The Knitty Gritty: Knitting Club Needles Away Stress


Kate Siltman

Mathematics teacher Catherine White during a knitting club session.

Kate Siltman, Management Editor

Though not an official school-sponsored club, every Monday after school and Wednesday before school in B119, Sophomores Eliana Bender and Jillian Hoffstadt meet to knit with Mathematics Teacher Catherine White.

“The intention is to be of service to the community but also of personal development and creativity,” said White.

One student made a handful of washcloths that will be donated to a women’s shelter. There are also scarves from last year made by former students who have now graduated that will go to the MHS winter clothing drive.

“I didn’t know there was a knitting club until one of my friends told me about it. Once I got involved, I was able to learn and make a couple dish clothes to donate to a local shelter,” said Hoffstadt.

Knitting club doesn’t require previous experience with the craft.

“It’s a learning experience, and other students [involved in the club] can help teach as well. It’s a skill and a craft, so everybody starts not knowing how to do it. You start from scratch, and you can only go up from there,” said White. “You can’t do worse than not doing it at all.”

The students who are interested in the slightest are welcome to join at any time during the school year, and knitting club is prepared for more students to join.

“We have tools and yarn, so if a student comes, and they want to try knitting out, we have everything from knitting needles to crochet hooks,” said White.

Though knitting is a craft and not a natural talent, it is a craft for anyone willing to give it try.

“[Knitting] is hard to learn at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy, and it’s a great way to destress,” said Bender.

School, work, home life and social life demand a lot out of students which in turn become stressors. However, every student has their own way of coping with the stress. For Hoffstadt and Bender, that coping mechanism is knitting.

“Knitting is therapeutic for me,” said Hoffstadt. “It’s a great way to unwind and destress.”

One aspect that stops students from getting into knitting is the stereotype of “knitting is for grandmas”; however, that has never been the case.

“I am not a grandma, and I knit,” said Bender. “Knitting is for everyone. I know girls my age who knit, guys who knit…Knitting does not discriminate [by] age or gender.”

Though the stereotype may be one reason students may not want to knit, another is the result of not being around people who know how to knit.

“With teenagers, if they didn’t spend the summer sitting with their grandparents, they wouldn’t know how to almost. It’s an art that has kind of died. It is being revived, and it’s coming back,” said White.

It is true that the knit fashion is coming back. Popular TV shows, celebrities and fashion magazines are all showcasing knit clothing. From sweaters to leg warmers to gloves to boot toppers, knit clothing is back in style.

“Instead of spending heaven knows how much in the stores for these products, you can make them yourself,” said White.

Though knitting club creates items to give to local shelters and the MHS community, they also take the time for personal projects and would be more than happy to teach students how to knit the in style trends.

“There are all kinds of things you can do and make, and you can make it your own,’ said White.

If students want to learn how to knit, make items for their community or make something for themselves and friends, knitting club is always an option to do just those activities.

“It’s an enjoyable craft. It’s a good way to be creative,” said White.  “It’s a nice way to give warmth to other people, and when you give someone something handmade, they know it comes from the heart because there is no way you would put in the time if you didn’t really care.”