learned sewing, knitting, and other crafts from their mothers and their circles of friends. There were standard projects the girls had to complete, like my grandmother's crocheted pillow case trim which I still have. By the time they finished high school they had also finished their trousseau. Their apprenticeship had given them marketable skills and status in the community. Obviously, times have changed, and I'm not recommending a return to past cultural norms. But there is such value in the crafts themselves, and in the time girls spend in a circle of women. When I was in my twenties I asked my grandmother to teach me tadding, but by then her fingers were so numb from congestive heart failure that she could no longer do it. The first Sisters of St. Joseph in Le Puy taught lace making to poor women so they could be self sufficient, or help support their families. When I was in Le Puy I met a mother and her sixteen-year-old daughter who was learning lace making from her. The women in their family have been making lace for 900 years.

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