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On friends and needles: WHS students learn to knit

The new Woodbury High School Knitting Club meets a couple of times per month before school to work on knitting projects, to learn knitting techniques and to hang out with friends.

High school students today live in a fast paced world with classes, sports, activities and jobs. One Woodbury High School activity, however, is hoping to get students to slow down and take time to knit.

"Knitting is a closet activity, it's a stress free activity," WHS teacher Rachel Nicholas said. "You can just sit down in a mindless way and just knit."

The WHS knitting club meets a couple times per month before school on Fridays. The first-time group has about 20 members.

"For a new club to have this many kids, is pretty fantastic," Nicholas, who is the knitting club advisor, said. "But, it's not just knitting, it's great to get together with people who like the same thing."

WHS juniors Chloe Richter, Jacky Bandholz and Lexi Pantila decided to start a knitting club at WHS after spending an afternoon knitting during softball practice.

One day at practice, Pantila saw Bandholz and Richter knitting and immediately wanted to learn how to do it. From there the girls formed an informal knitting group during softball practices.

"We had talked about starting a knitting club, but it was more joking than anything," Richter said.

The girls said they enjoy knitting because it's a relaxing activity with an end goal.

"It's something productive to do with my time," Bandholz said. "Plus, it's calming."

The girls said they often give out their knitting projects as gifts.

"When you're working on something for a really long time, you can kind of get sick of it, but when you're finished it's so rewarding," Bandholz said.

The basic set-up for knitting club is that during the beginning of the meeting, members are taught various knitting techniques.

"First we just wanted to let people know how to knit," Richter said. "We have a lot of beginners, but most people catch on pretty quickly."

The rest of the time can be used for members to work on whatever projects they want whether that's mittens, a scarf, a hat or even a blanket.

The girls have added an additional element to the knitting club -- a service project.

Both Richter and Bandholz are involved with volunteer organizations at the schools, so they wanted to incorporate a service project into the club where they can donate various knitting projects.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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