Hooking & Stitches Crochet Program to Debut October 7 at Central Library

What: Hooking & Stitches, a new monthly crochet/knitting program
When: Once a month on Sundays beginning October 7, 3:30–5:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library/Youth Department/Story Castle/2nd floor
Details: Open to both novice crochet/knitters and those with experience in fiber art. For more information, contact Gelenda Norman at 205-226-3655 or gmnorman@bham.lib.al.us.

As a child, Gelenda Norman of the Central Library Arts, Literature and Sports Department used to watch her grandmother crochet blankets, hats, and other items. Now she is using her skills to teach others the art of “grandma’s craft.” On October 7 Norman will begin leading a new monthly crochet/knitting program at the Central Library called Hooking & Stitches. It will be open to patrons interested in learning to crochet/knit as well as those who have experience in fiber art. Visit the BPL events calendar for specific Hooking & Stitches dates.

Gelenda Norman with samples of types of items participants will crochet
and knit
“The group will start off making scarves and hats and other accessories for persons who face the challenges of winter and children in area shelters,” Norman said. “We will also make items that raise awareness of issues such as breast cancer and anti-bullying, as well as items for the babies and children in Children's Hospital receiving long-term care.”

Though Norman’s grandmother used to crochet, instead of teaching her, she told Norman's father to buy her a knitting kit. Norman picked up the basics but did not continue. “About seven years ago, I decided to pick up the craft out of boredom,” Norman said. “Throughout the years, I have discovered an art in crochet, and even knitting, with the use of various weights of yarn and sizes of needles, along with other media such as wire and jute.”

Norman says she will encourage participants in Hooking & Stitches to explore other ways to elevate “grandma’s craft” to another level. Area crochet artists will be invited to share their artistry and possible engage the group to create pieces for display throughout Birmingham.

“We will also just gather together to just plain hook and chat—stitch up new friendships!” Norman said.

Norman said Hooking & Stitches is made possible in part by a donation of materials from Christopher McHenry of Coats & Clark of Albany, Georgia.