With beer on tap and a Facebook presence, one thing about the Knitty Gritty is clear: This isn't your grandmother's knitting circle.
But that's not to say anyone is excluded from the new knitting and crocheting group that will meet at in Ferndale for its first meeting at 7 p.m. Monday. All are welcome to attend the monthly meet-up – young and old, novice and pro.
“I hope that a lot of people show up from all walks of life,” said Melissa Murphy, a self-described casual knitter and crocheter who came up with the idea for the group.
She said people have often approached her while she's knitting and asked her about how she learned, often commenting that they would like to learn, too. Murphy has offered to help, but it's not always practical with fly-by conversations.
That's why she started the Knitty Gritty. Her plan is to show up armed with needles, crochet books and other supplies and be on hand to help those who need it.
“That's how I learn best is by being shown something rather than by being told something,” Murphy said. “And I'd love to learn something new, too.”
Murphy's vision for the knitting circle involves good conversation and good beer.
“I picture a bunch of girls sitting around, meeting people in the community and sharing a stitch, all while enjoying a delicious pint of beer,” she said. “That's what I'm hoping for.”
Emily Husband, general manager of The Emory, said she loves the idea of having a knitting circle at the restaurant/bar. A knitter herself, Husband said she plans to attend the meet-up.
“It's just kind of fun to get together and get inspired,” said Husband, who hasn't picked up her knitting needle since the winter holidays. “I probably wouldn't knit on Monday nights if it wasn't for the Knitty Gritty. It's a good excuse to start a new project.”
The Emory will run specials on the nights the group meets, but attendees aren't required to buy food or drink.
“Ferndale is such a craft-centric town as it is, everybody's doing projects and I just think that there are lots of people who want to learn how to knit and don't really have the resources readily at hand,” Husband said.
The evening time frame also makes it accessible for people who work during the day, Husband said. “This is kind of nice because it's at night and it's more of a social setting for the younger generation of knitters,” she said.
Murphy, who lives in Oak Park but says her “heart is in Ferndale,” said downtown Ferndale is the ideal location for the get-together. “It's a great artistic community and I just felt like Ferndale is the right spot to do it,” she said.
The knitting circle will meet 7 p.m. to around 9 p.m. If a core group of people is interested, Murphy said Knitty Gritty would like to consider projects such as knitting camps for chemotherapy patients or lap blankets for senior citizens.
“It'd be really great to do projects, to gather these girls around, all learn a craft and then use it for good,” she said.
For more information, visit the Knitty Gritty Facebook page or call the Emory at 248-546-8202.