I spent the most amazing hour this afternoon with about 20 ladies at a local retirement community - the result of the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild's outreach program to bring the community to our senior citizens through knitting. It was our first time meeting each other and mainly organizational. Residents just kept showing up, and before we knew it we had a room full of people who wanted to to hand work together.
We went around the circle, and each resident stated what craft they like to do. I took notes fast and furiously, because many of them had no supplies. Two out of the group wanted to learn to knit, and I am meeting with them tomorrow, apart from the group, to get them started. One of the two celebrates her 95th birthday this month. The rest were mainly interested in knitting, although there were some who wanted to do needlepoint.
We shared stories, talked about Continental and English knitting styles, what size needles would be best for those with arthritis, etc. But what was so interesting was that they just really wanted a way to connect with others. In one discussion about the benefits of knitting, one of the ladies said, "It breaks up the lonelyness." I thought, "Aha! That is why we are here."