For Mavis Stevens of Buford, her first experience coincided with Neil Armstrong landing on the moon.
"My mother and her friend Verna Shiver love to knit together while watching TV. I wanted to learn how to knit, too, but my mother said I was too little. Then while watching the moon landing, they kept knitting faster and faster with excitement. I got caught up in it and just picked up some needles and started to knit," Stevens said. Today, she makes a living as a yarn artist and teacher.
Justine and Vivian McCann of Lilburn never learned to knit, but at a young age got hooked on crocheting at their Montessori school.
"Every day after lunch their teacher read to them while all the children knitted or crocheted. It's for eye-hand coordination and it gave them a daily opportunity to be creative," said their mother, Miriam McCann. "It also helped them to settle in and focus."
Both girls are still crocheting and now focusing on their college classes.
Knitting clicked in for Kathy Malanoski of Lilburn at a much later age.
"A good friend spent a year or more convincing me to learn but I felt I didn't have the time to invest in a new hobby. Then when my son got a job in Yellowstone National Park, I needed something to keep myself busy on the long road trip to Wyoming. So after six years and three Yellowstone road trips, I take my knitting wherever I go," she said.
As she and her friends became more involved with knitting, they wanted to join a guild. The closest one was in Atlanta, so they started a Gwinnett guild called Clicks and Sticks in 2008. But this guild is about more than just knitting. On their website they note that people today do not knit out of necessity and when a group of people get together with one thing in common like knitting, they tend to put aside differences in background, age, politics and religion. Knitting brings people together that otherwise would not meet and have the potential to become good friends.
Clicks and Sticks welcomes men, women and children at all levels who enjoy any kind of string craft, including knitting, crocheting and tatting. In addition to monthly meetings, activities include field trips to yarn shops and knitting for charitable causes.
Founding president Carol Alston of Stone Mountain said, "We've made pink items for the Breast Center at Winship Cancer Institute and hats for Ship's Project supporting deployed troops overseas. Knitted bears went to a Gwinnett County Fire Station for children from burned homes and preemie hats to Gwinnett Medical Center and Eastside Hospital.
If any of this clicks with you, you can join them on the second Thursday of the month from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Centerville Community Center or on the first and fourth Thursdays at Alcove Coffee in Lilburn. Or, just click on their website: www.clicksandsticks.com
Susan Larson is a writer from Lilburn. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.