If you enjoy crafting, fibre arts, or working on your art projects with others, Wandering Woolies may be the group for you. Wandering Woolies is a crafts group that meets every week to work on knitting projects, crocheting, and more, while giving neighbours the chance to chat and connect. 

The group, which started more than 10 years ago, used to meet all over the city and stop in at different cafes and venues, which is where the “wandering” comes in. The group now meets virtually on Wednesdays, and at Eastwood Community League on Saturdays from 2 to 4 pm, although you don’t have to be an Eastwood resident to join. Drop ins are welcome to attend. 

A group of about 12 to 18 regulars meet weekly to work on their individual projects and get inspired by the arts and crafts of others. 

Other projects outside of fibre arts are also welcome, and I brought along brightly coloured markers and a few mandalas to colour. The hum of lively conversation and the simple but satisfying joy of colouring in the mandalas made for a relaxing afternoon. 

“Anything that anybody is doing with their hands, they’re welcome to come join the group,” says Tina, an organizer and group member. “We’ve had colourers, we’ve had people who draw, diamond art, thread painting — various things.” 

The group is more than just a space where people gather to work on their artwork and crafting projects, says Janet, a member of the Woolies. It’s also a sort of support group where members talk about their personal lives and help each other with whatever they’re facing. 

“There’s a lot of people encouraging [others] and helping them to learn new skills,” adds Tina. “We don’t teach people how to knit or crochet, but if you come with the basics, we can certainly help you figure out a pattern or show you a stitch.”

The Woolies also give members the courage to try new techniques and mediums. “It’s because of being in this group that I ended up wanting to knit, and then actually trying more complicated projects because I never thought I could do something that fancy,” says Tracy, another group member.  

Passing along inspiration and crafting techniques is an important part of the group, but it’s the camaraderie and company of fellow crafts enthusiasts that keeps members coming back week after week.