Knitting: boring, old-fashioned, lonely. Those and many other connotations are often associated with this craft. In reality knitting is anything but. Knitting is not as old-fashioned as you might think. Quite the contrary, knitting seems to be coming back into fashion as more young people get involved. It’s difficult to find a university that doesn’t offer some sort of knitting society (but of course, UEA’s KnitSoc is the best of them all). You can shape your knitting experience in whatever way you want: embrace your inner granny and do some knitting whilst watching Downtown Abbey with a cup of tea on the side or you can have a little knitting session with friends in a pub, which is exactly what KnitSoc’s weekly meetings look like. With a social every week where they knit their own little designs as well as working on bigger projects such as last year’s yarn bomb and an ever growing KnitSoc blanket.
Knitting is not a lonely activity. On the contrary, it gets you off your phone for once. Instead of checking social media for the billionth time that day, put that smartphone away and have a bit of a knit and natter with your friends. Knitting not only makes you sociable but it also gives you that satisfying feeling of doing something productive, creating something with your own hands. Be it a scarf, a hat or maybe even a nice jumper. This brings me to my next point of why knitting is a great activity for students: money. Instead of buying overpriced clothing, made under horrendous working conditions, from the high street, you can simply knit your own clothing. If you don’t want to keep it yourself, why not sell it at one of UEA’s pop-up markets? Or, alternatively, save some money on Christmas or birthday presents by knitting them yourself; the money-saving possibilities are endless.
Apart from helping your budget, knitting also gives you a great opportunity to help others. Knit for charity and do some good with a bit of yarn and a pair of needles! UEA’s KnitSoc is often in contact with Norfolk Knitters, supporting charities such as the International Aid Trust, the Red Cross or the Samaritans in either raising money with knitted goods or knitting stuffed animals, clothing and blankets for refugees, orphanages and hospitals around the world.
There are many things you can do with some yarn and a pair of needles and it’s anything but boring, old-fashioned, or lonely. Just see for yourself and come along to a KnitSoc meeting Sundays 12:00-14:00, and Tuesdays 13:00-15:00 in the Red Bar, and join their Facebook group (UEA Knitting Society) for updates. Don’t worry if you’ve never knitted before in your life, they’re always happy to help and teach others how to knit and crochet. So there’s really no reason not to try it and do some knitting as especially in these cold winter months a knitted hat or scarf might come in handy.