I was flipping through my copy of Stitch ‘n’ Bitch Nation (2004) and stumbled on the profile of the Montreal Stitch ‘n’ Bitch crew – an off-shoot of the Montreal Church of Craft – and was treated to an over-flashed photo of a group of knitters who looked exactly like my friends from university. Their blurb has them meeting at one-or-another’s houses, sharing vegan potluck, and occasionally doing things like homelessness-awareness knit-ins where their needles get confiscated.
Where are these people now?
Don’t get me wrong – I totally, 100%, more-than-you’d-ever-know, get what burn out is. I know what it’s like to have to give up doing the things you love because you just can’t anymore. And having people meet at your house is even more exhausting than being involved in an organization which will get along somewhere else without you.
There are 300+ people in the MontrealKnits yahoo group – by all appearances the biggest communication medium with Montreal’s (mostly anglophone?) knitters. Less than 15 voted in the most recent poll, most of them to say that they weren’t going to make it to the event in question.
There are 600+ members of the Montreal Knits Ravelry community (it seems a reasonable number of francophones, too, for an English language website), but the last time anyone posted in the get-togethers calendar was a month ago when I was promoting Knit-It-Before-Christmas. Before that, the most recent post was from February.
The highest traffic discussion on the craftster.org Quebec page has 31 replies. The original post was from 2005, and the most recent reply was more than a year ago.
The LYSs have knitting nights, but never seem to advertise them beyond their own websites. I can only imagine how much work it is to run a full time small business, and that talking to the internet can’t often be a priority, but social media is with any likelihood the best (only?) way to grow a business these days, it seems that it would pay off.
Maybe everyone’s just knitting on their own. Maybe they’re knitting with their friends. Maybe with only 600,000 anglophones, Montreal just doesn’t have enough of a knitting population for me to connect to. Though surely the francophones are knitting somewhere, but I haven’t been able to find them. And for a while, knitting was a requirement to live in my apartment.
Montreal has no equivalent of the Toronto Craft Alert to round up crafty events in the city. And even the Toronto Craft Alert went on a six month hiatus, so maybe it has nothing to do with the number of anglophones.
Every time I look at the Montreal crafting internet, I want to make it better, make it work, make a website, reinvent the wheel.