The author is a member of the organization.
It is common hour on Friday, and yarn enthusiasts are gathered in room 124 in the Central King Building. Many are sitting at desks and furiously crocheting away, while others watch tutorials, trying to follow along with their own hooks and yarn. Calming music plays from a speaker next to boxes of supplies, where several students are sorting through skeins of yarn.
This is a typical meeting for the Knit N’ Crochet Club, one of NJIT’s many service-oriented organizations. Since its founding, the Knit N’ Crochet Club has provided a way for students interested in the textile arts to hone their craft while serving the Newark community.
The club collects a variety of handmade items — hats, scarves, socks, blankets, stuffed animals — and donates them to shelters in Newark, such as The Apostles’ House. Varsha Thampi, a third-year biomedical engineering student and president of the Knit N’ Crochet Club, notes that the number of donations has steadily been increasing each year, with almost 200 items donated to the shelters last semester.
Thampi believes that the club’s increasing success can largely be attributed to the influx of students who took interest in its activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. She mentioned, “Many people — myself included — picked up crochet hooks and knitting needles for the first time during quarantine. Now, these people are the ones teaching new club members how to knit and crochet, so it is very beginner friendly, and all the tools are provided. It is wonderful to see so many members contributing to the donations and giving back to the community.”
In addition to their work with the Newark community, the Knit N’ Crochet Club actively engages students on campus, with frequent contests and boba nights. They also hold alternating “Knit at Night” Wednesday evening and “Crochet by Day” Friday morning meetings, where members are welcome to ask questions or troubleshoot for various projects.
For the coming semesters, the Knit N’ Crochet Club is looking to expand their activities and increase collaboration. In the past, the club has worked with other service organizations and fraternities such as Alpha Phi Omega for distribution of donations.
“I’m particularly interested in collaborating to add variety to our events and types of service opportunities,” said Thampi. “For example, we are planning presentations with organizations to promote sustainability and waste reduction. We would like to go over upcycling and repurposing clothes, as well as hold events during which members learn how to knit their own bags and baskets.”
The Knit N’ Crochet Club welcomes all new members, regardless of their skill level. For more information on how to join the organization and to learn more about their meetings and activities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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