It was the clicking of knitting needles that got me to quit smoking. I had been a pack-a-day smoker in college, taking breaks from long hours in the practice rooms and computer labs to stand out in the brain-deadening cold of Iowa, my hands shaking and my lungs burning.

I had heard that one of the most addictive things about smoking was the hand-to-mouth motion. So I would take breaks, even in the winter, and haul my latest knitting project outside, taking deep breaths in the cold air and willing my numbing fingers to cast on more stitches, trying to distract myself from wanting to hold a cigarette.

It ended up being a win-win situation: I successfully quit smoking and everyone I knew got a cute knitted hat. Some folks even got two. As the cravings subsided I took up other hobbies: cooking, which celebrated my newly found taste buds, and running, which celebrated my now-working lungs. But as I see the rise of crafting among my peers, I always feel a little indebted to the sound of knitting needles.

Which is why I couldn’t resist sharing tonight’s event with all of you. On Tuesdays the Fancy Tiger hosts a free craft night from 6-9 p.m. at its 1 S. Broadway location. You can bring whatever craft project you’re working on and talk shop with a community of fellow crafty Denverites. For those new to the Fancy Tiger, they also have a great shop full of craft goodies and DIY projects, and they offer classes in everything from sewing to making cleaning products. I’m hoping to dust off my own knitting needles and maybe, come next winter, we’ll all be sporting some new hats again.