Lee University’s fiber arts club, Knit Wits, is interlacing friendships and creating handmade textiles for a good cause.
The club members knit blankets and donate them primarily to New Hope Pregnancy Care Center in Cleveland.
Students can participate in the club meetings to pursue a relaxing hobby, meet new people and even earn service hours.
Club president and senior psychology major Sarah Brock explained that the club is rewarding to those who both create and receive the blankets.
“With knitting, it’s a chance for us to step away from school work and responsibilities; it’s healing for students and the community,” Brock said. “There’s something satisfying about building things and being able to show off a unique project that you made with your own hands.”
Brock’s gravitation towards the craft began when she was a child, and she continues the tradition by sharing her passion with the Lee community.
Brock explained that Knit Wits unifies its members through collaborative, hands-on projects.
“The knitting is what makes us unique,” Brock said. “It’s a different approach to building that sense of community that all the clubs strive for. Everyone is trying to bring people together and make friends.”
According to Brock, an average club meeting consists of eating snacks, discussing the day and, of course, sitting in a circle where knitters either start or continue a project.
Freshman cinema major Erin Wester was pleasantly surprised to find a knitting club at Lee last fall. After seeing the club advertised at Club Lee, she called her mom and told her she'd found the perfect fit—a club that knits, snacks and provides service hours.
Wester explained that those interested in the club do not have to have a history of knitting to join. Current club members are eager to help rookies learn the ropes.
“In the community of Knit Wits, everyone is super willing to teach you,” Wester said. “You can jump right in.”
Wester explained new knitters will first create a blanket made up of simple squares—the fundamental building block of knitting. However, once they have mastered the basics, they are given a chance to stray from the basic knitting pattern and showcase their newfound talents.
“One of the great things about knitting is that you can be creative,” Wester said. “You can go beyond the patterns and see how things work.”
Associate Professor of Voice James Frost has been the faculty sponsor for the Knit Wits since 2007. He brings 30 years of knitting experience to the club.
Frost knitted many of his children’s clothes and continues to knit socks for his family and himself. He explained that making a quality product with your own hands is an invaluable skill.
“Learning a new skill and making things that people will be using for many years [is worth investing time],” Frost said. “It is a hobby that you can have for a lifetime and pass on to the next generation.”
Knit Wits meet biweekly Tuesday nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Mayfield Annex Room 101.
Both knitting needles and yarn are provided, but members are free to bring their own.