Library offers knitting, quilting drop-ins
If you have an interest in knitting or quilting, look no further than the Helen M. Plum Memorial Library, where there are drop-in opportunities to create something for yourself or your home, or maybe a special gift for a friend or relative.
Michele Piver, program coordinator for the Adult Services department, said the library offers two knitting drop-in opportunities and a quilting drop-in program for all persons interested in adding a new skill or enhancing an existing one.
PlumKnits is an evening program that has been offered at the library for about two years, she related, saying that those new to knitting, especially young people interested in learning how to knit, can drop in and create a project, or bring in an existing project for some help and advice.
For those beginners who attend and get help from the more experienced guests, “It’s really nice that they’re being mentored by the more experienced knitters,” Piver commented, saying that usually six to eight people drop in to work on their knitting skills and projects.
She said the activity was launched by the library because “People had been asking for a knitting group.”
No registration is needed and the next PlumKnits program will be held Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 7-8:30 p.m.
Third Thursday Knitters is another drop-in group for knitting enthusiasts that meets during the daytime. Piver said a group of knitters “actually came to us [because] they were looking for a nice space” to hold a daytime program.
Patricia Krahl of Lombard explained that the group has been meeting for roughly six months, for an hour and a half, and requested that the library allow them to meet for two hours.
The time, she continued, “just went by so fast.”
Like the evening PlumKnits, the program is “not a formal thing,” according to the program coordinator, but instead offers a convenient way for those who prefer attending programs during the day to visit the library.
Piver said people who attend these craft programs get to know each other and talk about their craft, so the group “just kind of happens organically.”
They “share stitches and conversation,” she added.
Krahl said the Third Thursday Knitters is “a group of friends; we get together to do handicrafts and quilting,” and added that crocheting is one of the crafts people work on during the two hours.
“You can bring whatever you want to bring,” she emphasized, including embroidery and needlepoint.
Krahl encourages newcomers of all abilities to drop in, saying, “People show up and we try to be very welcoming.”
“Some are beginners and need some help,” she continued, and while “none of us are instructors,” Krahl said that more experienced members are willing to offer pointers.
Krahl said there are four or five regular members who drop in each month and during the two hours they meet, “It’s very social.”
The group meets in the upstairs board room and the library staff, she praised, have been “very accommodating.”
Third Thursday Knitters will meet Thursday, Jan. 17, at 10 a.m., and no registration is necessary.
The library also has a quilting group that came to the library in May, Piver explained, adding that the library was approached by Donna Westerkamp, adding, “She wanted to know if she could facilitate a quilting group.”
Attendees can “share techniques,” the program coordinator continued, adding that typically five to nine people attend each month.
“A lot of libraries do have knitting groups,” Piver said, but she believes that having a drop-in quilting program is kind of “unique” to the Plum Library.
“There are always new techniques to learn” she noted, adding that it is “fun for [attendees] to be able to talk and visit.”
Donna Westerkamp echoed that this is “a group of quilters interested in socializing and exchanging ideas and information about our craft as hobbyist and professional artist.”
“We are all different ages and have different quilting experience levels,” she continued, adding that attendees work on various stages of their projects, from discussing their design options to cutting out and sewing their quilts.
“Quilters are very warm and friendly people,” Westerkamp emphasized, relating that many of the projects they create are earmarked as gifts for others.
She added that there are “plenty of books in the library” for those who want to learn more about the craft, and “then come join us to get inspiration on your adventure into quilting.”
The next quilting group will meet Monday, Jan. 21, at 6:30 p.m., and no registration is necessary.
For more information, contact Adult Services at 630-627-0316 or visit www.helenplum.org/programs.