all about Allegheny Knitting Club – The Campus

McKinley’s Food Court Private Dining Hall has been known to host catering committee meetings in the past, as well as lunchtime meetings for a variety of on-campus groups. Laughing, chewing, and crunching tend to feature prominently in this space.

But on Wednesday evenings between 6 and 8 p.m., the room harbors a new and different sound: that of needles conscientiously working on a knitting project. They are the members of the Allegheny College Knitting Club. Whether they are making a scarf or a pair of gloves, they are united by a passion for creation.

Beth Choate, associate professor of environmental science and sustainability and educational adviser to the Knitting Club, dates the club’s early excitement to a visiting professor from Manchester, England, in 2015. Choate, who has an interest in sustainable fashion , had brought Amanda Langdown to teach a week-long course on this subject. During that week, as Choate explained, many students learned to knit and find the balance between mending clothes and “always (thinking) fashionable…in a way that truly reflects (their ) style and who (they) are.

From the conversations started in this class, the students caught the knitting bug, especially 17-year-old Hannah Blinn, who wanted the crafts to continue after Langdown returned to the other side of the pond. The students found the community doing something they loved.

“It was a pretty amazing thing,” Choate said, “people together create these really beautiful things and sit down and knit.”

Last year’s board was made up entirely of roommates, all of whom are aged, according to current president Ella Lunney, ’23. The president was none other than the former opinion editor of “The Campus Kaleigh White, ’22, who was interested not only in knitting, but also in crafts and crochet.

“She has been very active in continuing to organize programs or events for the Knitting Club that have helped the community,” Lunney added.

From knitting hats for babies to donate to hospitals to making hats and scarves for Allegheny students in need, the Knitting Club has done a variety of good things for campus. and the wider Meadville area. Lunney hopes to see those actions continue with this new executive board.

Another of the pillars of the Knitting Club is the “plarn”. Those who have more plastic bags than they know what to do with, or want to give a unique twist to their next DIY project, can appreciate this kind of tradition. Members cut plastic bags into strips and use the strips as yarn.

The Knitting Club meets weekly and, according to Lunney, has a fairly laid-back structure. The only requirement for members is that if they want a shirt, they must attend a certain number of meetings.

“If you can’t make time, that’s perfectly fine,” Lunney said. “If you still want to work on a project or still need help with a project, you can always reach out via email, and there are always times I’m willing to find in my schedule to help someone else.”

During meetings, members are free to do whatever they want: have lunch while they work, continue with their current project, ask any questions they may have about said project or do their homework. So even if a student doesn’t have a plan or doesn’t feel the creative juices flowing on a particular Wednesday, they are not only invited but encouraged to sit down.

“It’s just a nice period of time where you can just hang out and relax,” Lunney said.

The club benefits from coordinated activities, however, in addition to hanging out and relaxing. Last year, following a survey to gauge interest, members went to nearby craft fairs like Applefest or Pumpkin Fest to see if they wanted to take any of the products home. or whether said products were attractive as a source of inspiration.

Judging by its name, Knitting Club can be assumed to exclusively recruit female knitters. But it is far from being the case. The club welcomes all kinds of artisans.

For example, 23-year-old Delaney Kronheim currently enjoys cross-stitching. She joined in freshman year and likes to go to meetings when she can.

“It’s a very cold environment,” Kronheim said. “Almost everyone is working on something different, which is really cool…it’s kind of nice to have a little social atmosphere.”

With any organization, there is an inevitable scheduling conflict that prevents a student from attending. Academics, athletics, and other facets of their lives demand time and mental energy, leaving little room for extracurricular activities. The knitting club is no different. Lunney observed that – again, as is the case with other clubs – the first meeting tends to draw a large crowd which inevitably dwindles over the next few weeks.

Still, she enjoys the interactions that take place at meetings.

“It’s kind of nice to also know who on campus is also working on similar projects,” Lunney said. “And it’s quite fun to be able to talk about your projects or even swap models you’re using.”