It's easy and fulfilling to share your favorite hobby with others.

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There's so much to love about a hobby like knitting. Not only is making something incredibly rewarding, but the ever-popular craft is also an incredible stress reliever with proven health benefits. The repetitive motions and increased concentration of the activity lower your heart rate, reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and induce a meditative state, says Christina Pardy, founder and chief knitting officer of the knitwear and accessories brand, Sh*t That I Knit.

Though knitting is often a solo activity, it's a great way to pass the time with like-minded family members or friends. "Knitting is a very teachable skill," says Pardy. "My mother taught me how to knit when I was 10 years old, and it's continued to be a fun way to bond through sharing new projects, teaching new techniques, or laughing while drinking wine. Plus, no one's on their phones when they're knitting!" The craft is exploding, too, and the ongoing pandemic helped with its popularity. According to The New York Times, Googling the words "knitting" and "pandemic" together yields about 23 million hits. All that time at home has both former knitters and new knitters jumping on the bandwagon.

And now, as the world continues to resume a broader sense of normalcy, you may want to open up your circle and start knitting with friends—not just over Zoom. A knitting group is a great way to do just that. And, luckily, setting one up is as easy as can be.

friends knitting in craft store
Credit: Jetta Productions Inc / Getty Images

Gather your group.

The first step to starting a knitting group is, of course, assembling the regular attendees. Reach out to any friends, family members, or coworkers who knit—or might be interested in learning how to knit—to see if they'd like to take part in a regular gathering. If you don't know anyone who knits personally, you can always use your local yarn shop as a resource. In fact, many already have groups you can join.

Facebook is another great resource. Put a call out on your local community page for new members; if you're open to meeting via Zoom, you could post in a less geographically-specific knitting or crafters group.

Find a meeting spot.

Many knitting groups function the way a book club might, taking turns meeting at each other's houses. Just remember that you don't have to host if you don't want to. You could meet at the same spot every time—like a room in your local library, a favorite coffee shop, or—in temperate locales—a community park.

Choose a time that works for the group.

To minimize scheduling issues and all of the back and forth they entail, pick a day of the week (or month) and a time—and stick with it. Though a weekly group may be practical for some, a bi-weekly or monthly group is likely more accommodating if your group members have busy schedules that include parenting or full-time jobs.

Iron out the logistics.

Settle on the purpose of your group. Some knitting groups pick one pattern that they all work on at the same time, which can be a fun way to provide support to one another. In this case you can rotate who chooses the project, or you can have the leader select a few patterns that the rest of the group votes on. For more flexibility, you could even choose a monthly theme, like scarves, hats, or sweaters. You might even consider all working on a collective project for charity—like making blankets for your local hospital's NICU.

Alternatively, some groups work on their own individual projects, simply meeting mostly for the comraderie.

Choose your first project.

If your group will be knitting together, plan on picking the first project. There are tons of great knitting patterns for beginners. You can also have each person buy a kit to get started, since these products come with all the supplies you need, including needles. Of course, there are also plenty of creative patterns suited to advanced knitters.

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