There is a new social group in Lakeview, meeting at TJ’s Family Fun Center every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Officially called the Outback Knitters and Crocheters, the group has taken on another unofficial moniker, blatantly descriptive in its playful intent of a social setting to gab and knit or crochet – “Stitch ‘N Bitch.”

The group prides itself on being open to all levels, from beginners who have never knitted or crocheted, or did so when they were young and are just getting started; to those with more advanced skill sets that have been knitting for years. Many people started when they were young and for various reasons stopped, and are now starting up once more in a supportive setting surrounded by helpful experts providing guidance.

The first meeting, held in late October, drew around 10 people, while the second meeting had over 20. Jane Lincoln, who helped organized the group, already considers it a success.

“I got hooked and spent money on a kit and accessories,” said Kathy Thompson. She has not been knitting long, only approximately for a year. She learned in Christmas Valley at Willows Antiques and got hooked. Thompson has made cowls and hats over the previous year, and is currently working on a cardigan.

Nancy Hebel just started knitting again recently, and it has been quite awhile since she last knitted. “I like the group for the social aspect, getting to meet everyone each week and to chat,” said Hebel. She is currently working on a scarf for her daughter.

Tiffany Harlan learned from her grandmother when she was young. Lincoln invited her to the first meeting and she thought it sounded like fun. Harlan is working on an afghan.

Bev Hollars has been knitting a long time, and there was never a period she ever stopped knitting. Taught by her mother, who would knit on long car drives. “I like it because I find the satisfaction of making something with my hands,” said Hollars. “I find that knitting has the same benefits of yoga/mediation for the heart.”

Other participants include Judy Clarke and Kathleen Schutt, who started to knit together a decade ago. “It was a way to have a hobby as a stay-at-home mother,” Clark said. “The majority of the mothers found it was an easy way to do something while their kids played in the park, as knitting is a fairly portable activity.”

The language can seem intimidating, and often times confusing to someone new to the activity. With more experienced people teaching novices, that confusion fell away quickly. Many participants agreed that YouTube has helped in learning techniques, as it is easier to follow a video than instructions in a book.

The group meets every Wednesday at TJ’s Family Fun Center from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., except for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or holidays. Participation is free and all are welcome.

For more information contact Jane Lincoln at 541-947-2114 ext. 180.

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