Knitting for Those in Need host 12-hour Knit-a-thon


The biannual Knit-a-Thon was hosted by the organization “Knitting for Those in Need” on the fourth floor of the Kent State University  library Friday, Feb.28, 2014. The organization donates hats and scarves to those in need.

Christopher Woods

Students, staff and other members of the Kent State community participated in a 12-hour Knit-a-Thon Friday hosted by Knitting for Those in Need on the fourth floor of the University Library.

“The Knit-a-Thon was kind of a brainchild of mine,” executive director Diane Baldridge said. “We need to get people aware of our existence, and I thought the fastest way to do that was having a full blowout day of knitting. Everyone could come and knit; we’d feed them, teach them how to knit and that way, lots of people would find out about us and it worked. A lot of people got involved, and we’ve done it every semester since.”

Knitting for Those in Need became an official campus organization in Fall 2011. Baldridge said the sole focus of the organization is to provide warm clothing for the homeless.

“Our focus is on providing warmth,” Baldridge said. “We’re more interested in the homeless, and we work with the International Institute of Akron to have items for the refugees when they come into the country, as well as other shelters in the area.”

Knitting for Those in Need has donated to the Women’s Center, Kent Social Services, Miller Community House, Freedom House and Portage Area Transitional Housing.

“We work with whoever comes with us with a need, and we try to be as generous as possible,” Baldridge said. “We’re open for donating and working with anyone as long as there is a legitimate need.”

Knitting for Those in Need plans to advertise itself locally in the future using a “yarn-bombing” tactic.

“The downtown Kent bicycle rack being covered in yarn — that’s what yarn bombing is: covering public items in yarn,” said Joyce Ng, senior English major and vice president of Knitting for Those in Need. “That’s more for people to say, ‘That’s really cool’ and get our name out there. We plan to do that outside of the coffee shop Scribbles April 1 through May 31.”

Baldridge said the organization knits in three different ways: crochet, loom knitting and needle knitting. Baldridge said loom knitting was taught at the Knit-a-Thon because it was easiest to learn.

Ng said this year’s Knit-a-Thon collected a total of 62 items that will be donated. Ng said more than 100 volunteers joined Knitting for Those in Need to make the event one of the biggest Knit-a-thons in the organization’s history. Senior biology major Jeremy Shaw was one of those volunteers.  

Shaw, who is a member of the organization with prior knitting experience, knitted a scarf during the Knit-a-Thon.

“I’ve known how to loom knit for about a year now,” Shaw said. “Two days ago, I started learning how to needle knit in hopes of trying my hand at it for the event.”

“I love this organization,” Shaw said. “Every time that we meet it’s fun and relaxing, and a lot of the things that we do are for a really great cause. Plus, it gives me a break from everything else I’m involved in.”

Contact Christopher Woods at [email protected].