There is a popular saying that It takes a village to raise a child.
I found myself pondering that as I sat in our local village Crafternoon the other day. We were a fairly diverse group of women ranging in age from 16 to 78 and engaged in a variety of different crafts.
We had card makers, cross stitchers, needle felters and of course, knitters. My enabling has proven very effective over the months and at least 3 ladies now permanently have a sock or two on the needles.
Conversation ranged widely during the afternoon on Christmas, holidays, crafts in general and extended to revision and learning techniques as one of our younger members is coming up to A Level exams. We talked about mind maps, bullet journalling, spider diagrams and shared our experiences of them. Afterwards her mother commented that her daughter had probably learnt more about revision techniques that afternoon than she had in her time at school and even though she (her mother) had said much the same thing, her daughter seemed more receptive to new ideas through the group than via her long suffering mum.
|@Sarah Clarke, The Sheep Shop, Cambridge UK|
We talked about how it takes a village...etc and I also watched as one of our older ladies (well into her 70s) sat with another teenager helping her to get her tension even as she wrestled with a particularly ambitious bit of colourwork knitting. Shared wisdom, shared experiences and knowledge all help us to grow in our craft.
I would also include social media in this category. Although it is easy to become a little overwhelmed by the constant feeds from social media platforms, there is such a profusion of knowledge, cameraderie and warmth on craft-related social media sites that it is hard not be drawn into the wonderful and vibrant online knitting community that we have.
Whether you prefer the wonders of Ravelry, the immediacy of Twitter or the visual appeal of Instagram or Pinterest, there are so many ways in which we can reach out to and be inspired by fellow crafters. Sharing experiences through knit-alongs (KALs), attending yarn festivals, joining in with hashtag events (such as #operationsockdrawer or #yearofmaking) all help to build and strengthen our community.
So, why not make 2015 your year of building your own online community? What KALs or other events are you planning to participate in? Are you going big with a year-long committment or aiming for smaller goals? Leave me a comment - I'd love to know.
And if you haven't already done so, please do join me on the various social media streams. Just follow the links in the sidebar.