The CKC Craft Circle Logo

CKC’s Virtual Craft Circle is a monthly gathering for CKC’s Members and Donors held via Google Meet on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 8 PM US Eastern time.  Join us, get to know fellow CKC supporters, and interact with important and interesting people in the crafts of knitting and crochet today in a relaxed online setting.  

CKC’s Virtual Craft Circle guest speakers are artists, scholars, authors, historians, teachers, entrepreneurs, activists, and others who are expanding the potential for these crafts, and enhancing our appreciation and understanding of the diverse talents, interests, and initiatives of the crafting community. 

You can attend all of CKC’s wonderful, inspiring Virtual Craft Circle programs by joining CKC or donating today.  An Annual Membership is just $10. A Sustaining Membership is just $35.  

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2024 Featured Guest Speakers

February 15, 2024: Jayna Zweiman, Welcome Blanket

February 15, 2024: Jayna Zweiman, Welcome Blanket

Jayna Zweiman, founder of the Welcome Blanket project

Please join us to hear Jayna Zweiman discuss the Welcome Blanket Project, According to Zweiman, “The project is accessible, transgenerational, and inclusive of all of our diverse stories. It weaves together a tapestry of our shared American narratives.”

Welcome Blanket is a crowdsourced artistic action and charitable effort supporting immigrants and refugees settling in the U.S. Makers around the country have created thousands of these welcome blankets — knitted, crocheted, quilted, etc., — with personal notes of welcome to the newcomers. Many of the blankets are made by people who themselves have been immigrants or refugees, and who share their experiences and advice with new arrivals. Zweiman said she hopes the blanket-making for immigrants and refugees will become another American tradition. In addition to providing a necessary household item, “Welcome Blanket makes space for difficult conversations about immigration and recontextualizes them with humanity.”  

Zweiman is an architecturally-trained multidisciplinary designer and social entrepreneur. Her independent practice combines architecture, art, craft and new media to focus on experiences that overlap physical, virtual and conceptual spaces. Her work is about civic intimacy, accessibility, and joy. She is the creator and founder of Welcome Blanket.

March 21, 2024: Rebecca Bayreuther Donohue, Dirty Blue Shirts Living History

March 21, 2024: Rebecca Bayreuther Donohue, Dirty Blue Shirts Living History

Rebecca Bayreuther Donohue, founder of Dirty Blue Shirts Living History in a rowboat on the ocean

Join us to hear Rebecca Bayreuther Donohue of Dirty Blue Shirts Living History share her knowledge regarding maritime communities. She will relay tales of maritime culture and the role that knitting played in the lives of these communities.

After more than 20 years at a major Connecticut maritime museum, she co-founded the Dirty Blue Shirts living history collective, whose participatory programs encompass everything from historic fashion & foodways to maritime culture & shipboard skills. She has knit historical garments in between setting sails aboard New Bedford whalers, splitting codfish aboard Grand Banks fishing schooners, and lounging on O’Day Mariners.

Her personal interest in historical hand-knitting stems from always being cold, no matter what century she’s interpreting. With all the plastic in today’s oceans, she thinks it’s time to revisit wool as the preeminent fiber of sustainability, versatility, and global community.

April 18, 2024: Austin Rivers, Knit the Rainbow

Austin Rivers, Founder of Knit the Rainbow

Austin Rivers, Founder, Board Chair, and President of Knit the Rainbow will speak about his organization. Founded in 2020 to”help homeless LGBTQ+ youth in New York City survive the brutal winter, KtR’s handmade garments are made with love by volunteers across the country and placed directly into the hands of those in need . . . . KtR has since expanded its activities to four states, and aims to provide clothing for homeless LGBTQ+ youth across the Nation.” Find out how you can support and help.  

May 16, 2024: Kwana Jackson

Kwana Jackson

USA Today Bestseller Kwana Jackson has been tapped by Oprah Magazine, ShondaLand and NPR for their Best Romance lists. A native New Yorker, Jackson (who also writes as K.M. Jackson) spent her formative years on the ‘A’ train where she had two dreams: 1) to be a fashion designer and 2) to be a writer. After spending over ten years designing women’s sportswear for various fashion houses, this self-proclaimed former fashionista took the leap of faith and decided to pursue her other dream of being a writer. She currently lives in a suburb of New York with her husband. You can find her online at www.kmjackson.com.

June 20, 2024: Artist Andy Stowers Forest

Andy Stowers Forest

Andy Stowers Forest (any pronouns) is a trans fiber artist from Tallahassee, FL, currently based in Manhattan. He uses knitting, crochet, and other techniques to create landscapes and other representational art. Using predominantly yarn discarded by other crafters, Andy seeks to find ways to craft sustainably.

July 18, 2024: Debra Scala Giokas

Debra Scala Giokas, author of "Ladies, First: Common Threads"

Please join us to hear from Debra Scala Giokas, author of Ladies, First: Common ThreadsLadies, First celebrates 18 First Ladies who, at one point in their lives, knitted, crocheted, embroidered, quilted, cross-stitched, or sewed. Their inspirational stories will encourage an appreciation of craft and creativity, patience and perseverance, sacrifice and service, and most of all the role of the First Lady in the United States of America.  For ages 9 and up.

Ms. Scala Giokas was recently appointed a Hutton House Lecturer at C.W. Post College/Long Island University and is a member of the First Ladies Association for Research and Education (FLARE). She earned her B.A. in English, magna cum laude, from Stony Brook University.

2023 Featured Guest Speakers

View the Speakers

May 11, 2023

Kirk Dunn with several skeins of yarn
Kirk Dunn and his work, Cityscape.  Photo: Claire Dunn.

Kirk Dunn: The Knitting Pilgrim / Toronto-based artist, actor, and activist Kirk Dunn presented about his works, including his traveling one-man performance, The Knitting Pilgrim, which features his vast and incredibly detailed knitted “stained glass” tapestries, each featuring symbols and stories from the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faiths.  He told the story of his personal and spiritual journey of learning about these faiths through constructing the tapestries over more than a decade.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2023

Suzann Thompson next to an image of a crocheted lace doily
Photos: Suzann Thompson, and CKC’s American Beauty Rose Doily, a FREE pattern for Members and Donors

Suzann Thompson: A Doily Adventure / Suzann Thompson, a CKC Board Member and independent doily historian, spoke about her research into the personal and social histories and cultural significance of doilies and doily makers in her rural Texas community.  This research led her to develop a panel exhibition to preserve and share the work and the stories of these makers, entitled Texas Crochet History.  The panel exhibition has now traveled to multiple venues in Texas.   

NOVEMBER 16, 2023

Elizabeth Okeyele-Olatunji
Elizabeth Okeyele-Olatunji

Elizabeth Okeyele-Olatunji: Teaching 20,000 Children to Knit / Elizabeth Okeyele-Olatunji is a Craft Yarn Council of America certified knitting teacher and the principal of her own design business, Tunnizze Creations, based in Nigeria.  She has an ambitious goal to teach 20,000 children across the African continent to knit by 2030.  Elizabeth spoke about her recent trip to Kenya in August of 2023, and her experiences partnering with the knitting industry, local community organizations, and volunteers to teach children at five different children’s homes to knit.  Visit CKC’s Blog to read Elizabeth’s guest blog post, and find out how you can support her efforts, if you choose to do so.

DECEMBER 14, 2023

Sandi Horton holding her recorders
Sandi Horton, 2023

Sandi Horton: Poet, Musician, and CKC Music | Makers Contest Second Place Winner, with percussionist Debbie Brock / Sandi Horton is nationally and internationally known for her Native American Flute recordings and original music compositions.  Sandi spoke about her family’s heritage in crochet and knitting, her collaborations with doily historian Suzann Thompson, and the role of music, poetry, and craft in her family history and her life.  She also played beautiful music for us on her extraordinary collection of handmade flutes. You can read more about her work and her collaboration with Suzann on CKC’s blog in The Poetry and Psychology of Doilies.