When I lived in Detroit, about 8 years ago, Stitch and Bitch was just becoming popular, and along with the dawn of the era of Book Groups, Knitting Groups were sprouting up all over the place. A couple of friends and I put together a knitting group that met on Sundays in the local Starbucks. Here, Starbucks don't have the fat, lounge-y sofas they do in Detroit, and the place just isn't as cozy. Panera has banquettes and sofas and chairs, and folks can get dinner, if they want to. And the staff doesn't seem to mind people just hanging out.
The group here, started by Mom and I, copying Tina's Panera meeting in Oak Ridge, has changed and grown in the just the last two years. People come and go; the group dynamics are never the same from meeting to meeting. What doesn't change is the shared love of fiber, the joy of making something with our own hands. We understand each other's need to take some string and sticks and make a warm thing for someone we love. We learn from each other, share stories of our lives outside the group and talk about the world in general.
Our group at the center has the same core element: people who love to touch fiber, to take that fiber and make something more valuable, to nurture others and ourselves with what we make and what we care about. Do other artists have the same connection? Do painters work in groups to help and inspire each other? Do writers? What about sculptors? Other arts seems more solitary than ours, not conducive to fellowship and friendship. We are lucky indeed!