Organizing knitting events can be very satisfying. Knitting meet-ups build closer relationships, better connections, and powerful attachments. I love when crafters gather, make new friendships, and old friends get re-acquainted. Twice in the last few months, a parent is reunited with their children’s high school teacher. There is always that moment of “I feel that I know you….” and next thing they are hugging, laughing and sharing pictures.
Another favorite of mine is learning that there are other meet-ups in the neighborhood, or better yet, a knitting charity project happening at the local yoga studio or church. Starting this week is the Welcome Blanket Project at First Unitarian Church on Woodlawn Avenue (Wednesdays 7-9p).
Organizing knitting events are nerve wrecking. Perhaps I am a perfectionist. I am always concerned that all the meet-up attendees will have a good time. Just the mere idea of knitters getting together should easily make it a win. However, I find myself worried that there won’t be enough seating, poor service or food, unclean tables, or not enough toilet paper in the bathrooms. Like the character Beverly Boyer in the movie “The Thrill of It All,” I am sure everything is going badly.
Organizing knitting events are fun, plain and simple. The unexpected adds to the excitement of it all. This past Saturday was World Wide Knit in Public Day. I organized the local event at Dollop Coffee located on the University of Chicago campus. Surprisingly, it was relatively easy getting ready and leaving my house on time. (I have a 3 year old that can complicate tasks like taking a shower or getting dress).
I was feeling pretty good on my way to the event, but was surprised how difficult it was to find parking. Usually 55th Street has plenty of open spots. As I walked to the cafe, the courtyard was flowing with maroon – the school’s colors. Tables were set up everywhere. Who knew the university would be hosting a convocation lunch right outside of the cafe.
Things got more “interesting” when I realized the cafe did not reserve seating for WWKIPDay despite the fact that I checked-in with the manager the day before. I didn’t panic, although it would have been easy to start yelling. Thankfully the cafe was empty. I cleaned up the tables and rearranged some furniture, and made my own reserved signs.
Knitters and crocheters started to arrive – familiar faces and new ones too. There was plenty of conversations and crafting going on even though for about an hour the cafe was swamped with caps & gowns and their parents (more of the unexpected).
I have developed better self-esteem and confidence since I’ve starting organizing knitting meet-ups over 2 years ago. I’ve developed great relationships that inspired me to be the best I can be. But most importantly, it has taught me that its the people, not the things, that make any event a success.