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Knitting Circle makes debut in Haliburton

By Janet Trull Special to the Echo

Published in County Life March 9 2017

What a pleasure it is to introduce you to the Knitting Circle a gathering of people who are making things out of skeins of yarn. Cozy things like scarfs and afghans. Warm things like mittens and socks.

Beautiful and practical things that run the gamut from toques to potholders. There is no greater comfort in this world than accumulating a lapful of wool produced by the rhythmic clicking of needles.

Thanks to the initiative of Susanne James a long time knitter herself Haliburton is part of the current knitting revival. James believes there are many reasons to preserve and advance this time-honoured craft.

“When you get into the groove of knitting you can enter a Zen-like state of meditation” she says. “It can offer health benefits like lowered heart rate and reduced blood pressure. Experts say knitting can improve concentration and can even lower the risk of dementia. The relaxed concentration required by the task of knitting creates a state of consciousness that can result in a deep feeling of enjoyment and peace.”

Knitting is a good solitary pastime. But knitting in a group offers an opportunity to share tips improve skills and practise new techniques. How do you select yarn? What size needles are best? What’s the easiest way to turn a heel when knitting socks? The Knitting Circle is a good place to learn the tricks of the trade.

The Knitting Circle meets the first Friday of each month from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Rails End Gallery on York Street in the town of Haliburton. It is a welcoming space for a wide variety of artistic pursuits from drumming to drawing and curator Laurie Jones accepted the idea of hosting the monthly Knitting Circle with enthusiasm.

With recent renovations completed the gallery is ideally suited for art appreciation art creation and art shopping. Pottery knitting bowls designed so the yarn doesn’t get tangled or attacked by the family cat are among the local hand-crafted articles for sale at the gallery. True to its name Rails End was once the last stop on the railway line. Imagine all the train travellers from years gone by who waited at the station and passed the time by knitting.

James looks forward to seeing all levels of knitters from beginner to expert at the next Knitting Circle scheduled for April 7. Those who are new to the craft will catch on quickly with her step by step instruction and easygoing support. Regardless of experience expect a productive afternoon of counting stitches and sharing favourite patterns. With a background of gentle music and the click click click of needles time and troubles melt away.

Drop in for half an hour or the full three hours and you will understand the saying “busy hands happy heart.” If knitting isn’t your thing bring along a needlepoint crocheting or hand-quilting project. Admission is by donation. Rails End members are free.

Knit one purl two pause for a cup of tea and take advantage of the wisdom of experienced knitters. Hope to see you there!