Knit one, purl two. “Knitting is cheaper than therapy.” Knit three, purl four. “I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t knit.” All you need are bare hands and a pair of knitting needles to create incredibly satisfying projects, especially during the sheltering of the pandemic. Meet three women who found solace, kinship and camaraderie in knitting together.

Susan Post, the owner of A Good Yarn, noticed an boost in sales accompanied by the whirring of knitting needles from newcomers to veterans of the hobby. Customers can order their supplies online and join a Zoom class to learn the skills necessary to create sweaters for the holidays and scarves for the grandkids. Post’s customers share that knitting has become more than a hobby: It’s become a way of life during quarantine. As a result, their online classes have expanded to 15 to 20 participants all from different skill levels.

“These classes have a silver lining,” says Post. “We can connect and knit with people we only normally see for a week over the summer.” Post herself has been knitting since she was in high school and has found it to have a methodical calming effect. “Knitting is cheaper than therapy” is a common phrase in the knitting community and is fully backed by this veteran knitter. Knitting with a group at Siesta Key Chapel for the last decade and a half, Ruth Ulrich took her 68 years of knitting experience to grow the church’s stockpile of knitted creations. The group has met the second Tuesday of every month for years, only stopping due to the global pandemic.

When they get together, these knitters mainly work on their projects to donate to charities such as Guideposts, Knit For Kids, Mothers Helping Mothers and Habitat for Humanity. Ulrich is looking forward to a time when the group can meet safely again for, as she says, “the fun time of getting together, talking and lunching.” 

Ever since Kelly Tignor was a little girl, she knew how to knit but it wasn’t until her senior year of high school that she took it back up again as a hobby. When the pandemic hit, she was inspired to pick up her knitting needles. Her childhood experience allowed her to dive back in, even though it had been a while. She has been working on the same blanket ever since senior year—her goal is to make it massive. Tignor, like Post, feels knitting serves as a de-stressor. “I have ADD, so I love doing something that occupies idle hands and keeps me busy,” says Tignor. Her favorite thing? “I love to knit while I’m watching Real Housewives.” SRQ

A Good Yarn, 7222 S. Tamiami Trl. #108, Sarasota, 941-487-7914,