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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A tightly knit group of friends come together at a Mandarin store called KnitWitz each day with one common thread: They all love knitting.

"I've been knitting for 24 years," said owner Kathe Loeffler. She's been in the business for nine of those years.

She educates beginners and the advanced, she also sells the knitting supplies.

"People ask me all the time, 'Do you think I can do this?' and yes, you can do it if you want to," she said.

The bright and colorful store is a kind of sanctuary for the women, and even a few men, who come here.

They say knitting is therapeutic.

"It's soothing," Loeffler said. "It like doing yoga without the sweat."

She does have completed work hanging on the walls of the store, including several sweaters, shawls, scarves and socks.

But, she said, they aren't really for sale.

"No, I want to teach you to make these things," she said.

"I have this philosophy, like teaching a man to fish, you teach someone to knit it's better," she said laughing.

"If everybody knitted in the world it would be such a peaceful place."

The store is at the corner of San Jose and Sunbeam in Mandarin.

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