DKCC organizer Leigh Mosley of Detroit, left, gives member Kittie Perry of Highland Park crocheting instructions for making a shawl. (Ricardo Thomas / The Detroit News)
Last year, I searched the Internet for organized knitting and crocheting groups in Detroit. I figured there had to be some — OK, at least one. But after searching to no avail, I put the idea to rest.
Around the same time, Detroit knitter and crocheter Leigh Mosley was also searching the Web for groups that came together on a regular basis to share their passion for needle arts. She, too, found nothing, but unlike yours truly, she chose to take matters into her own (creative) hands. She began organizing monthly meetings, calling the group the Detroit Knitting and Crochet Club (DKCC). Its motto is “Linking Detroit One Stitch at a Time.” (Don’t you love it?)
Members meet every fourth Saturday at the main branch of the Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward. Meetings are held from 1-3 p.m., but sometimes the fun doesn’t end until 3:30 or 4 p.m. Parking is free in the library’s lot on Putnam, between Woodward and Cass.
“I had never been part of any group,” says Mosley, who as a small child learned to knit and crochet from her mother. “I had looked a lot on Youtube and saw there were a lot of people doing this, and I thought there must be a group in Detroit — but there wasn’t. There were a lot in the suburbs.”
She held the first three meetings at Biggby Coffee on Woodward, near the library, but they soon outgrew the location. “I went looking for another place,” she says. “I thought the Midtown area was easily accessible for most people — even suburbanites can find it.” Luckily, she didn’t have to look any further than up the street.
Mosley, who got the word out about starting a group on Meetup.com, Facebook and by word of mouth, reflects on the first meeting. “I went in and sat down, and it was a while before the people showed up,” she says. “I figured it was just going to be me and my crochet hook, but they were just a little late.” She was joined by six others, and by the third meeting, there were 13 members. Now there are 10 times that number!
“We have 130 members on meetup.com. Our average attendance has been about 18 people,” she says. And although membership is free, Mosley passes a basket at each meeting for an “at-will” donation. “You don’t have to donate,” but the money, she says, “helps with the cost of the website (www.meetup.com/detroit-knitting-and-crochet-club)” where there’s information on planned activities, charity projects, field trips, demonstrations, attendance, etc.
I recently revisited the idea of searching online for a knitting and crocheting group in Detroit. This time I found a website that led me to DKCC, a friendly group of knitters, crocheters, weavers and more, who are “very knowledgeable” with a “willingness to help one another.”
Among them are Deborah Vinson of Detroit, Kittie Perry of Highland Park and Wendy Shepherd of Clawson. Each finds joy in being creative in a grand setting, surrounded by a wealth of printed materials, especially books on crafting. “I think we forget how beautiful our Detroit Public Library is,” says Shepherd, executive director of Mittens for Detroit, who joined the group because she wanted a place to knit with women she didn’t know. “It’s hard to find people who share your interests — like knitting and crocheting.”
I attended my first meeting in November, when, it just so happened, members were celebrating their one-year anniversary. The anniversary was actually in October, but that month the group went to the Third Coast Fiber Festival at Wayne State University, explains Mosley.
For more news and giveaways, visit Jocelynn Brown’s blog at detroitnews.com/crafts. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150 or at email@example.com.