When I first visited Casa Familiar during the doll making workshops, I noticed that there was a group of señoras in the other room. I noticed them mostly because I heard them laughing and they seemed to be having very interesting conversations while knitting. I spoke to them that first time and I introduced myself. It seemed like a really nice space to be in and they looked like they were having fun. After visiting the Youth Center at Casa and talking to the director about trying to do site visits, she let me know the times that the knitting circle meets. I decided to stop by the knitting circle with the elder women of the community in the main center.
I have been able to visit the señoras two times now and they have always been very welcoming. Sharing space with them has been a really rewarding experience. They have mentioned that not a lot of youth engage with them and that they also appreciate my presence as I do theirs. The first time I went, I was really shy, but I asked them if it would be ok if I could sit and talk with them. They were really nice and they said yes, and I was able to sit and listen to their stories. They talk a lot about what they have been through and what is going on in their lives. They do so while simultaneously knitting, and using the space as both a creative outlet and and form of therapy where folks share their feelings and thoughts. A lot of these women live alone and they use the space and each other to convivir and help each other feel supported.
They create different things from hats, shawls, scarves, blankets, flowers, etc. and they teach each other how to make these designs. They do things collectively and help each other out in different ways. When I went the second time, they taught me how to knit! Some of the folks in the space didn’t know how to knit before joining the group either but they taught them how to do it there as well. I brought my knitting gear and I thought it would be easy to learn but it took me a while to get the hang of it. It was nice to share space in that way and being able to engage in an activity that brings a lot of peace and patience. I learned a lot about them and who they are during the visits, they share oral histories with each other every Wednesday and do so with joy, friendship, and support.
I visited on 5/16/18 and 5/23/18.