Fibers with friends: Knitters gather each week
to share their latest and teach the techniques
Perris Larson photo
Snohomish knitters and fiber artists meet Thursday mornings at Proper Joe Coffeehouse each week and the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. in the Waltz Building on Avenue B.
SNOHOMISH — A love of yarn and fiber brings people together. In Snohomish County, there is a bustling community of fiber artists, from hand-knitting to weaving to crocheting to rug hooking.
The Snohomish Knitters Guild meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the Waltz Building, 116 Ave. B, starting at 6 p.m. It recently welcomed two new presidents: Betsy Farmer and Linsay Cocker.
Farmer joined the guild in August but has been knitting for seven years. “One time, my kids wanted to be Harry Potter characters, so I thought it would be fun and cheaper to knit them scarves. In the long run, it is not cheaper at all, but it is way more fun,” Farmer said.
Taught by their grandmother throughout childhood, Cocker has made knitting projects a part of their daily life.
“The craziest project I have ever knit was an entire farm for my son. He was three at the time and knit him an entire farm worth of stuff, it was his Christmas gift. It had a barn, hay bales and a fence,” Cocker said.
The knitters guild provides a sense of community to fiber artists, a place where they can make friends and share their desires to create works of art. For a time, with COVID-19, that sense of community was lost.
Post-pandemic, the fiber artists are continuing their passion and friendships through their monthly meetings at the guild or knitting together at a local coffee shop.
Sonia Rahm of Snohomish has been a part of the guild for 13 years, as well as a past guild treasurer. Besides having a passion for lace knitting, Rahm is one of the many fiber artists who meet at Proper Joe Coffeehouse on Thursday mornings to work on their projects and catch up with each other.
“It is just a fun place. We all care about each other so if someone has a bad day, they can talk about it, it is really nice,” Rahm said.
The fiber artists who get together create items ranging from socks, scarves, sweaters, and even blankets. Barbara Simonds prefers to create pairs of socks in between big projects like blankets.
Simonds has been the president of the Snohomish Knitters Guild off and on ever since its creation and was the person to pitch the idea of having a knitters guild in Snohomish. According to Simonds, around 15 years ago, one of her knitting friends invited her to a trunk show hosted by the Seattle Knitters Guild. After listening, she was inspired, thinking that they should have their own guild in Snohomish. Soon after, it came to fruition.
“We were a little bit snobby when we started, it was for hand-knitters only. But that dissolved really fast because we realized that there are so many other cool things you can do,” Simonds said.
The fiber artists try to avoid getting their supplies from big businesses like Amazon, but rather from local stores.
According to fiber artist Corky Savoe, “it is a matter of supporting local businesses, we need to stress that more.”
The hope now is that more men and women will come to these meetings and coffee dates to learn more about fiber art and possibly discover a passion for it. “We do want to teach the younger generation to keep that skill and that passion alive,” Cocker said.
Even if someone walks into the meeting and has no clue where to start, they can be paired with a mentor knitter during the first hour of the meeting. There is always something new to learn and a wealth of information to be passed down.
“If you can get past the initial learning curve, learn to do a knit and purl stitch, it can be very therapeutic,” Farmer said.
The Snohomish Knitters Guild itself is a membership
organization. The cost to be a member who can attend the monthly Tuesday night meetings is $30 for an individual or $40 for a family.
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