A Stitch in Time for Winter

Photo by Courtney Hargesheimer

Kenyon students warmed up to knitting after the Craft Center launched a winter project to soften the season for homeless families and residents of a shelter for battered women in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

Craft Center student manager Audrey Bebensee '10 of Corinth, Kentucky, decided to channel the high student interest in knitting classes into a program that combined compassion and camaraderie. Students showed up at the College Bookstore, settled into easy chairs, and took turns knitting hats and scarves as time allowed. The handiwork of several students went into each item.

"I felt they could learn something new, relax and take a break, and spend time getting to know new people but also help those in need," Bebensee said. Kenyon students, she said, are "generally looking to make the world a better place."

From December 3 through December 19, thirty-two scarves and hats were knitted and donated. The success of the project prompted Bebensee to start it again in February.

The project and the popular knitting classes at the Craft Center have helped open some student eyes to "where clothes come from" and to appreciate "the delight after making something by hand." To Bebensee, the hats and scarves made by multiple knitters combining various stitches, patterns, and styles were works of functional art. "To me, each scarf is a part of Kenyon," she said.

The activity caught the attention of the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, which published a story about the effort on December 20, accompanied by a photograph taken at the Bookstore.

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