The Ottumwa Courier

January 15, 2013

Calling all crafters: Longtime group expands to include many different styles

LAURA CARRELL
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — If you’re in need of help with a craft project, want some tips on where to shop for supplies or just want a little fellowship while you work, there’s a place for you.

What began over a decade ago as a meeting for those who knit and crochet, the ladies who meet at the Ottumwa Public Library every Thursday afternoon now include many different kinds of crafts. Last week, the projects also included tatting and embroidery.

When Carole Paulos joined the group eight years ago, it had already been in existence for quite a while. Nearly a decade later, it’s a place she loves to come every Thursday.

“We’ve become such good friends,” Paulos said. “(Janet Brandt) and I went to junior high and high school together. We’re all different kinds of people — married, divorced, widowed, never been married.”

It’s also a time for the sharing of patterns and the latest shopping trip for yarn and supplies. A finished project one person has just finished might spark some interest or questions with someone else.

If you need something special, someone always seems to know which stores will have it, what else they might have and where to find something unique.

“Lots of times we have to go out of town or order off net to get what we need,” Terri Shaw said. Knowing where to go and what they have is a real time saver, she added.

Trading patterns and expertise is a huge draw for many of the ladies who attend regularly. It’s easy to ask questions and learn something new, Ruth Hall explained.

“I first came because I wanted to know how to make socks,” she said, pulling a ball of yarn and the beginnings of a project from her bag. “I’ve still got that much of it to go.”

And there’s not much quiet time. The crafters group is the perfect place to just talk about family, jobs, the community and what’s happened in the week since they were together.

“If you’re working on something you need to concentrate on, don’t bring it,” Paulos advised. “It’s the fellowship, probably, the friendship here. We all like crafts, so we have a lot of the same interests.”

While there can be up to 12 ladies present on any given day, there’s always room for more crafters interested in sharing.

“I’d like to see them fill another table,” Joyce Kepler said. “Younger or older, either way, because we can learn so much from others. It’s never too late to learn something new.”

No one is required to come every week, and there are no officers. It’s simply a time to bring your supplies, get inspired and encourage others.