The ‘Twisted Stitchers’ of Sheffield Area M/HS

Knitting has long been something associated with grandmothers in rocking chairs.

No more.

At Sheffield Area Middle High School, a group of students, both boys and girls, are learning to knit.

The Twisted Stitchers, as their hot pink club T-shirts proclaim them, are not shy about their endeavor.

“It’s fun,” Leevi Bloom said. “It makes time go quicker. You come to school and you don’t just sit.”

“No one should think it’s lame,” Katie Feidler said. “It doesn’t bother me that I’m in knitting club.”

“It’s just a hobby,” Bloom said.

And a practical one at that.

The club members, about 10 of them, are knitting Christmas gifts. “Our parents will actually use the things we make,” Feidler said.

“It’s going to be nice for whoever they’re giving it to,” Advisor Megan Leach said. “They put some time and effort into it.”

There are also benefits for the students. “‘I did something right and have a finished product,'” Leach said.

At the beginning of the school year, the club members, who meet for about 15 minutes at the start of each day, made headbands.

Leach said she started with fairly simple items. Some students are ready to move on.

“I want to make a hat or mittens,” Feidler said.

“Maybe even a scarf,” Bloom said.

Leach, who has only been knitting for about four years, admits she would have to look for help with mittens.

Those looking to start knitting don’t have to worry about spending a lot of money up front. Needles and yarn, some training, and time are the main requirements. Leach said there are internet videos that can help knitters lean new techniques. “I’ve had kids come in and say, ‘I purled last night,'” she said.

There had been a knitting club at the school, but it had fallen by the wayside, Leach said. She started the club this year after she realized there was interest among the students. Students who ate lunch with her last year saw her knitting and asked about it. “They wanted to learn how,” she said. “I brought back the club.”

“We had a sign-up for homeroom,” she said. She welcomed those students who wanted to join, but she wasn’t going to put up with students not knitting. “You have to understand, you are going to knit,” she said.

Knowing the requirements, the students signed up.

There are several members of the varsity football team in the club. “This is not a building that has a lot of stigma attached to it,” Leach said. “They don’t seem to mind.”

Bloom’s grandmother has been knitting as long as he can remember. “She’s just always done it,” he said.

Asked if he might sit down and knit with grandma some day, he said, “My grandma would love something like that.”

And the club T-shirts?

“Honestly, I think they love the hot pink shirts,” Leach said.

“It’s cool,” Bloom said. “I’m representing the Twisted Stitchers… the club I’m in.”