Yarn Lovers Unite is a weekly knitting club that meets at the Logan-Hocking County District Library. Nancy Wright, the program and events coordinator at the library, founded the group in January 2015. The yarn enthusiasts meet on Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the library’s meeting room to share and compare projects and techniques.
“In the beginning I think we started with five to eight, and it kind of just ballooned from there,” Wright says over the phone. “We almost never have less than nine members show up. Generally, there are 15 or 16 people there.”
Carol West, a 69-year-old grandmother and retired nurse, sits across the meeting room table. In her hands, two knitting needles joined together by a thin and flexible plastic wire stitch together a bundle of gray wool. The end product will be a new sweater for her loving grandson.
“We’re open to the public,” West says. “If anybody wants to learn to knit, crochet, whatever, there is someone here who can show them.”
West discovered Yarn Lovers Unite two years ago on the library’s website, but was reluctant to join. She already knew how to knit and crochet. She had been yarning-over since she was a teen. It wasn’t until her friend and former colleague Ruth Johnson decided to pick up the hobby that West elected to join.
“I wanted Ruth to know as a beginner, she is going through the same things that every new person does,” West says. “She thought she was stupid, she thought she couldn’t do it. I wanted her to see that she’s no different than anybody else. It just takes practice.”
West and Johnson were welcomed with open arms.
“First day I came, these guys were really fun and nice,” Johnson says, addressing the group with a smile. “They made me feel comfortable almost immediately. I loved you guys.”
Being frustrated is normal when first learning. The craft takes a tremendous amount of dexterity and concentration. After two years, West and the rest of the Yarner Lovers have coached Johnson up to a full-blown knitter, needles and all.
Yarn Lovers Unite provides its members with a dose of weekly socialization with needlework as the common ground. Johnson turned to the hobby as a way to adjust to retirement and the amount of free time that comes with it.
“Work takes up a huge part of your life,” Johnson says. “I worked 12-hour days . . . It’s hard to fill up the hours. I don’t want to wash and clean all the time. It [Yarn Lovers Unite] not only gives us an outlet to learn something fun, but also people to talk to.”
At its core, Yarn Lovers Unite is just a weekly knitting club. More importantly, though, it provides the women of Logan with a safe place to speak candidly about the world they live in free of judgment.
“There’s no fighting or fussing in here,” Johnson says.
Instead the women of Yarn Lovers Unite work through life’s problems the best way they can, one stitch at a time.