When the phrase “spin a yarn” is mentioned in the same sentence as the word “library,” things like tall tales, fables and stories might come to one’s mind.
Yet for those who take the time to visit the Voorhees Branch Library on the first and third Friday of every month, visitors shouldn’t be surprised to find actual yarn work taking place, all thanks to the steady hands of the South Jersey Yarners.
The South Jersey Yarners is a group of yarn enthusiasts dedicated to all things yarn, with members’ skills also encompassing knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, tatting, latch hook and more.
Stephanie (Stevie) Franklin co-founded the group with her mother-in-law Rachel Franklin, both of whom have been teaching various yarning classes for several years.
Eventually, the duo decided they should just start a centralized group, and once they learned there was space available at the Voorhees Library, the South Jersey Yarners was born.
According to Stevie, the group is constantly growing, and is open to long-time yarn lovers as well as those who have just started the hobby and are looking to learn.
“It’s nice having other people do what you do. I’ve always been that girl who knits, so it’s nice to know I’m not the only one,” Stevie said.
For those who are new to the hobby, Stevie said members of the group would work with those who are new regardless of their skill level to help them accomplish any particular project or goal they might have.
And for those who are longtime practitioners of the hobby, Stevie said the meetings serve as something akin to a university master class.
“Everybody kind of brings their own projects or maybe something they’ve been working on and maybe need help with, and they’re just there for the community,” Stevie said.
For those thinking about getting into the hobby, Stevie said there were also mental benefits to the work.
“It’s actually been proven to help brain functions such as being able to function and use fine motor skills,” Stevie said. “You’re controlling two needles and yarn then you bring them together to produce something.”
The South Jersey Yarners meets on the first and third Friday of every month at the Voorhees Branch Library from 7–8:45 p.m. The group meets in Room C on the third floor, and meetings are free and open to anyone at any age or skill level.
Those interested in the group can visit southjerseyyarners. wordpress.com to learn more about the group or what supplies to bring if new to the hobby.
Walk-ins are welcome to the meetings.
“The first little bit is the hard part, but you start to reap the benefits soon,” Stevie said. “You constantly improve.”