Turns out knitting (and other needle crafts) isn’t just for older women anymore. Audrey, 12, came to the Stitch N’ Pitch event with a group of friends from school. After the crochet lesson with Deborah Norville of Inside Edition, she started crocheting a scarf.
“I know a lot of people my age who like to knit, sew, and crochet,” she said, “and I wanted to become part of the knitting community.”
Jayne Reed, a retired computer graphics operator, proudly donned a button that said, “Spinning: because knitting isn’t weird enough.” She spins wool into thread that she will then sell or use to make doll’s clothing.
“It’s very zen, but my mother thinks I’m the only person who does this. I thought I was crazy and then I found this group and we meet every week,” she said, referring to Spin City, the meet-up group of spinners she belongs to.
She is so good at her craft that she can keep on spinning while carrying on a face-to-face conversation, watching television, or watching a baseball game.
Lisa Gaytan, a Verizon Business account manager and fellow Spin City member, took up knitting four years ago to fill her free time.
“I took a class and fell in love instantly,” she said, “and since then I haven’t gone a day without knitting.”
Gaytan later took up spinning, so now she mostly buys fiber to spin her own yarn. She has multiple in-progress projects including three-ply yarn, a neck warmer, a sweater for her husband, and a hat.
“A lot of people think it’s crazy,” she said. “You can go out and buy a sweater but it’s not handmade. For me, it’s about the process.”
Larry Hilt, a Metlife claims approver and male loom knitter, also took up the craft to tap into his creative side, regularly knitting handmade gifts for friends and for charity.
He knits because it helps him to relax at the end of the day. Hilt admitted that he mostly knits in private because it’s not something that’s usually associated with men, but Stitch N’ Pitch was the perfect opportunity for him to find other people with similar interests. He also participates in a monthly men’s group at a local Lion Brand yarn store.
“We feel more comfortable in numbers,” he said. “When you’re a guy people are in awe you can make something.”
He estimated that he spends about ten hours a week knitting, usually while he’s doing something else like watching television because it he feels like less of a couch potato. Stitch N’ Pitch was no exception.
“I don’t feel like I’m just sitting and drinking beer, I’m creating something,” said Hilt. “We get to see the Mets and set a world record? Great!”