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Knit Happens at the Bradford library (4 photos)

Hobbyists and special-interest groups find a home at the public library

The BWG Public Library & Cultural Centre is a busy place during the summer months – offering programs not only for kids, but for teens and adults.

One ongoing, year-round program is the aptly-named Knit Happens.

Like-minded knitting enthusiasts meet every Tuesday evening upstairs in the boardroom, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It is a venue for experienced knitters to trade patterns and advice, and for beginners to learn more about the art of knitting.

Nominal leader is librarian and Deputy CEO at the library, Nina Cunniff, although she is quick to describe herself as a participant there to provide guidance.

“It’s very informal,” Cunniff said. Participants simply drop in, whenever they wish, and then “just share” – and knit.

Knit Happens keeps a supply of donated needles and wools on hand for beginners who drop in, but most knitters arrive with their own supplies and questions. They may need help or advice, or just a friendly venue to finish that scarf for a family member, make themselves a toque, or knit for a charity in a friendly setting.

Some of them knit baby caps, booties and blankets for premature babies at Southlake Regional Health Centre. This past Tuesday night, Sue Plyte was finishing a cozy shawl for a men’s hostel in Virginia.

“We average seven to eight people a meeting,” said Cunniff, although numbers have been as high as 13 in one evening, especially during the school year when the knitters were joined by a number of 10- and 11-year-old students, eager to learn.

But she pointed out that while the knitters are happy to provide advice and to help beginners, “we’re not a class.”

Knit Happens is more of a social gathering of people who happen to love to knit.

“For most of us, it’s very soothing,” Cunniff said. “We share our stories. The conversation leads all over the place. It’s fun!”

“It’s a social event – it’s a nice outing,” said Heidi Northover, never missing a stitch.


Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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