Knitters gather in Stratford as part of World Wide Knit in Public Day


Local knitters gather at Upper Queen’s Park Saturday for World Wide Knit in Public Day. (MIKE BEITZ, The Beacon Herald)

By Mike Beitz, The Beacon Herald

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A small, tightly knit group of people gathered in Upper Queen’s Park on the weekend to demonstrate that weaving and stitching is not just for little old ladies in rocking chairs.

“This is all about knitting awareness,” said Laurie Krempien-Hall as she and nearly a dozen others, needles in hand, patiently and skillfully transformed balls of yarn into colourful, wearable creations.

The annual gathering in the park in Stratford Saturday was held as part of World Wide Knit in Public Day, when knitters around the world take their craft outside for all to see.

Knitting and other fibre arts are often solitary, indoor hobbies, noted Krempien-Hall, so the event gets knitters out, knitting together and sharing their projects in a social setting.

But it’s not the only time they get together.

There’s a Revel Knitters group that meets Tuesday mornings at Revel Caffe, and the Wednesday Night Knitters, which meet regularly in the lounge at the Arden Park Hotel.

Knitting in public also helps to dispel some of the stereotypes surround the craft, said Krempien-Hall.

“It’s not just a granny thing,” she said as she looked around the semi-circle of non-granny types knitting in the park. “Anyone can do it at any time.”

In fact, local members have participated in a number of public “yarn bombings” in Stratford, including an AIDS awareness one last year in which knitted red scarves were displayed prominently in the community.

“Far more people are knitting in public now,” said Krempien-Hall.

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