While they may see it as just a hobby, a group of local women knitters are busy creating the heirlooms of tomorrow.
“The Knit Peeps” as they refer to themselves, is a group that meets weekly on Monday mornings at the Wooly Mammoth Yarn Shop. Ann Hoff, a founding member of the group, says “We’ve been together a long time. And we add more people all of the time. Sometimes people drop out for various reasons and we just keep inviting more people.”
Before they settled in their current cocoon-like environment nestled in among all of the colorful yarn at the Wooly Mammoth, the group was a bit of a roving bunch. Sometimes they would meet over latte’s at Scooters or knit after lunch at Le Quartier. But now, the group benefits from the helpful staff on-hand, and it doesn’t hurt to have every knitting tool imaginable available at just an arm’s length away.
“It’s a wonderful group,” says Jeanne Noyes, co-owner of the Wooly Mammoth. “It’s a community. It brings a really diverse group of people together whose paths might not have crossed had they not had that common interest. It’s very female-centric. The conversations examine the broad aspect of female concerns and issues from sisterhood to motherhood. It’s also about family and nurturing creativity.”
The women strengthen connections to loved ones in their life through the medium of yarn, all while making memories along the way.
Hoff’s five-year-old grandson visited the group a few times when school was out. He picked up a new hobby while there—the new fad of easy-as-pie “arm knitting” where your arms are the needles. (Seriously, the coolest thing. YouTube it.) He made two scarves, which he gifted to family members.
Another member, Nancy Knight, is making a soft-pink-hued lap blanket for her mother who lives in a nursing home. “It’s my connection with my mother, says Knight. “She feels it. It’s very hands-on. It’s soft and it’s bumpy. For older people, touch is so important. Each time I visit her, I show her the progress. We are making our blanket together. It’s kind of a ministry.”
Barbara Anderson is another member who is focusing on healing through her projects. She is knitting a prayer shawl to give as a gift to someone who is under the weather. “A prayer shawl is a shawl that you can put around you. Supposedly you have your prayers on them and so you’re covering the person with your thoughts and love,” Anderson says.
Even if the ladies are never knitting for themselves, they do get something out of their meetings—that common bond that comes with simply being part of a group.
“It’s been fabulous to be able to meet new people,” Knight adds. “I think as you get older and sometimes you’ve been working all of your life, it’s hard to get back into the community and get connected. I needed some girl time.