These days, it seems that putting pen to paper is rarely heard of. Since its conception, the internet has provided the world with instant communication. A large percentage of us perform our correspondence via the web with just a tap, tap, tap rather than a thought out, handwritten letter. While I believe the internet undoubtedly has its place (hello, I Like Knitting magazine!), allowing us to relay information from country to country at the push of a button, there’s still also a place for sitting down and writing a letter.
I personally love putting pen to paper, although I have to admit, I don’t do it often enough. I love the feel of a favorite pen flowing over a clean sheet of pretty writing paper. There’s a certain mindfulness to it – sitting comfortably with a warm beverage, and possibly a bit of mood music, without the whirring of a laptop and the temptation of flipping between tabs to check on the world. There’s also something nice comforting about receiving a handwritten letter – the anticipation, the postage stamp and the recognition of familiar handwriting. Or maybe it’s the personal touch that’s so appealing – the details we tend to leave out when sending a text message or email and the ability to connect with like-minded people on a more one-to-one basis.
That’s why I can’t say I’m surprised that there’s been a rise in people, from across the globe, interested in seeking out their own pen pals. And thanks to the internet, you can find pen pals interested in all sorts of topics — including knitting! You may already be familiar with the I Like Knitting Facebook group that goes by the name, I Like Knitting (and I Cannot Lie), but if you’re not, you should head on over there and familiarize yourself with it! It’s a fun page with lots going on — and it’s the perfect place to start asking if others are interested in becoming knitting pen pals! So come on over and help me and I Like Knitting and re-introduce this ‘old’ pastime. There are people to meet, letters to be written and fun to be had — and let’s get this (yarn) ball rolling!
10 Activities to Try with Your Pen Pal
- Mini knit-alongs – Pick a pattern to knit together and decide on a due date. Pick the yarn you think your pal would like and help each other along the way. When the due date arrives, take a trip to the post office and mail off your completed piece to your pal with a nice note talking about why you picked the yarn you did and how much fun you had knitting the piece! Your pal will do the same and you’ll be “matching” from afar!
- Tips and tricks – Share your best-kept knitting secrets by email, letter, Skype, etc.
- Gift exchanges – Send a skein of yarn to your pal and challenge them to knit something unique!
- Be a test knitter –Try your hand at writing patterns and mailing them off to your pal for test knitting.
- Send cards – Exchange holiday cards with a knit theme. For example, this Merry Knitmas card!
- Swap stories – Ask each other questions about how you learned to knit, your knitting background, and your favorite thing to knit
- Collect together – Exchange stitch markers from different places to build up your collections
- Share your culture – For international pals, teach each other about the knitting culture from your region and discuss the differences and similarities you may share.
- Send surprises –Treat your pal to a skein of locally dyed yarn from your local yarn store.
- Have fun chatting – Don’t limit yourself to just knitting talk. Get to know your pen pal’s other hobbies and interests to build up a life-long friendship.