Knitting a wider circle at the Berks County Heritage Center this weekend

Folks may think of June 14 as Flag Day and correctly so, but the day also carries another unique designation as World Wide Knit in Public Day – and the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department has just the event for you to share in the fun.

The monthly sewing circle that gets under way at 10 a.m. at the barn at the Heritage Center will morph into the Knitting Circle to celebrate the day. If the weather cooperates, the circle will gather outdoors at the barn.

“It was serendipitous that our sewing circle fell on the second Saturday in June which is designated as World Wide Knit in Public Day,” said Beth Shugar who is coordinating this gathering along with her daughter, Becky Hughes, museum program coordinator for the parks system. “I found it fascinating last year as participants popped up all over Facebook to post themselves knitting all over the world. I remember one person in particular knitting at a bus stop in Milan (Italy).”

World Wide Knit in Public Day got its start in 2005 as a way for knitters to come together and enjoy each other’s company. Each local event is put together by a volunteer or a group of volunteers who bring their own ideas and experience to the day’s event.

Shugar came by knitting at a young age. Her mother, Shirley Fox, a retired bookkeeper who worked at Albright College, attended every basketball game she could – knitting needles and yarn by her side.

“She was a fixture there. The more exciting the game, the faster she knitted,” said Shugar.

Shugar said there are a number of knitting groups throughout Berks County. The most popular meeting places are churches and libraries. She is extending invitations to all knitting groups and individual knitters to join the June 14 circle. Shugar said “The Nice Knitters of Muhlenberg” are already on board.

“This is the first time we are incorporating this into our sewing circle gatherings” she said, “but we hope it’s just the start of a new tradition.”

And, for those who do not knit, the invitation to attend the circle is extended as well to cross stitchers, embroiderers, quilters and others.

There will be experienced knitters, of course, on hand to lend advice to novices.

And, don’t forget to bring along that smart phone or tablet to snap some shots to post on Facebook. After all, we want that knitter at the bus stop in Milan to get a view of how we knit at the Heritage Center right here in Bern Township, Berks County.

This free program is presented by the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, call 610-374-8839, visit www.countyofberks.com/parks or check us out on Facebook.

The Berks County Heritage Center is located at 1102 Red Bridge Road in Bern Township, just north of the St. Joseph Medical Center.