Crafters Learn New Skills At Weekly Circle

ST. MARYS — Whether it’s a way to learn a new skill or just some time away from the house to socialize and work on a project, area crafters are gathering at the St. Marys Community Public Library on Friday mornings for a craft circle, and they’re enjoying it.

The Friday Morning Handicraft Time, which began in January, has gained popularity among area residents and draws a variety of crafters that work on their projects together. The craft circle, which is held from 10 a.m. to noon Friday mornings at the St. Marys Community Public Library, is not structured and allows crafters to work on any project and come and go as the please.

St. Marys Community Public Library Adult Services Coordinator Beth Keuneke said she wanted to offer something other than classes for area residents.

“We’ve had classes, but those are more structured,” she said, noting in a class it’s harder to get one-on-one instruction and the focus is limited to one topic or skill.

Keuneke said she wanted to get a group of people together with different skill sets that could teach each other.

“I knew we have people that do these things, so let’s get them in the same room and they can teach each other,” she said.

Phyllis Kenyon said she began coming to the craft circle to learn new type of knitting.

“The main reason I came was to learn how to do a cable,” Kenyon said. “I thought someone was bound to know how to do it and they could teach me.”

The group of crafters bring a slew of different skills to the circle.

“We have some that are really good knitters, and you can learn how to bind off and get help from them,” Keuneke said. “It’s something you’ve only done a few times if you’re a casual knitter.”

Crafters swap ideas, patterns, thread and talk about the best places to find their materials for their projects.

The craft circle gave Bonnie Klatt a way to meet new people and socialize.

“I came here to meet people,” Klatt said. “I’ve had a house here for 25 years, but I haven’t lived in it. I’ve only been here a few years.”

Klatt said Friday Morning Handicraft Time gives her time to get away from everything else to enjoy doing her craft.

“It’s my time to escape from all the other things that need to be done,” she said.

Keuneke noted many crafters come to make sure they work on their projects.

“I think a lot of people are coming because its a designated time to work,” Keuneke

Klatt noted the price of Friday Morning Handicraft Time was just right.

“I think it’s cool that we can do it and not be charged for it,” Klatt said “I found out about it (the craft circle) from a sign. When I saw the sign, I thought, ‘OK, what’s the fee?’ Then, I found out how unstructured it is — you bring your own stuff and come and go as you please. I think it’s wonderful.”

Above all, Kenyon said the craft circle is a nice way to spend her Friday mornings.

“The main thing is we enjoy it,” she said.

Friday Morning Handicraft Time will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on June 29 and July 6 at the St. Marys Community Public Library before a break in the summer. The craft circle will resume on Sept. 7. For more information, call the St. Marys Community Public Library at 419-394-7471 or visit