By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman on October 5, 2021.
The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery offers a monthly activity for those looking to meet fellow knitters through their program called “Knitting at Noon.”
The knitting program started from an idea seen in England by Josephine Mills, director of the gallery, who thought the program would be a good a way to get a different slice of the campus community and members of the public to come into the gallery and see their show, explained Juliet Graham, program facilitator.
“That is really what we are about. We want to create community and we want people to come and see the art. The knitting at noon has been taking place for around five years now,” said Graham.
They have some supplies available that people can use, but they also encourage them to bring their own projects, something they are working on. The idea is for community members to chat and share skill tips with each other and show what they are working on.
“Our knitting at noon program happens once a month during the lunch time hour, and we just invite participants to come and sit in the gallery and either knit or crochet or do feltingâ€¦ any sort of fibre arts,” said Kirsten Meiszinger, program coordinator at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery.
Meiszinger explained that her role is to set the dates, make the materials available and prepare tea and snacks for their guests to enjoy. She is also in charge of the social media for the gallery and marketing to promote it.
“It’s a relaxed social gathering,” added Meiszinger.
The program is offered once a month but sometimes they take December off, or the summer off. The turnout varies from month to month. Sometimes it runs with only a couple of people and sometimes they have all the seats taken.
“We continued through the pandemic. We had it over Zoom and sometimes the screen was full and sometimes it was only Kirsten and me,” added Graham.
They do have some loyal program members that continue to come back month after month. Such is the case for Julie Wojtiw-Quo who first started in 2020 but was only able to attend during their January and February sessions before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
She returned after restrictions were lifted and the program was offered in person once again last month.
“I came back to the knitting after the pandemic, but I continued to knit at home by myself throughout the pandemic as the knitting at noon program inspired me to knit.
“I think is a lot of fun meeting new people and I am planning to come back for the rest of this year,” said Wojtiw-Quo.