Knit Knacks hooks in new members

Alice Yu

Within a span of five months, senior Clara Brand went from a amatuer knitter to a co-founder and leader of her own knitting club, Knit Knacks.
Hoping to learn how to knit her own pair of socks, Brand approached the past summer with a goal of mastering the craft. While Branch was planning to learn how to knit with senior Marilise Stamps, co-founder and co-leader of Knit Knacks, a mix-up in summer schedules with their knitting mentor, Molly Means, left Stamps learning how to crochet with her grandmother.
Although the two partook in slightly different crafts, Stamps and Brand made it a goal to start a knitting community at RBHS where those who knew how to knit could do so with company, and students who wanted to learn could have a forum to learn and create their own projects.
“I would start taking my knitting places and I was amazed at how many people would be like, ‘Hey, I know how to knit,’ or they’d be like, ‘I really want to learn how to knit,’” Brand said. “That gave me an idea to make a club where everybody who wants to learn and knows how to knit, and anyone interested in knitting at all, could come. We could have a cool little community of knitters. When you knit, it’s fun, but it’s even more fun to knit with other people who are also knitting.”
In addition to creating a community, Brand and Stamps also hope to continuously donate baby hats to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Boone Hospital. The idea for the endeavor grew from Stamps experiences from attending Mini-Medical camp at the University of Missouri-Columbia this past summer.
After witnessing infants in the NICU as well as the supply of baby hats volunteers supply for NICU patients, Stamps brought up the idea of knitting baby hats for donations to Brand.
“My goal is to just eventually have it where we have a literal number of hats to donate,” Stamps said. “So just to say, ‘Let’s donate 10 hats this year.’ As more people learn how to knit or crochet, that number can increase, and we’ll just keep donating more and more hats each year.”
With only two meetings underway, members haven’t gotten far on creating a steady supply of baby hats. Rather, they’re still building a foundation for basic knitting that can hopefully extend past just baby hats and lend a hand to creating more complicated projects.

“When you knit, it’s fun, but it’s even more fun to knit with other people who are also knitting.” — Clara Brand, senior”

“The first meetings have just been teaching people how to knit, because a lot of people who come don’t already know,” Stamps said. “So that’s just been most of it, teaching people, and then kind of like getting ideas for projects that people want to do later on because right now we’re just laying the foundation for later projects and stuff.”
While senior Maddi Albrecht was only able to attend one meeting, that one hour of knitting instruction was enough to encourage her to continue her project of knitting a bookmark. Introduced to Knit Knacks by Brand, Albrecht still doesn’t know how to cast on, or start, without the help of others like Brand, but intends to learn.
“I actually brought my stuff to class,” Albrecht said. “[Senior McKenna Neville, another member of the club] and I are in the same AP Psychology class everybody was like, ‘what are you doing?’ and we replied, ‘Knitting.’”
Even though the current focus of the club is on helping others through donating baby hats to Boone Hospital, members and leaders alike are discovering that knitting actually serves as a calming pastime.
“You can make hats and socks. You can make your own things and make it fit and how you want it with what colors you want it, and you can give those as presents, but also, it can be really, really calming, just sitting there and just doing it,” Stamps said. “It calms me. It’s kind of a good way to relax.”
Already with a myriad of completed projects ranging from blankets to hats to baby toys to display her growth in knitting, Brand believes the reward in knitting isn’t the finished product, but rather, the company and community.
“The most exciting projects I’ve done is knitting socks, just because that’s really one of the main reason I wanted to start learning how to knit,” Brand said. “But honestly, I have the most fun, not really seeing the products, but just sitting down with Marilise and other people, knitting, hanging out and watching a movie.”