While knitting and crocheting can be solitary pursuits for wiling away the colder months, a group of textile-lovers in town are proving that it can be a social activity too.
“It’s like running,” said Diana Smith. “You can do it with friends or alone and both are good.”
She Takes the Cake hosts regular events about once every two weeks, where knitters and crocheters are invited to come and work on their own projects and share their knowledge.
So far, the meet-ups have boasted around 10 people, but organizer Danielle Sachs hopes to see more people coming out every time. The weeks alternate between Saturday afternoons and Thursday evenings.
“Organizing this is a little self-serving,” said Sachs. “This is a new town for me and I want to get involved and also learn more about knitting.”
Sachs said she started knitting a decade ago in a (failed) effort to stop smoking and has been hooked ever since. She said it’s not just something to keep your hands busy, but also a good skill to have to make things that are useful in the North.
Smith said that while there had been a group of avid knitters in town before, the events they organized were sort of one-off deals, in which participants would go somewhere to knit together every so often.
She said having a regular space in which to get together has been nice and she hopes it encourages people who just want to try it out.
“It’s a good thing to do with friends,” she said. “You can focus on your project or you can talk, but there’s no pressure to talk because you all have something to do, too. It’s just really relaxing.”
Sachs is also welcoming of new participants.
“Hay River is already a tight-knit community,” she said.
“Then within that, you have a tight-knit community here who spends an afternoon together crocheting and knitting and having a good time.”