Upon hearing the word knitting, a few different images, specifically the stereotypes of grandmas and East Coast winters, come to mind. Point Loma Nazarene University is not the most obvious of associations, but a new knitting club, called Knit That Naz, is among this year’s list of PLNU clubs and societies.
Headed by three sophomores, sociology major Ann Vande Vegte, psychology major Elizabeth Olsen and information systems major Emma Smith, this new club has found remarkable success since its inception.
The idea for the club grew out of the three friends’ own knitting beginnings when they all started knitting together spring semester last year, in their dorms in Klassen. Soon, a group of people was all knitting together, and a spontaneous club formed in the dorm.
“We jokingly said we should start a knitting club–and then we did it,” Vande Vegte said. They filled out the paperwork, turned it in and then, two days later, Knit That Naz was officially a club. By the time school had started, they had received 150 sign-ups. The first meeting drew in over 50 people, with the second meeting seeing over 40 people.
“We ran out of supplies for the first meeting,” Vande Vegte said. “Every chair was full. People were on the ground.”
The club’s goal is to provide a space where people can gather to hang out and find relief from the pressures of daily life. “We want to get to a point where we can all knit absentmindedly and hang out,” said Olsen. “That is our goal for people. That they can knit, without having to think too much. For it to be stress relieving rather than frustrating.”
This goal is already proving to be true, as club-goers are finding value in the vibe and mission of the club.
“Participating in Knit That Naz has provided me a space where I can just take a break and forget about all my responsibilities and stress for an hour and just enjoy being with a group that is pretty diverse,” said Jenna Moses, a sophomore biology major at Point Loma. “It is very calming when you get the hang of it.”
The club is not just spreading this benefit to girls on campus, but it is also standing in the face of gender stereotypes. “There were a lot of boys,” Olsen said. “A lot more than I thought would come.”
“The benefit that this club has provided for me is the chance to meet people that I would never have interacted with before and learning how to knit, of course, which is not only something only for girls,” Grant Seale, a sophomore biology major, said about the club.
While the road for Knit That Naz has not been completely smooth, with the club reporting slight incidents of bullying, the club has been mostly embraced with open arms into the Point Loma community, all while it strives to create a community of its own.
The club currently meets at 8:00 p.m. on Sundays nights in Colt Forum. More information is available on their Instagram account, knit.that.naz.