Knit it Up!, a student knitting club at the University of Richmond, received funding this semester, and members are working toward their goal of donating finished products to charity.
The founder of Knit it Up!, sophomore Anna Sangree, said she started knitting with girls on her dorm hall last year and wanted to receive funding to make knitting into an official club. There were about 40 members listed on the OrgSync group, and about 10 to 20 students attended each meeting, Sangree said.
Sangree was the vice president of her high school's knitting club, which donated finished projects to the Long Island Homeless Shelter in Boston. For now, Knit it Up! is more of a social club, she said, while members are working on getting it off the ground.
"It's kind of a way to release stress and a chance to wind down for a little," senior Rebekah Yowell said. "I do a lot of mental processing when I'm knitting."
Yowell had been knitting since she was 8 years old, she said, but the group welcomed students of all skill levels. The club was a learning environment where everyone worked on developing their skills, she said.
Students knit, crochet, make friendship bracelets and do other crafts during meetings, Yowell said, "It can incorporate any craft that you want to do."
Sophomore Pooja Patel said Sangree, her freshman-year roommate, had founded the club independently. "Anna would knit in our room, and eventually she taught me."
The club had contacted schools and programs that worked with children to see whether they could use its finished products, Patel said. The members had also looked into donating to hospitals and homes for the elderly in Richmond, she said.
"Not everyone at the meetings knows how to knit," Patel said. "It's just a bunch of us hanging out, creating an initial bond and then turning it into something real, so we can donate a lot."
There are three male members of Knit it Up!, which is made up of mostly female students, Patel said. Some of them came to learn, she said, and some of them already knew how to knit.
As a volunteer at Henderson Middle School, Sangree said she knew that some of the students were in need of warm clothes in the winter. Knitting scarves and hats was a great way to help for the "closet nerds in the world," she said.
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