On any given night, along the faintly lit hallways on the second floor of Wolfe Hall, freshman residents can be found quietly enjoying their leisure time together. But these students don’t crowd the hallways just to socialize – they come to knit.
Freshmen, especially, tend to have more free time as they are just beginning to find a home for themselves at the College. In addition, there is often a strong sense of community for the first-year students living on the same floor. For these reasons and more, needles and yarn are put to good use on Wolfe Two, having helped to strengthen the bond among the residents.
“Knitting is something we enjoy doing and it’s practical,” Brian Whitehead, freshman physics major, said. “It’s definitely a floor bonding activity.”
On the average freshman floor in Wolfe, there are about 60 students. Almost all of the Wolfe Two residents take part in some sort of knitting activity.
“Everyone but three people knit on our floor,” Gina McGrath, freshman open options major, said.
This group of students represents a nationwide trend that has seen the number of knitters blossom over the last several years. It seems the popularity and enthusiasm continue to steadily grow for this needle and yarn art sform, especially among young people. The surprising part may be that this trend includes guys, breaking the common belief that knitting is for girls and elderly
Although many of the males on Wolfe Two like to knit, they are not quite excited enough to let the rest of campus know about it.
“I think it’s best for the guys to keep it under cover,” Whitehead said.
Knitting is the art of using yarn or thread to make fabric from interlocking loops, allows people to create everything from sweaters to scarves. There are now about 24 million Americans who are proud to call themselves knitters.
The reasons for such popularity are abundant. Some people may not understand the desire to knit, but knitting is a creative outlet that relieves stress while satisfying tactile pleasure and instilling a sense of accomplishment in its followers.
The knitters at the College
all agreed that the art form is practical and enjoyable.
“It’s very satisfying that you can create something entirely new,” Deanna Mustachio, sophomore psychology major, said.
Moreover, knitting has become a productive way to procrastinate, a common habit for students.
“It’s a very good alternative to studying,” James Punderson, freshman mechanical engineering major, said.
Knitting has always been an artistic pastime, producing items that are functional, economical, fashionable and fun to make. In addition, knitting offers an opportunity for creative selection of color and style and allows people to customize their garments. Most of the students are beginners when it comes to knitting and stick to basics like scarves.
“Since scarves are in style, knitting has even more appeal, allowing you to make a fashionable accessory that can be personalized,” Michelle Blakely, sophomore secondary education major, said.
Besides being enjoyable, knitting’s popularity is further burgeoned by the fact that many Hollywood celebrities, our cultural icons and trendsetters, have taken up knitting as a hobby. Julia Roberts, for example, has been an avid knitter for years and Russell Crowe is no stranger to the needle and yarn either.
“With the Residence Hall Association (RHA), Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) and working as a hall security worker, along with all the school work, knitting provides a relaxing way to relieve stress,” Blakely said.
Although most fads are big one day and gone the next, there is no reason to believe that knitting enthusiasts will dwindle. Regardless of how much time students have to spare, it seems they will continue to look to knitting to find self-satisfaction.