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Crafting connections: knitting and crochet projects for craft group

Updated: Jun 18

coffee, cake and a crochet project with pink flowers and grey cables on a café table
Coffee, Cake and Craft. Let's add good company!

As a yarncraft designer, I love the opportunity to get together with fellow enthusiasts. It inspires me, motivates me and often helps me to solve problems that have been frustrating me as I work on them solo. Before I started designing, I loved going to knitting, crocheting and sewing groups near where I worked at the time and meeting up with other makers in a similar way. For me, crafting isn't just about making beautiful things; it's also about sharing the passion with others and enjoying my hobby as part of a wider community.

Which project should you take with you to a craft group though? Bringing the right project to a craft group can make the difference between a relaxing session enjoying good company, some drinks and snacks plus making great progress on your project and a frustrating experience where you don't get to participate much and end up unpicking everything you worked on afterwards or even spoiling your project. Over the years, I've had my share of disasters and successes with projects I've taken to craft groups, so let's take a look at some tips to make sure your project will work well in a social setting and some types of knitting and crochet projects that are fun to make and perfect for crafting in a social setting.

knitting and crochet projects for to craft group do's and don'ts:

collage of complicated knitted garments
Learn from my group crafting mistakes

Pic shows various handmade items which are my own non-published designs except bottom right which is the Cable Luxe Maxi from Lion Brand Yarns (with a modification to the cable in the pattern instructions to make it look like the one in the photo)

  1. Easy to see: Do you know where you're going to be crafting and whether the lighting will be ideal? Often craft groups meet up in cafés, pubs or bars, which are lit for relaxation rather than detailed work. One of the craft groups I belonged to hosted a meetup on a floating bar. It was a fantastic experience but I'm confident that not one of the stitches I made that evening on the black lace knit cardigan (top left) I was making survives to this day. The lighting was so dim that I was horrified by what I'd knitted when I got home and spent a long time unpicking it! So leave projects worked in fine weight or very dark yarn at home unless you know the meeting spot will have bright lighting and don't forget to pack reading glasses if you need those for close work!

  2. Doesn't need lots of counting/focus: complex cables, fancy colourwork designs and and intricate lace patterns might not be the best project for craft groups if you are hoping for a good chitchat with your friends and want to take a look at what they're making as well as your own project or maybe even have a glass of something that affects the concentration! It's so easy to make a small slip up and not notice while you're hearing exciting news from other crafters and sizing up whether their project looks like something you might want to make too. Do think about what's next in the pattern too. I once took a pullover with a really repetitive body pattern (bottom left) with me but just as I got to the group I realised I needed to divide for both the armholes and the V neck and add the set-up rounds for a lace border either side of the neckline too! I didn't get to join in with the conversation much that day!

  3. Comfortable to work on: seamless pullovers are so popular these days but they get big and heavy fast, especially when they are made in heavy yarns. As a very new knitter, I challenged myself to make a beautiful full length cream colour cable knit dress (bottom right) and I picked a cotton yarn for it instead of the recommended wool acrylic blend (as I say, I was a very new knitter!). It was a modern pattern and had a yoke, so I was puzzled that it wasn't worked in one piece and decided to do it that way anyway. Well, I could hardly keep it in my lap by the time I started the skirt section and the arms would escape and trail all over the floor and by the time I finished it, I could only work on it with me and the dress lying in bed. The pattern writer knew best!

  4. Won't easily be damaged: unless you want to be constantly defending your project from crumbs, drinks and enthusiastic yarn fondlers, items being made from highly delicate non-washable yarns could leave you feeling anxious in a group crafting session. Nobody wants to spoil your project and most likely nothing would happen but a room full of excited people with snacks and drinks can feel like an accident waiting to happen when you're holding a precious project built with expensive yarn and many hours of your time. I have never had a project spoilt whilst working on it at a craft group but do have a pullover I spilt wine on the day I finished (top right) and it felt like such a waste of all my time.

Craft Group Project Ideas

So here are some ideas for great craft group projects:

Granny Square Projects:

collage of crocheted granny squares
Grannies Galore

Crocheting granny squares is a really versatile project option that's perfect for craft groups. Squares tend to be small enough to complete in a single sitting and although some fancy squares have unusual stitches to learn, most are easy enough to work on while chatting with friends. Plus, the repetitive nature of the project allows for memorisation, so you can focus on socialising without constantly referring back to the pattern. Assembling squares together to create the finished project is something many crafters say they dread but when you do this with good company, you'll be surprised at how quickly your project comes together.

Classic Scarf or Shawl:

woman wearing simple crochet lace shawl
This shawl ahs a fun but simple repeating stitch pattern

Knitting or crocheting a scarf or shawl is an excellent project for craft group meetings, especially for beginners. These projects tend to involve a long repeat of the same stitch pattern, perhaps with stitch markers now and then for shaping. They are also popular with yarncrafters and what knitter or crocheter doesn't welcome appreciative oohs and ahhs as fellow crafters admire their work! Plus, scarves and shawls are popular gifts, so you'll have something to add to your handmade gift stash if you already have more of these than you can wear!

Knitted Socks

purple and cream socks on double pointed needles with a cover that looks like a magic wand
My teenage socks have been lingering in the DPN cosy

Pic shows socks on my own unpublished design and Magic Wand DPN Cosy

For those looking to take a more challenging project, why not try knitting socks at craft group? Socks are very manageable as they're small and easy to work on in a busy place and once you get the hang of how they are constructed, you can easily add a fun stitch pattern to your favourite basic sock design, leaving it up to you how complicated you want the project to be and allowing you to try out new techniques on a small low-commitment project. Knitting socks in a group setting allows you to exchange tips and tricks with fellow sock enthusiasts, on favourite heels, the stretchiest cuffs and smoothest toes so they're perfect if you're a bit of a craft geek!

Amigurumi Creations:

Pink and Green crocheted Dinosaurs on four legs with long entwined necks
Leopold the Dionosaur

Pic shows Leopold the Dinosaur Amigurumi Pattern from Garnknuten

Consider crocheting amigurumi creatures at your craft group. These adorable stuffed toys are perfect craft group projects. These little characters are sure to be a topic of conversation wherever you work on them and they tend use just one stitch throughout so you only need to check out where the increases and decreases are going. Plus, they're small enough to carry with you without feeling like you're carrying a lot of extra stuff.


Pic shows (L-R): Lacey Washcloth from Dannycat Crochet; Face and Body cloth from A Heart Shaped Cherry; Smooth Washcloth from Dannycat Crochet

This is another excellent project for craft group meetings. As small and portable projects, these are great for using up leftover yarn and practising different stitch patterns before deciding whether or not you want to work a whole garment or blanket using the same stitch. Also, it's in their nature to be washable, so you don't have to worry too much if others want to handle your project or if there are snacks and drinks on the table alongside your project. They make another great addition to your handmade gifts stash too.

Hats and bags

colourful V-stitch crocheted hat and drawstring bucket bag
The Vivid Picnic Collection

You'll need to pick and choose with these. Have a read through the pattern and see if it looks familiar and straightforward enough not to require all your attention or constant counting. If so, you'll find these are great compact projects that are fun to work for those who want to be able to chat to others but still want a project that motivates and excites them. My Vivid Picnic Collection patterns are designed to be really craft group friendly with a good balance of interesting things to do that don't require a huge amount of focus, so perhaps they would be a good start. Just pick your options before you start from the "Make it your own" section and you'll have a fun low concentration project that's ideal for social crafting.

Craft group meetings are not just about the finished projects; they're about the fun we have and the friends we make who share our enjoyment of crafts. By bringing the right knitting or crochet project to your craft group, you can enjoy a relaxing crafting experience and friendly conversations with fellow enthusiasts. Happy crafting!

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