Brooklyn Public Library


Knitting – Solitary or Social?

Mar 4, 2009 9:19 AM | 2 comments
In Northern Europe from the 14th until the early 20th centuries, knitting was a vital part of culture and commerce. Wives and “spinsters”* knitted socks, sweaters and shawls to sell to summer visitors. During long winters, they knit by the fire and told stories. And young girls and boys learned the craft from their elders. 

These days, many are learning the ins and outs of knitting through online videos or books. But a sure-fire way to learn is to have a teacher who can show you.  

There are lots of great things about having BPL in every neighborhood, and having a knitting teacher available is one of them. Lots of knitters learn to knit, perfect their skills and meet like-minded knitting folk at BPL. Knitting groups are held at Bay Ridge, BedfordBrighton Beach, Brownsville, CentralDyker, GravesendMcKinley Park and New Utrecht branches. Other meet-ups and informal groups that we’ve heard about through the yarn vine include: The Park Slope Knitting Circle, Knit PH, a weekly group at Sunny’s in Red Hook and Flatbush Stitch ‘n Bitch. Join one, and the elusive secret of the yarn-over may be revealed to you. And a whole new group of friends will be there to welcome you. 

Have any other groups you recommed? Post them here.

-- Post courtesy of Grace Shanahan, children's librarian who has been a knitter for over 20 years. She finds that her most challenging decision each day is: Should I read? Or should I knit? Sometimes she manages both… or just reads about knitting. 

*NOTE: Women who were responsible for spinning wool into yarn were relieved of housework and farm duties to keep their hands soft, so they wouldn’t snag the yarn. These women were usually unmarried, thus the term “spinster.”
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3/5/2009 10:20:37 PM #

I loved the article and am glad that knitting is being taught in the library so everyone can come and learn. we should. do this in library's all over and teach teens and children also.


3/6/2009 8:41:01 AM #

Thanks for sharing this glimpse of social knitting.  We who meet at Sunny's really enjoy the camaraderie, sharing and learning that comes from regularly meeting with a group of mixed level knitters and crocheters.  Come see us on Wednesday nights.

Tracy B.