Through, around, back. Through, around, back. Through, around and back again. These smooth, methodical motions are not easily recognizable to many born in the 21st century. Despite the art of knitting becoming less common among younger generations, Hope’s own Knitting Club keeps the talent alive and fosters it in new members. In line with the generosity that Hope students exude, this club started the season of giving early and sponsored a Craft-A-Thon this past weekend. This event allowed students and community members alike to purchase a craft in which the proceeds would go to charity, while the members of the club continued to create scarves, headbands, and other articles of clothing. The president of the club Amber Wingard (’20), revealed, “I had the idea for a Craft-A -Thon two summers ago while scanning barcodes and putting red stickers on markdowns. I had the thought that Hope United for Justice and Knitting Club should collaborate. I reached out to other members and helped set up the first event. I really do enjoy this event because there’s nothing more satisfying than giving someone a scarf. You get to witness that smile when a person realizes you spent hours knitting to provide them warmth – it’s the best! This year was especially successful as we raised almost one-hundred dollars and finished seven items.”
The Knitting Club’s renowned open arms attitude embraced a newer but equally as talented knitter who attended the event, Timothy Bartelds II (’22). He noted, “Craft-A-Thon was the perfect opportunity to get away from the normal grind and spend some time with friends. The repetition involved in knitting really helps clear the mind of stress.” Despite not being an official member of the Knitting Club, Bartelds is a big proponent for the art: “I highly advise learning to knit, my incentive was my girlfriend is the president of the Knitting Club. However, it has also allowed me to keep my hands steady and open an element of creativity to make whatever I want for others.”
Despite the freezing temperatures, the Knitting Club is finding a way to bring warmth and joy into an unseasonably cold winter. Their kindness sets the tempo for the many events Hope students will put on to benefit those in need during the holiday season, while also promoting the art of knitting among college-aged students. Since its founding, the Knitting Club has grown not only in membership but also notability. Many of its members can be found knitting in class or in common hang-out areas. Wingard confessed, “We recently changed locations to the old Kletz. We now bring a speaker and just jam out. We love when people wander in and ask if they can study there. I always say so long as they don’t mind us noisy knitters, they are welcome to join us for a cup of tea.” As the semester starts to wrap up, Wingard encourages her club members to turn their sights outward to help those in need. “We should do it all year, but the holidays give us a nudge and provide a special excuse to make the extra effort to help others,” Wingard said.
This sentiment is echoed by Bartelds, who stressed, “Spending time with friends and participating in an event to help the community is what the holiday season is all about.”