Local resident Karen Batchelor has been knitting on and off for about 10 years. A "terminal beginner," she says she's never joined a knitting group but knew being around other crafters would help her expand her skills.
When she heard about the in Ferndale – she decided to check it out.
"What I've learned is that knitting with someone else kind of challenges you to go to the next level," Batchelor said. "The Knitty Gritty sounded fun and a way for me to really learn from others because knitting is always about learning."
Batchelor wasn't able to make the group's first monthly meeting at last month, and she almost forgot about the second meeting Monday until something popped up on her Facebook page about the meet-up starting in 30 minutes.
"I said, 'Ya know, I think I'm just gonna go,'" she said. "So I grabbed my knitting and headed over."
She's glad she did. "It was a great experience," Batchelor said. "It was a way to be around people and learn more, and it's something that I enjoy. It's kind of relaxing."
The Knitty Gritty was started by Melissa Murphy and is open to all, from pros to total beginners who are looking for help getting started. The group meets the third Monday of each month from 7-9 p.m. at The Emory and already has more than 100 followers on its Facebook page.
Murphy, a "casual" knitter and crocheter, said she started the group because people would often approach her while she was knitting and ask how she learned, often commenting that they would like to learn, too.
So far, the group has been well-received. About 15 people attended the first meet-up and the second meeting had about 18 knitters.
"There's all walks of life there," Murphy said. "It's really exactly what I hoped it would be."
Murphy said a first-time knitter attended Monday's meet-up. "By the end of the day she was like knitting on her own," she said.
The group is also providing an opportunity to meet new people. Murphy said many people were meeting others for the first time. "It's a good way to just chat and do something that we normally just do in front of the TV," she said.
The Knitty Gritty meets for two hours once a month, but Murphy is considering expanding it to three hours or making it a weekly or bi-weekly meet-up. At next month's meeting on May 21, the mother of one of Murphy's friends will attend and show the group some new skills. Visit the Knitty Gritty Facebook page for updates.
Batchelor said she told a couple of her friends about the group and they're interested in getting involved, too. "I think it'll grow," she said. "I think it could be kind of viral."