A Shared Love for Knitting Brings Women Together

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COLUMBIA - In our tech savvy age, there are still people who find enjoyment in something that doesn't have a power button. You'll find some of those people at Hill Creek Yarn Shop off of Business Loop 70 in Columbia every Tuesday.

Around 10 women gathered around a table tucked in the back of the store. The group meets once a week with their knitting needles, yarn and stories in tow.

"They're our psychiatrists, our mothers and sisters and they're just great, great friends," said Claudia Nelson, one of the knitters in the group.

"They speak my language and they laugh when I talk," said another member of the group, Dori McVay

For two hours on Tuesdays, they knit. The women work on projects like shawls, sweaters, socks and more. Their time together is far from quiet, often filled with laughter and tips for each other when a project gets tough.

"Get a lot of different levels and everybody's willing to help everybody. It's fun," McVay said.

They're also there for each other when life does the same.

"Several of us, not me, but several of them have had breast cancer, and I think we're just a huge support group," Nelson said.

Nelson is one of the group's first members and said these girls started clicking needles together about eight years ago. The knitters used to meet at HyVee.

"That's how we all got together was to do charity knitting and we knitted hats for Boone Hospital," Nelson said.

They still make those baby hats. One of the women in the group works for the hospital, and takes the hats in once they're done. They also knit prayer shawls for those in need and when the Joplin tornado hit they stepped up, too. They made hats, gloves and more for those who had nothing left.

"If there's a need we're there usually,"Nelson said.

What started as a shared love for knitting quickly became a shared love for one another.

"It's very lonely when you don't know people and you have to have something in common, so I started coming here," McVay said.
"Friendship, it really is. I feel sorry for people who don't have a group of friends like what we've got here," Nelson said.

A group of ladies whose relationships are as close and colorful as the yarn they're stitching together.

"You couldn't ask for better friends," Nelson said.

Hill Creek owner Karen Cox said her store's motto is, "sit and knit to your heart's content," and she thinks these groups fall right in line with it.

"My dream for the shop is that it is a refuge for women to come, relax, and share their lives. I know that everyone is aware that the shop needs to sell yarn to remain there, but my goal is to share my love of the craft through the groups," Cox said.

Hill Creek Yarn Shop has different knitting groups that meet all throughout the week. It also offers knitting classes. To see the shop's schedule, click here.