Balls of yarn and crochet needles litter the table as the Granny Society teach their beloved practice to the eager members of the group, who are waiting to learn the secret of mastering the craft of being a Granny.
SIN spoke to Emer Kenny, the Granny Society Auditor, and it’s clear to see why so many people are showing up to take the classes with the wonderful group that make up the committee. They have created a safe space to learn something new, no matter the level of skill you have going into the class, and their infectious energy makes it easy to feel relaxed to chat or ask questions.
To describe the Granny Society and what it means to be involved Emer said; “we are a group of people who like to knit, crochet, sew, and embroider. We like to market as anything you think your granny might do, we teach it and we show you how to do it. I like to think that it’s just a nice little space where you can just learn to do things with no pressure.”
The Granny Society was adamant on making their classes and events available to every student.
“We have a lot of foreign students who don’t understand English, it’s okay. We can literally show you. If it’s an accessibility issue, we try and accommodate, if it’s something that we can maybe make either easier to work, maybe with your hands or just to understand, let us know.
“There’s no harm in trying. At least showing up you’d be surprised how many people know less than you, know more than you. It’s just a bit of fun. You can pick it up really quickly.”
The society provides everything for the classes, the yarn, thread, needles and hooks. They have created a stress free space with their efficiency, there’s no need to worry about materials, there is nothing holding you back from giving knitting or crocheting a go.
“I think it was the first thing we did was we looked for the materials, not last summer but the summer before all we did was just look for materials… making sure we had everything so nobody could stress about it, because it’s all just super expensive.”
The Granny Society was set up last year and came from the love the committee has for crafting. Their goal is to make a platform where they can share what they loved with the University community. “Knowing that there are other people who want to learn the thing that makes you feel happy or safe, or that there are other people who know it and want to do it with you. That was kind of the driving force because it was like, we can just book a room under a name, just crochet and knit and nobody is going to stop us and we can get more people in on it and then people know how to do it and it’s just a really cool thing. Just a thing for us to have, just to have a place to be where nothing matters except yarn.”
The events vary from specific classes in a field of ‘granny-ing,’ to charity initiatives set up to help raise money using the crafts the members have made during the year. Every Thursday at 7pm, they host a ‘Stitch & Bitch’ where participants can work on projects they mightn’t find time to complete otherwise, or if you’ve learned something in their classes that you’d like to practice they have the materials at the ready for you to improve and grow in confidence in your abilities.
At the end of every second semester they have their Granny Blanket Initiative, “which is my favourite thing ever,” said Emer.
“Everyone in the society makes 6×6 squares of anything, whether it’s crochet or something that you’ve sewn up like a quilted patch, and we make it into this massive blanket in semester two.
“Then we have a quiz/games night and it’s raffled off and it raises money for COPE Senior Service, which we think is really cute because Senior Service … Granny Soc. It works”.
If you’re looking for a society that is warm, welcoming and wacky, then the Granny Society is a perfect match. As Emer says, “there’s no harm in trying.”