A Zoom party for knitters

Merna Emara

Birch Bark Yarns is throwing a party tomorrow night, that will keep you in stitches. To celebrate the kick-off of the Spring Sock Knit-a-Long, the yarn company will be throwing a Cast On Party over Zoom, Thursday April 15 at 7 p.m.

Founded by Simone LeBlanc, owner and manager of Birch Bark Yarns, the knit-a-long group has been a go to for beginner and practicing knitters, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The knit-a-long sessions have been increasing in popularity since the pandemic forced the closure of businesses and restricted in-person gatherings, LeBlanc said.

LeBlanc said the knit-a-long group is now at 106 members, most of which are practicing knitters, but there are some beginners too.

LeBlanc said the knit-a-long is not a class, as much as it is a group of knitters who knit the same item, in the same pattern at the same time, while helping each other as they go through the process.

“It’s just an opportunity to get people involved in fibre arts and share our knowledge with other people who enjoy the same craft as we do,” LeBlanc said. “We have lots of people who are beginners, and so they just post questions, and we share videos just to help them along.”

Most of the knitters who join the virtual meeting are self taught either by watching YouTube videos or reading books, making them quite capable knitters, LeBlanc added.

Even though most knitters are advanced, LeBlanc said, beginner knitters have joined and had the opportunity to ask questions on the chat section and directly get help.

The knit-a-long sessions are free of charge and no purchase of yarns from Birch Bark is necessary to join.

For the Cast On Party, you will need 460 yards of sock yarn, enough to knit one pair of adult socks, two (2.75 mm) needles (or appropriate size to achieve gauge). These can be double pointed needles, short circulars (9–12-inch length) or long circulars (for magic loop method), a few stitch markers and a progress keeper is helpful too and a tapestry needle.

LeBlanc said the Rainy River District did not have a lot of local yarn sellers with large supply or a large variety to choose from.

“You had to purchase [yarns] online and wait for them to come,” LeBlanc said. “This has been a good opportunity for us to be able to sell our hand dyed and hand spun yarn locally, and people can get them within a day or two of ordering them.”

To participate in the knit-a-long group, send a request to join the “Spring Sock knit-a-long” Facebook group. The Zoom link will be provided there prior to the event.