From a knitter: I found the knitting group when the teaching break had just started and suddenly, the campus seemed very big and empty to the little country girl inside me. A friend told me to come along one day, and I had no idea what to expect when I walked through those swishing doors out of the cold and into the warm Learning Community Hub in Union Court. There I was pulled onto the couch next to my friend and introduced to a group of friendly students knitting rather complicated designs. It was there with hot peppermint tea and a TimTam that I, sheltered from the outside world and amid laughter and jokes, tried my best to remember how to knit.
Woroni caught up with Caitlin, who currently runs the group, to ask a few questions that will hopefully encourage some readers to pick up their knitting needles and join in.
Why did the knitting group start?
The knitting group began last year as a project run by the Student Experience & Careers Development Office. The idea was to give students an opportunity to relax and be creative, but also to give back to the ANU community by making scarves, beanies and other knitted items to give to new students. A lot of incoming students don’t realise that Canberra is cold, particularly those international students who arrive mid-year in time for Bush Week.
How have new students reacted to the project and receiving a knitted gift?
Many students were amazed and touched by the generosity. A few of them mentioned that it was a lovely way to be welcomed and something they did not expect, particularly with the cold winter.
Why do you think it’s important that we have a Knit for New Students?
I think it’s important because it’s a creative outlet that has a purpose. It allows students to escape from the stress of their complicated everyday lives and focus on a simple rhythmic physical task. Knitting is a rejuvenating exercise and it allows people to spend time with a group of people they might have not otherwise met. But it also creates something positive, both in students being able to see the results of their hard work clearly, and in the receiver who is welcomed to the ANU with a symbol of community. At the end of the day, you’re doing a good deed where you can make new friends, learn new skills and welcome new students!
KFNS meets every Friday in the Learning Centre in Union Court at 12pm, no matter your knitting ability you’re most welcome to come along!