Knitting Club welcomes all experience levels

The Knitting Club has grown in popularity and its knitters have become skilled at their craft.


Imogen Sharif '23

Knitting Club meetings take place in a relaxed atmosphere.

Imogen Sharif '23, Haven Arts Editor

Whether or not you know how to knit, crochet, or other yarn-weaving craft, the Knitting Club welcomes you with open arms. Students have created a space on the fourth floor where anyone can learn a new skill and enjoy a stress-relieving experience with friends. 

Knitting Club was founded last year, and is held in room 402 on Thursdays. Their teacher advisor, Ms. Beth Winkowski, is an avid knitting enthusiast and wanted to create a fun space for students. This is the second Knitting Club run by Winkowski in her career.

At Winkowski’s previous school in Washington D.C., an hour each month was set aside for community bonding between students and teachers. Each teacher sponsored a non-curricular activity, and Winkowski taught students how to knit. 

Winkowski’s first year teaching at Strath Haven was interrupted by COVID-19, making it difficult to create new connections and clubs among students. When hybrid learning began, the few students who came to school expressed interest in being involved in a club.

“When I came to Strath Haven, I originally wanted to start a club to spark more interest in math, but at that time I saw a more pressing need for students to have an opportunity to socialize and bond. Knitting Club seemed like the perfect solution,” Winkowski said. 

Her students agreed that Knitting Club was something they wanted to have at SHHS. 

“Over quarantine, when we had cohorts, I only had a couple of students in person, and we got really close,” Winkowski said. “I talked to them about my old school and knitting and they were so on board with it.”

During the 2021-2022 school year, when students were back in person, Winkowski and her students finally had the opportunity to start Knitting Club. She enlisted two of her students, juniors Caeli Rieger and Meg McManus, both of whom showed a passion for crafts and wanted to create a welcoming space for students. 

“Students in Ms. Winkowski’s class came up with it,” Rieger said. “She knew that I was interested in knitting and I would be someone willing to do the paperwork and get the club started.”

Other than Rieger and McManus, other students who had an interest in knitting from the start of the club joined in, and they helped to build the Knitting Club into what it is today. 

Senior Erich Boerth, a self-identified “big knitter,” has been a member since the very beginning of Knitting Club. He is a major advertiser of Knitting Club, and will most likely invite you to join if given the opportunity. Boerth’s efforts have sparked a large increase in club attendance.

“I don’t think it [Knitting Club] was extremely popular in its first semester. I think they had a few people, but then me and my friends have slowly filtered in, and we’ve turned it into a decently big club,” Boerth said. 

Regardless of your skill level, the upperclassmen that run Knitting Club invite you to join, either to find comfort in the community or learn a new skill. Rieger identifies that as the main purpose of the club. 

“The goal is to let people knit and to get the tools and knowledge to knit. We have knitting needles and yarn that we provide people with,” Rieger said. 

Newer members are allowed the opportunity to try knitting in a welcoming space with a variety of levels of experience. Gianna Bergin, a junior with no previous knitting experience, joined Knitting Club this year during the second quarter.

“I went to Knitting Club and I started not knowing how to knit at all. It was easy to learn, Erich went around and taught me how to do the regular stitch,” Bergin said. “I had to keep relearning every time I went because I kept forgetting. But after a while I just kind of got it, and now I’m knitting a whole hat.”

Bergin works alongside her friends on Thursdays and has seen a huge growth in her own progress in weeks. That’s a common theme among the students in Knitting Club. 

“It’s not always obvious, since Knitting Club is once a week, but the people who have been with us since the beginning of Knitting Club really have learned a lot,” Rieger said. 

One of the most important parts of the Knitting Club is the opportunity to learn even with no experience. Ms. Winkowski, student leaders, and peers are always open to help teach new members. 

“You should come to Knitting Club regardless of experience,” Bergin said. “You can come with no experience at all and it’s really nice and everyone’s really fun.”