An Astoria-based group is knitting together women of all ages from throughout Queens who share a love for crafts.
Stitchin’ Queens is a knitting, crochet, needlework and general craft group that gets together every two weeks at the Astoria Panera Bread, located at 38-01 35th Ave., to practice the craft, eat and socialize.
The group originally began in 2007 under a different name and in 2012 Danielle Burger, who was a member of the group since it started, took over and changed the name. Since then, Burger has started to advertise the group and establish a Facebook presence as well, in order to attract new members.
“I really enjoyed [the group] because you get to meet other people you wouldn’t otherwise meet,” said Burger, who moved to Rego Park from Astoria in 2008. “It’s not a place to come and put your head down and just knit or crochet. It’s a social experience.”
Burger has also created a group on Ravelry.com, a website for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to share information and research projects, patterns and much more.
Stitchin’ Queens, which varies in the number of members because some move or can’t make meetings, according to Burger, not only brings together people who share the same love for the craft but also opens doors for members to socialize and learn from each other.
Cheryl Pasternack, 67, from Kew Gardens has been involved in Stitchin’ Queens since 2008 and found it to be a great outlet to pick up knitting once again since stopping in her college years.
“I wanted to start knitting again and I knew that unless I got involved in a group I wouldn’t do it,” said Pasternack, who is currently knitting a sweater and hat for her nephew who will be born in August. “I am older than most of the people in the group and I find that it is amazing because it opened a whole new world for me.”
Pasternack said the group members have helped her develop the skill being left-handed and also help her whenever she has issues with technology.
Astoria resident Franchesca Bisignano, 26, has been knitting for the past three years and says she likes the environment of getting together with the members of Stitchin’ Queens and attends the meetings for the social aspect.
“You get to interact and see what other people are working on,” Bisignano said. “It’s a great way to get ideas on new projects. It’s just amazing — the spectrum of women that you meet is so broad and its women that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. We get along so well, we have the same characteristics.”
The next Stitchin’ Queens meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 18. For more info visit www.facebook.com/stitchin.queens.