YarnCraft Episode 69 Transcript:: How to Start Promote Your Own Knitting Crochet Group

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You’re listening to YarnCraft.

Zontee:  Welcome to YarnCraft. It’s episode 69 on June 22nd, 2010. Thanks for joining us today. I’m Zontee.

Liz:  And this is Liz, and we are the hosts of YarnCraft.

Zontee:  Stop by our website, YarnCraft.LionBrand.com for more information on the patterns and products that we talk about on today’s episode. While you’re there, you can also leave your comments, or give us a call and leave a voicemail at 774‑452‑YARN. That’s 9276. We always love sharing your stories, questions, and comments on the show.

Liz:  As usual, we’re here at the Lion Brand Design Center in New York City, and today’s episode is all about yarncrafting groups. We asked you to tell us about the groups that you’re in, and we’ll be covering topics from how to start a group in your area to how to promote one that you’re in.

Zontee:  And on “Today’s Stash: Ideas for Your Crafting Life,” we’ll be talking about gift products for the grad in your life.

Liz:  Stay tuned for all that and more, next on YarnCraft. [music]

***

Zontee:  Starting off our episode, we’re going to answer some questions from our listeners, as well as share comments from our last episode.

Liz:  Nabiskit commented about our last episode, where we were talking about how to create a traveling YarnCraft kit and how to pay attention to aircraft, airline… And Nabiskit says that, as a person who used to work for an airline, it pays to be an informed passenger. If you have a borderline item, such as knitting needles, print out the page from the TSA website that says it’s allowed. Because the TSA workers, they always want to err on the side of caution and if they see something that they’re not sure about, they’re going to lean towards confiscating it or not letting you take it on the plane, rather than letting something possibly not allowed slip through.

That was a great tip, and Katherine O’Neil on our YarnCraft blog, also posted some links to the TSA website that refer to that specific page. So that is another great item to print out and keep in your yarncrafting kit.

Zontee:  Yeah, those are definitely good tips. Next is a comment from Charlene, also about her yarncrafting kit. She says that she always includes a pair of scissors or nail clippers. Sometimes she feels a little weird about scissors, although as long as you check the regulations about the size of the scissors you should be alright. But if you’re worried about that, then nail clippers are actually a really good alternate. I find that that’s actually a really good tool for cutting yarn. And honestly, if you have a snag because you’ve broke your fingernail, then you can use those right away. I find that that happens an awful lot when I’m traveling.

Liz:  I was just going to say, I find nail care to be an important part of the yarncrafting experience.

Zontee:  That’s very true.

Liz:  So your nail clippers can serve two functions. We also had some questions on the blog. DCAlaneKnits mentioned that she is getting going on knitting socks, which I was very excited to hear. She was watching a video on sock making that the person in the video mentions using reinforcing yarn or nylon for the heels and toes and she had never heard that mentioned before. She wants to know what our thoughts are on that. The use of reinforcing thread on the heels and toes is a little controversial. It tends to stem from the days when there weren’t synthetic fiber blends, such as our Sock‑Ease, which is 75% wool but 25% nylon. Most sock yarn used to be 100% wool which, while wool is warm, soft, and very strong, it can wear out a little easier than synthetic fibers.

So people would say, “Take a thinner piece of nylon thread or yarn and work that into the heels and toes so they wear more slowly.” That can actually cause them to wear a little faster, because the thin piece of nylon, being stronger and less soft than the wool, can actually cut into the wool fibers and make holes faster. But it will remain as a framework where you can duplicate stitch over to repair your socks if you think that’s something you might do.

So you have to ask yourself, “If I make a pair of socks and they get a hole in the heel, am I going to be OK with throwing them away, or putting them in the rag bin, or unraveling the yarn into partial balls that I can use as scrap yarn?” Or are you going to want to repair and keep wearing them as socks. If you are planning to repair them, you might want to use a reinforcing thread.

However, I want to say that with all the blends we have these days, if you’re using a yarn that already has nylon blended into it; you don’t need to use a reinforcing thread. That’s pretty much going to serve the same function.

Zontee:  That’s very good to know.

Liz:  I personally do not use reinforcing thread, even if I’m using something like our LB 1878. I don’t use reinforcing thread because, first of all, I know I’m not going to go back and darn over my holes. My life is too short for that in my opinion. And number two, I tend to like socks that are knitted at a pretty firm gauge. I feel like using a slightly smaller needle than recommended is a better strategy for me to avoid holes than using a reinforcing thread.

Zontee:  Fair enough. Another sock related question was from Annie, who asked about some good places to get started. Either a simple pattern or any kind of other resources because she had picked them up a little while ago, but she kept flogging them and she was feeling really frustrated, so she wants to get going back on socks. One thing that I suggested was checking out our video series on YouTube, “How to Knit Socks.” It’s a top down sock series where we’ve used our basic men’s sock, which is a boot sock in Wool-Ease and a free pattern on our website. Or you can check out the Basic Sock Pattern in Sock‑Ease on our website, both of which are really good for beginners because they’re really simple, straightforward, and will take you through, from beginning to end.

Liz:  Louise left a comment on the blog asking about if there was a way to get a reminder that a new podcast has been posted. We do try and mention it in our main newsletter whenever we post a new episode, but sometimes we have so much to cover we don’t always get to announce every single episode. If you go to YarnCraft.LionBrand.com and click on the “How to Subscribe” button at the top of the page it will give you directions for how to get an email alert every time we post an episode in your email box. It’s an automated service from Google. So, if you used to get them, check your spam or your junk mail folder and see if maybe they’ve been going there. But you can always just resubscribe.

Zontee:  Finally, we got a message in our Ravelry box which is from Miki T. who asks about my South Bay Shawlette which was a lace pattern I did in the LB Collection Silk Mohair. She asks if I feel that this is a good first lace product, or if I have another suggestion. While I found that the South Bay Shawlette was very easy to do, I won’t necessarily recommend it as a first product because there are a lot of different factors kind of happening. First of all, the silk mohair being a very fine yarn may be a little bit trickier.

Liz:  And also having the halo. The mohair tends to stick to itself, which can make ripping back a little challenging. Believe me, when we learn to do lace and even when we’re experts on lace, we all spend a lot of time ripping back to fix things.

Zontee:  That’s very true, so I feel like the yarn may not be the best choice for a first product. The other thing is that because the construction starts at the center of shawl and then radiates left and right out in kind of semicircles. That construction, while again when you are a little bit more advanced doesn’t seem so challenging, it does mean that there’s a lot more math to keep track of, keeping track of how many repeats that you’ve done as you’re working out. So, what I would say is better for a first project is picking something in maybe a worsted weight yarn that’s easier for you to see and really understand what you’re looking at, as well as picking something like a scarf that’s all one shape and going back and forth in a rectangular fashion instead of working in a different shape like this particular shawlette.

Liz:  Because when you’re forming a triangle or a semi‑circle, after every repeat of your lace pattern, you’re increasing at the same time you’re working your stitch pattern. And if you’re not used to knowing what a repeat is and keeping track of the increases and decreases that are just in the stitch pattern, doing that at the same time that you’re shaping the garment can be a little confusing.

Zontee:  Agreed. So something that I would suggest maybe as a first crochet lace project would be our Morelli Scarf. It’s in a worsted weight yarn. It is a scarf. The repeat is really beautiful but also, because you’re doing the same pattern just over and over again across the rows, I think it’ll be a little bit easier for you to manage. And that is a free pattern on our website.

Liz:  If anyone has any sorts of questions or comments, please let us know. We love answering them. And for those of you who are trying socks or lace, good luck. Keep us posted on how your projects come out. [music]

***

Liz:  Today on YarnCraft, we’re talking all about yarncrafting groups, why you might want to get involved with one, how you can start one, and, if you have one, how you can take it to the next level.

Zontee:  Yeah, we’ve got quite a few different groups that meet here in the Studio, and I always love sitting in on them. On Wednesday, I sat in with the Amigurumi Group and just hung out. And what’s really nice about meeting other yarn crafters and spending time with them is that not only do you get a lot of wisdom from learning techniques and watching people do all sorts of different projects. But it’s also nice to have that kind of camaraderie of the sisterhood and that kind of friendship that you get from people who do crafts like what you do. And I think that we heard that message over and over again from you guys. We got a ton of great comments on Ravelry and our email and on our blog. So we’re going to share a couple of stories with you now.

Liz:  I thought HotPink from Ravelry, our good friend Holly, had a great story because she shows it’s not just about sisterhood. There’s also the brotherhood of the yarn crafting, Zontee. HotPink says, “I’m part of a Stitch ‘n Bitch group, the Columbus, Georgia Stitch ‘n Bitch. The group has existed about five years. For two and a half years, we have met each Monday at our local Panera Bread. It’s a diverse group of women and a couple of men of varied ages and lifestyles and viewpoints. We usually have 10 to 15 knitters, crocheters, and spinners joining us. We attract a lot of attention.

We encourage each other with whatever projects we’re doing. We each work on our own thing. Some are sock people. Some are shawl people. Some, afghan people. We help each other when needed. We ooh and ahh whenever someone holds up a finished project. We have a lot of fun together. We road trip to yarn stores and knitting events, and we always do something fun for World Wide Knit in Public Day. My knitsters are more than just ladies I craft with. They are my friends.”

Zontee:  Yeah, I definitely think it’s great that it’s people of all ages. It’s diverse. It gives you that opportunity to meet people. And I think that honestly, as adults, sometimes it can be hard to meet people. So having some kind of hobby in common with other people gives you good grounds to connect.

Liz:  Absolutely.

Zontee:  Another story we got was from Janet. She says, “On the podcast, you asked about stitching crafting groups. A friend and I started one about nine years ago. Our first meeting was on September 10th, 2001. We started as a cross‑stitch group, but we didn’t limit ourselves. Now several of us knit and crochet, and we even have a subgroup that meets just for knitting. We’ve taken vacations together in a huge rented cabin several times; have done shop hops, organized and impulsive. After nine years, we have grown to about 25 members. I can’t think of what my life would be without my 25 best friends. We teach each other. We are there for each other. And we have more fun than should be legal. The ages range from our junior members, who are 11, to our oldest, who is too old to be bothered with ages. And our website is ohstitch.wordpress.com.”

Liz:  That’s a great name.

Zontee:  And I think that Janet has some great points about the fact that having a group does allow you to create this community that becomes your friends. Also, I love the idea of taking vacations together and organizing trips to see other yarn shops. I think that’s really fun. A yarn crawl is a great idea.

Liz:  I sometimes think that the design department here at Lion Brand, we might be our own little yarn crafting group because, yeah, maybe we don’t take vacations together in beautiful cabins, but we do a lot of impulsive yarn crawls. I definitely resonated with that portion of Janet’s story. [laughter]

Liz:  Similar to some of the other stories, skuldintape wrote in to the Ravelry board to say that she has a group called Cafe Create that’s just over a year old. And they meet in the bar of a local hotel every Saturday at noon to share their yarn crafting. And she says what she really enjoys about the group is that she’s one of the youngest members, just being out of university. And she really enjoys getting to spend time with people who are from a wide variety of different lifestyles and ages and different life perspectives that she might not have in her life if not for the yarn crafting group. And one of her wonderful stories is that one of her friends from her hometown came to visit her in the city where she lived and went to the Cafe Create meeting. And was so inspired, she went back to the hometown and started a yarn crafting group there. And, at the most recent meeting, a lady from their town came to demonstrate spinning wheels. And it turned out that, in their hometown, there’s a master spinning wheel maker that has been producing beautiful wheels there for years, and they never knew.

Zontee:  Wow, that’s really fantastic. I think that’s one of the other bonuses is that, even if you don’t go to a group all that often, sometimes it’s nice to connect with people, especially for things like special events where you can learn something new, be exposed to new skills. And I think that that’s incredible that they got to actually meet with a master wheel maker. That’s very cool. And coming from the other perspective, where we’ve been talking about all these great groups, sometimes you can have experiences where it can be very difficult to have your own group. WickedStash tells us that she now belongs to a local needlework group that meets monthly. And she’s been going since October, but the group itself is over five years old. But that she had previously tried to start her own group. But it was very difficult because people promised to come, but they didn’t show up. And it was very difficult to compromise and make everyone happy. And I think that that’s something to also keep in mind, that there are challenges to starting your own group.

But I do think that it is very rewarding to be a part of a group. Whether you start one of yourself or whether you join one locally by going onto LionBrand.com, clicking on the knit and crochet group club finder, and actually locating groups that already exist in your area, it’s a worthwhile experience to meet other people. Again, even if you decide you don’t want to go all the time or it’s just an informal thing, sometimes it’s nice to have that support system.

Liz:  Absolutely. I hope by now we’ve convinced you that a yarn crafting group is a great thing to participate in. But what if you’ve looked around in your area and you just can’t find one? Maybe you can’t find one that meets at a time you can participate or maybe you can’t find one at all. What do you do?

Zontee:  Well, I say that you should go ahead and start thinking about starting your own group. Whether you grab a friend and start it together or you do it on your own, I do think that this is a task that can be accomplished with some planning and also a little bit of a go get them attitude so that you can recruit other people.

Liz:  And a little bit of patience because maybe it’s not going to gel into an amazing thing in the first meeting or three. You got to willing to put in a little time, letting things grow organically.

Zontee:  Absolutely. So, first of all, as you’re starting to think about what you want out of your group, think about what is the purpose of it. Is there a specific cause that you want to be surrounding such as a charity group? Is it just for making friends? Are you an artisan who wants professional support and wants to connect with other crafters who are doing this on some kind of professional level? Are you interested in it being formal and having official meetings? Or do you want it just be a get together at your local cafe where people can drop in and out on a particular day of the week?

Liz:  You can also get very creative with the kind of focus you want to have for your group. Maybe, since it’s getting into the summertime and school’s coming out, maybe you want to have a Friday afternoon yarncrafting with kids group for people in your neighborhood, or from your school district. Or maybe you love crafting and something else, like cooking or books. Why not combine those into a YarnCraft and book club, or a YarnCraft and baking club where everyone brings treats to the meeting. You can really spin out…

Zontee:  Oh, man. I really want to be a part of a yarncrafting and baking club. That sounds like fun. Those are things that I really enjoy.

Liz:  I want to start the yarncrafting book club.

Zontee:  Let’s do those.

Liz:  We can also bake.

Zontee:  We can also bake? OK.

Liz:  We’ll do that in all our spare time on.

Zontee:  I definitely agree with that. I also think that you can think outside of the box. Instead of just yarncrafting, you can even expand craft skills. Encourage a lot of people to come, and every session somebody demos a different craft skill. You could pick up beading. You could pick up leatherwork. You could pick up all sorts of things, and also share your love of knitting and crocheting, weaving, loom‑knitting, all of these great things with other people.

Liz:  That sounds super‑exciting, too. Once you’ve got your focus for your group, you’re going to need to find a place to meet. Maybe you have a big, giant house and you love entertaining. You want people to come, to have all the meetings there. If so, please be my friend. But more likely, you’re going to want to look for a public space. There’s some really basics to check out. The local library, local cafe, local yarn shops, community center, YMCA, churches. Anywhere that might have any sort of all purpose or recreation room that is open for community use.

Zontee:  Exactly. Of course, you’ll want to call ahead and ask about availability. This is also really important with local cafes and local yarn shops, as well because sometimes they have things scheduled, or they aren’t necessarily comfortable with a swarm of people just dropping in unexpectedly. So, sometimes it’s good to call ahead. Get a sense of what days work for them, or if there’s a slow day where you can come in and give them business. They’ll be very excited about that. And also, to make sure that they have enough space for a certain amount of people, because, of course, you don’t want to violate fire code or anything like that. You want to make sure that it’s OK to accommodate the people that you’re expecting.

Once you have your space planned out, and maybe a day of the week that works out, think about how often you really want to be meeting. If you have a big group of informal people, maybe you want it to be a weekly or biweekly thing where people just drop it. It’s really casual. People can come right after work and really enjoy themselves. Use it as a chance to unwind.

If it’s more of a formal organization where you are providing professional support, or you want to have demos or something, that can be a little bit more time consuming, and so people will want a little bit more planning time. In that case, maybe you’re going to make your meetings once a month. That’s the case for most guilds, where a lot of guild meetings will happen once a month so that people will have a lot of time to get things together, and they can get guest speakers and whatnot.

Liz:  Related to that is decide if there’s going to be any sort of official membership or dues. Again, if you’re doing something really informal that’s maybe an every Tuesday night drop‑in situation, then you’re probably not really going to need dues. But if you’re doing something more formal, where it’s maybe once a month, every Saturday, all afternoon is workshop day, and you’re bringing in speakers or all participating in learning beading and you’ll be getting materials or snacks. Then you’re definitely going to want to make sure that there’s some sort of dues paying structure.

Zontee:  Now once you’ve got your group, and you think to yourself, “Well, I’ve got all this stuff put out there. How do I get it out there so that people know about it?” This is, of course, important if you already have a group, as well, because it’s great to be able to get new members. I think that that’s a really important part, renewing the group constantly so that you’re always growing.

First of all, the obvious things. Be on Ravelry, websites like that, where you can actually have a group dedicated to your group so that there’s an online presence, that people know about it. That way you can at least list your upcoming events, special things happening, send out reminders for meetings, that sort of stuff. And also just have a place for people to gather outside of actually meeting every day.

Liz:  And then there are the online sites that are specifically dedicated to helping groups manage themselves. MeetUp is very common here in New York, and I believe in most places across the country. There may be similar websites specific to your local community that you’ll want to check out.

Zontee:  Exactly. I also think it’s really worthwhile to list yourself if your town or village has an organization listing on their website. Definitely see if you can get listed there, as well. Because sometimes people are just looking for local groups within their town, and the community website is helpful in that sense. It’s also worthwhile, if you’re dedicated to a specific craft… For instance, if you’re a crocheting group, maybe you want to be on Crochetville.org or other websites that relate specifically to spinning, or weaving, or anything like that so that people who are in your area, interested in those specific crafts, will be able to find you as well.

Liz:  And of course, we mentioned it before, but don’t forget that LionBrand.com has a Club Finder. You’ll want to list yourself there so that people can find you when they’re in your area.

Zontee:  Exactly. Now, you’ve done all of your local listings and you’re saying, “Well, we’ve got some people. We want to get a little bit more traction. We’re doing more fun, creative things. We want to increase our membership even further.”

That’s fantastic. I always say that it’s great to put knitting and crocheting in front of people who don’t do it because it really encourages them to see that it’s a really exciting craft that they can take on, that anyone can take on. I think it would be great to have a booth at your local craft fair to teach people skills, or to do a demonstration. Then you can hand out materials that actually have the information for your group so that people know that they can join, take up the crafts, and get advice from the members in the group.

You could also do, as Liz mentioned earlier about afternoon crafting with kids, hop into the school organizations and say you want to encourage teenagers to be joining your group as well, extending the membership into the younger people who may, in turn, bring their parents and grandparents.

See if you can do some sort of enrichment program with your local school district and put together a program that says it’s sponsored by your group. That way people will hear the name and also know more about what it is that you’re doing.

Liz:  Yeah, and definitely try to think beyond just craft fairs, to any sort of events focused on charity. Maybe it’s a school holiday fair or a summertime event at a local nursing home. Anywhere where you get in front of people, show knitting, show crochet, and show the fun that can be had. That’s going to be really valuable. We saw so many groups doing that at Maker Faire, just out there talking to people about the different crafts they do and telling them how they can get involved.

Zontee:  Exactly. And speaking of charity projects, if there is a specific charity project that your group is taking on for a specific cause, whether that’s around the holidays, or during Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. Maybe you’re doing a project. That’s really wonderful, and it’s great to promote it in order to get other people involved. Talk to your local paper and see if they’ll write up a piece about it. Get on the local websites that are talking about these different things. Share it with your friends. Encourage your members to email your friends and talk about it, because the more you put it in front of people, the more word of mouth will spread about your organization.

Liz:  I think Zontee’s right. Never forget the power of old fashioned word of mouth. As great as the online tools are, asking at your meeting place if there’s a little sign that you can leave up during the rest of the week so that people who come in to that yarn store, or cafe, or library see that, “Oh, on Tuesdays there’s knitting and crochet. I’ll come back for that.” Put up fliers in the local area. All these things, they work.

Zontee:  And finally, just to reiterate what Liz said earlier in this episode, don’t get discouraged if, at first, your membership is low. It does take time to build membership. Keep in mind that really, this is all about fun, community, connecting with others.

Liz:  It’s definitely all about having fun. And I know at least one person who says that she started a knitting group by going to her local coffee shop with a little folded cardboard sign that said “knitting group” and sat there with her knitting till eventually, after she did that for a couple weeks in a row, other people started joining her. So it can start as simply as that. So the point is to get out there, meet other yarn crafters, and have a great time. [music]

***

Zontee:  On today’s “Stash This: Ideas for Your Crafting Life” segment, we’re talking about gift ideas for the grad in your life. Right now, high schools are letting out, colleges are letting out. And everyone’s kind of getting into that next step. I know that I’ve had friends even attend their children’s fifth grade graduations as they move into middle school.

Liz:  That’s a big debate here in New York. Fifth grade graduation, thing or not a thing?

Zontee:  Well, at any rate, it’s probably a big deal for your child or the child in your life. So we thought that it would be fun to talk about some good gift ideas for that person, just to say congratulations and you’re special to me.

Liz:  These first projects maybe would be perfect for a pre‑school or kindergarten or even fifth grade graduation. But I bet there are plenty of high school grads and college graduates who would enjoy them as well. And those are little amigurumi graduates. We’ve got our Graduation Bear, our Graduation Bookworm, and our Graduation Owl.

Zontee:  They are so cute.

Liz:  They all just look so proud of themselves!

Zontee:  They’ve all got their little mortarboard hats.

Liz:  With the little tassels.

Zontee:  It’s really cute. The Graduation Bear has a little diploma in his hand, too. And I think that they’re charming. They’re fast to make like all of our amigurumi. So really cute, really quick, and just kind of a fun, whimsical gift. Certainly, if you have a college student who has school colors, you can make the mortarboard hat in those particular colors. We’ve just made them generic colors in this case.

Liz:  Blue is a classic graduation color I think.

Zontee:  As well as the black.

Liz:  For someone who’s perhaps leaving middle school to go into high school or someone leaving high school to go into college, the School Colors Afghan would be very popular. Our Hometown USA comes in so many of those bright, primary colors used by school teams, so that might be a great yarn to check out.

Zontee:  Definitely. And we have some great patterns in that yarn as well, ripple Afghans and granny square Afghans that have those kinds of big, bold stripes of colors that I think would be perfect to use for something like a School Colors Afghan.

Liz:  And for maybe someone graduating college, leaving the dorms for the first time, a nice throw Afghan for their sure to be purchased at IKEA couch would be a great way to personalize their first home.

Zontee:  Yeah, I think that it would be really wonderful to give someone a first apartment Afghan. Now that I’m thinking about it, I really wish that somebody had made me an Afghan when I first moved out of college. That would have been nice. I had to go and buy a blanket so that I had something extra for guests who were staying overnight on the couch.

Liz:  You made it through, honey. It was OK.

Zontee:  It was OK.

Liz:  It all turned out OK.

Zontee:  [laughs]

Liz:  Don’t let your grad end up like Zontee.

Zontee:  [laughs]

Liz:  Make them an afghan.

Zontee:  Sad.

Liz:  Also, don’t let them fall into the habit of getting takeout all the time or just using endless plastic bag after plastic bag. Make them a nice stash of Market Bags. And maybe print them directions to the nearest farmer’s market so they get some vegetables.

Zontee:  You know, that’s a great idea. I may actually do that for a close friend of mine from college who has been out of school for a couple of years because I realize now that she doesn’t do a whole lot of shopping on her own.

Liz:  Is this the friend who had nothing in her fridge but orange juice and frozen pizzas?

Zontee:  Yes.

Liz:  Yeah, you should definitely make her some Market Bags.

Zontee:  That might be good, right?

Liz:  Yeah, I think she would like that.

Zontee:  A gentle reminder.

Liz:  Subtle. A subtle and beautiful encouragement.

Zontee:  It’s true. And, as a yarn crafter, she’ll appreciate it.

Liz:  Absolutely.

Zontee:  Along that line, I think that things that are really great for either a dorm or a first apartment would be rugs for the floor.

Liz:  We’ve got some great ones in Lion Cotton.

Zontee:  Yeah, definitely. We also have some really fun ones like our Pom‑Pom Rug, our Latch Hook Rug, both in Vanna’s Choice, as well as these little Grass Rugs, both knit and crochet that we just featured in our YarnPlay newsletter. And those are really adorable. You can make them in yarns that are more appropriate, say, for the bathroom if you want to use them as bath rugs. But we’ve got a lot of cute patterns that I think would be really fun. And it’s just a nice little touch to have an item next to your bed or in your living room, to have something kind of warm and fuzzy.

Liz:  Absolutely. And a lot of college graduates and even high school graduates are setting up in the kitchen for the first time. So it’s great for them to have dishcloths, potholders, scrubbies, anything that makes keeping things clean a little more fun and personal.

Zontee:  I agree. And we have great patterns for scrubbies. Lots of great ones for potholders in our Lion Cotton. And dishcloths, of course, we’ve talked about quite a few times. We’ve got some great dishtowel patterns.

Liz:  And I think any of our regular listeners know how Zontee and I feel about the appropriateness of a set of handmade dishcloths or washcloths with the appropriate dish or body soap.

Zontee:  It’s true.

Liz:  It’s a gift that is never unappreciated.

Zontee:  It’s true. And I have to say that I think it would be really nice to have a set of washcloths for someone going into college because we all know that you aren’t so great at doing the laundry when you are in college. And it would be really nice to have a nice seven day set so that you’ve got fresh washcloths every day of the week.

Liz:  That would be lovely. Even now I would like that.

Zontee:  [laughs]

Liz:  And one final idea is a yarn crafting care package. Maybe the graduate in your life is already a yarn crafter or maybe now is the perfect time for them to become one. It can be very stressful if you’re graduating college and heading out into the job market or even if you’re leaving high school and going away to school for the first time. These are all really big changes, and change is always stressful. And we all know, as yarn crafters, how calming knitting or crocheting can be.

Zontee:  And, of course, to return to our original topic for this episode, yarn crafting is a great way to meet people and connect with others. And so, if someone is going into college and wants to be able to make friends, I know my school had yarn crafting groups, and you can definitely encourage them to look into that as one way to connect with other people. And, of course, if you are going into the work world and you no longer have the structure of college to meet people, again, it’s a great opportunity to look into groups locally so that you can meet other people.

Liz:  And, I know when I graduated from design school, I was already an avid knitter. But, in that first year, I didn’t really have a lot of extra money, and so I was not able to knit as much as I would have liked. And, if someone had sent me a care package with a lot of yarn to make a sweater or something, that would have been really special. I was very lucky that I was able to inherit a lot of stash from my wonderful mother‑in‑law. So I think, at this time of life, anyone who’s already a yarn crafter would really appreciate some extra yarn. [music]

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Zontee:  We want to thank all of you for joining us today, and we want to thank those who shared their tips, questions, and comments on our blog, by emailing us, and on our Ravelry group.

Liz:  Join us again in two weeks when we talk about teaching someone to knit or crochet. Have you taught a friend or even a group how to yarn craft in some way? Tell us about your experiences and share your tips. Just leave a comment on our website, YarnCraft.LionBrand.com, on Ravelry, or by voicemail at 774‑452‑YARN. That’s 774‑452‑9276. And, as usual, our music was “Boy with a Coin” by Iron and Wine from the Podsafe Music Network.

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For more information about the patterns, links, and products discussed in this episode, please see the episode guide.