Knitty Gritty: Knot your typical night out

Ally Melling

For those who do not know the difference between a cro-hook and a hole in the ground, Kent Student Center Programming is offering an afternoon of knitting education.

“Getting Down to the Knitty Gritty” invites students to come and relax on the second floor of the Student Center in the Music Listening Center from 3:30 to 7 p.m.

Those with no experience will be taught how to knit by fellow students. Everyone who attends will receive a free skein of yarn and free knitting needles.

Free food and drinks will be served throughout the event. There will also be a free raffle to win prizes ranging from colored yarns to how-to-knit kits.

“Knitting is always seen as something only older women do, but that’s not true,” event supervisor Rachael Shansky said. “Young girls and guys knit, too. It’s something you can do while you’re doing something else. With knitting, it’s easy to multi-task.”

Shansky, senior organizational communication major, said she grew to love knitting early on. She was inspired to offer “Knitty Gritty” after participating in a similar activity in a residence hall. Shansky said she was surprised at the large turnout of students who enjoyed knitting.

Programming Assistant Manager Julie Fitzwater is not involved in “Knitty Gritty” but says she plans on attending.

“Knitting is something I always wanted to do, but I thought it would be hard,” said Fitzwater, sophomore biological sciences major. “Rachael taught me in about an hour, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.”

From scarves to hats and sweaters to mittens, Shansky said knitting is a vast and meaningful choice for students wondering what kind of gift to get for a loved one.

“If you want to make someone a present, it’s very cheap and easy,” Shansky said. “One skein of yarn is only $3 or $4, and something you make for someone is always better than buying something for them.”

In addition to creating thoughtful gifts, knitting can also benefit the community.

Knit for Life is a Seattle-born organization that reaches out to cancer patients and the caregivers of cancer patients. Its volunteers help patients and caregivers relax by teaching them to knit.

Warm Up Akron is a local branch of the Warm Up America program, which has voluntarily produced more than 80,000 afghans for the less fortunate. Members of the Akron group gather at the Mogadore Library throughout each month to knit donated 7-by-9-inch squares together as afghans, mittens and slippers. A majority of its work is then donated to Akron’s ACCESS, Inc., a homeless shelter that houses more than 36 women and children every night.

Shansky said she can provide information for students who wish to donate anything they make at “Knitty Gritty.” She also said the night of knitting, whether for charity or personal use, has the possibility of becoming a stable activity.

“If people like it and there is a big turnout, we could make it a frequent thing like Poetry Slam,” Shansky said. “I’ve talked to people who have an interest in a knitting group on campus; people from the fashion school and others.”

Whether “Getting Down to the Knitty Gritty” becomes a permanent event on campus or not, students are encouraged to drop the pencil and brandish the needle for a night of interwoven fun.

Sara Graca, freshman photo illustration major, said she is looking forward to taking a break from her busy week for “Knitty Gritty.”

“I’ve always wanted to learn how to knit,” Graca said. “I love photography and crafts, but I have classes and I work as a temp, so it’s hard to find the time. It’s going to be great to just be able to relax tonight and try something new and exciting.”

Contact On-Campus entertainment reporter Ally Melling at [email protected]