Campus knitting circle brings warmth to those in need

Photo of Kim Owens and other members of the Wright State Knitting Circle.

Wright State Knitting Circle member Kim Owens and others Knitting Circle Open House held Sept. 28. Members work together to knit or crochet blankets and afghans for children and teenagers of Greene County Children’s Services and baby layettes and other items for Wright State students who are new mothers.

Part of a centuries-old tradition, a Wright State group has found a way to weave passion with charity. Since this past spring, the Wright State Service Knitting Circle has crafted a great deal of knitted and crochet blankets for the less fortunate.

“Service knitting has a long history in the U.S.,” said Carol Loranger, Ph.D., interim associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and associate professor of English.

“Women and men have come together to share their needle and hook skills for the very simple purpose of providing warmth and comfort to those who need it since Revolutionary War times.”

After casually sharing the book Knitting for Peace with the Wright State Women’s Center and Women Studies faculty, Loranger has witnessed the Knitting Circle grow at an exciting rate.

“The Knitting Circle brings administrators, staff, faculty and students—who might otherwise not have the opportunity to meet—together once a week to continue that tradition,” said Loranger.

The Knitting Circle has donated blankets to babies, children, teenagers and Wright State students who are new mothers. Since the Knitting Circle’s inception in March 2012, the group has donated 19 blankets and 45 scarves to Greene County Children Services, 20 scarves, four hats and eight stockings to the Family Violence Prevention Center of Greene County and 33 blankets to the Michael’s House Child Advocacy Center.

The Knitting Circle started as a faculty and staff initiative, but due to the curiosity and interest of students, members now welcome all prospective participants. Even those unfamiliar with the craft are encouraged to pick up a pair of needles. Members of the Knitting Circle have taught many newcomers the tricks of the trade.

“When I started, I had no clue how to crochet or knit,” said Mary Johnson, financial analyst for Wright State. “It took two sessions for the other members teach me; at first, I was very frustrated, but now you would think I’ve been doing it all my life.”

Typically, beginners knit or crochet squares. The more experienced members weave the squares into unique blankets.

“Helping someone is so rewarding,” said Johnson. “We have members of varying skill levels, but when a child has nothing, everything helps.”

Although everyone is encouraged to attend, participants must bring their own yarn and other materials. The Knitting Circle meets every Friday at noon in 162 Millett Hall. If interested in participating, simply show up at the next meeting, or for more information, contact the Women’s Center at (937)775-4524.

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