Today I chaired my last Knitting club meeting in the library. The idea behind this club is that everyone is welcome to come along, have a go at knitting or crochet in a relaxed friendly fun environment of all ability. We hold it every Thursday lunchtime on the ground floor of the library and it is open to staff and students.
I set up this initiative after having organised the Get Creative Event. I discovered that a lot of students and staff people love knitting and they asked me to set up a regular meeting just to relax and discuss current projects.
I enjoyed spending time showing people how to knit and crochet the basics, and share hints tips and patterns, even though we end up just laughing and chatting. I think it is a very good time for networking with staff coming from other departments (HR, IT, Marketing, Registry) and use the library spaces for creative initiatives.
Our weekly meeting helped fostering network connections. I had the opportunity to interact with and learn from others colleagues sharing a common interest in a craft. People also came to the library at the invitation of friends and I can proudly say that working relationships begun during the knitting meeting are extending beyond it. Plus crafting is therapeutic and create common information ground.
I firmly believe that, as Prigoda & McKenzie (2007) really well stated, “group participation can be seen both to fill information gaps and to fulfil participants’ need to socialise, form a caring community, and participate in craft, and the knitting group is a site for collectivist information practices”. Let me just give you some examples: a Portuguese student joined our group and she was knitting in a completely different way by keeping the thread around her neck, my Syrian colleague was stitching with her fingers and I taught how to chain bind off along a straight edge in my Italian way. In this way experienced knitters served as expert information sources for staff/students with less experience.
You don’t have idea how much I love the spontaneous and serendipitous sharing of information (I am a librarian at the end!). Go knitting!
Prigoda, E., & McKenzie, P. J. (2007). Purls of wisdom: A collectivist study of human information behaviour in a public library knitting group. Journal of Documentation, 63(1), 90-114. doi:10.1108/00220410710723902