by Willy Nichter, Staff Writer
On Monday, April 17, the Women’s Concerns, or WoCo, theme house and Volunteer Resource Center hosted a knitting circle in order to knit hats and scarves for the homeless outreach program Family Promise. WoCo is the feminist theme house on campus, and works to educate the community on both womens and gender issues.
“A big part of our mission is to advocate not only for women’s rights but also for issues of inequality when it comes to gender, sexuality, race, class, any type of identity,” said Kieran Wilson (’17), House Assistant for WoCo.
“The Volunteer Resource Center reached out to us because they heard that we had engaged in some knitting activities ourselves,” he said when asked about how the event came about. “There’s always been a long feminist tradition of threadwork.”
“I had an event on Martin Luther King Day, and we did this, so I really wanted to do it again,” said Kara Bradley (’17), Senior Coordinator for the Volunteer Resource Center. “It’s a great community builder.”
When the event began, Bradley and Wilson played videos demonstrating how to use the round loom, which was the method of choice for the night, but many people had difficulty with their efforts.
“I need help, ‘cause I have no idea what I’m doing,” said Beth Koenig (’18), who was using double thread as opposed to single thread. Bradley was constantly walking around the room assisting people with their efforts.
“The thread is really hard to knit with,” said Dory Crimmins (’19), one of the few attendees using knitting needles instead of a loom.
In contrast, Tammy Montgomery (’18) was handling the loom well. “This is so much easier than knitting,” she said.
Despite this, the event was a lively affair, with the participants talking, trading stories, and discussing their progress. The conversation covered a variety of topics, ranging from popular television programs, to music. “There’s a playlist on my phone that is just Erlkoenig over and over and over again, because I was trying to learn it,” said Crimmins, referring to the Franz Schubert song due to its similarity to Koenig’s last name. “Schubert, what a guy.”
When asked about why she was attending, Montgomery said, “Well, I live here, and I want to support the house, but I like doing good things for people. I like doing nice things every now and then.”
Family Promise, the organization benefitted by the event, is a non-profit organization which works to “help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response”, as can be seen on their website.