April is National Stress Awareness Month and in keeping with this, the Craft Yarn Council (CYC) is running the “Stitch Away Stress” campaign. They have broken the month down into 4 themes: Mind, Body, Spirit; Exercising the Mind; Community; and Inspirations Ability to Heal.
This week the focus is community and how knitting and crocheting builds relationships. These communities might be in the online world through Ravelry, Facebook, or other social media or out in the physical world at guilds or informal gatherings. Whatever your style and opportunity to connect, it is no secret that crafters create strong bonds.
The Knitting Group
Or crochet, spinning, tatting, etc. group. (But how often do you find onlookers calling any yarn craft “knitting”? Do you educate them? Or nod and smile so they move on?) Impromptu or organized, crafters come together for support, comfort, and to chat with other folks that understand their passion to create.
The bonds stitched together over shared stories of projects, life, and inspiration create community. And having a community like this to retreat to provides yarn-crafters with a space to unwind and destress from whatever else might be happening. It’s not always about the project, but the process of getting there. A point well proven in Prayer Shawls and blankets.
Stitch & Bitch, Sip & Knit
The term “stitch ‘n bitch” has been used since WWII, and possibly earlier, to refer to informal social knitting groups. These gatherings take place at coffee shops, libraries, homes, pubs (hello Sip & Knit!) all over the world. They are places where crafters unite under their love of yarn, hooks, and needles to support one another, often despite differences of opinions in other matters.
The term “Stitch ‘n Bitch” does also carry some social implications. While early use was simply a reference to a knitting group, more recently it has become rooted in the feminist movement and redefining the traditional “womens work.”
Get to a Guild
Guilds are a good way to meet folks that are interested in the same craft. (Usually there are separate guilds for knitting, crochet, spinning, etc.) They also provide great opportunities to learn and be inspired. Many also organize charity crafting events or organize items for donation. These groups are more formal, organized communities versus the impromptu Stitch ‘n Bitch or Knitting group discussed above.
The Knitting Guild of America (TKGA) maintains a list of guilds across the country. If there isn’t one in your area they also provide guidelines that will help you get a new guild started.
Did you know that our brand ambassador, Shira, travels to different guilds for presentations?!
The Online Community
In this age of technology, communities and relationships occur just as strongly and frequently online.
You can connect with crafters based on location, interest, or event by searching the groups section on Ravelry. (Be careful, you might find yourself spending hours connecting and browsing through the large pattern database as well!)
Facebook also boasts groups for all aspects of crafting. Lion Brand Yarn has a Facebook group as well. Connect with us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter and become a part of the LB online community! We would love to “hear” your voice and see photos of your WIPS and show off those FOs. Remember to use the #LionBrandYarn and you might just see your photo in the Community Gallery! (Tip: Make sure your photos are square and are not a collage.)
UNWIND and Win
The Craft Yarn Council (CYC) invites you to share any of their Stress Awareness Month posts or images on Facebook or Instagram with a caption of how the post relates to you. You must use the #StitchAwayStress for a chance to win one of the four UNWIND prizes. Prizes are valued at $50. The contest will run from April 1-30. The CYC will choose winners at random and announce their names the week of May 8th.
Please note that this contest is being run by the Craft Yarn Council (CYC) and not Lion Brand Yarn. Any questions or communication regarding the contest should be directed to the CYC.