A stitch in time: Crochet Club offers school an artistic moment of calm

Seniors Snigdha Akula and Ipsa Bijumalla work on crochet projects at a club meeting. “Crochet is very relaxing. If you had a stressful day, you can just come here and it’s just a relaxing thing to do. Like drawing or painting, you can instead express your art through crochet,” Crochet Club member and junior Giovanna Mayotte said. Photo courtesy of Alexis Zayed.

East’s brand new Crochet Club is becoming a place where students and staff alike can express their creativity through the singular and somewhat rare art of crochet.

At the club’s meetings — hosted two times each month — club members bring their own colorful spools of yarn and stitch them together to make different types of clothing and patterns like granny squares, scarves, pumpkins, and more.

Even though crocheting is something that would seem unfamiliar to most, the club gathered a number of members fairly quickly and the process to start it was not a hard one, according to junior Club President Bridget Nagle.

“We didn’t really do a bunch of advertising other than putting up posters and doing the sign in the lunchroom. And a lot of people just flocked to it without us doing much,” Nagle added. “So it was pretty easy to get members to come and we didn’t have to convince a whole lot of people.”

Nagle learned how to crochet over quarantine prior to forming the club. It had become one of her passions and she expressed enthusiasm over being able to expand it to others. As president, Nagle said, she teaches beginners in the club how to crochet and makes sure that everyone feels comfortable and welcome. 

Nagle added that crocheting is an underestimated form of expression since it allows the artist through different hooks, styles of yarn, and patterns of yarn to make a number of things.

“Personally, I’ve used [the different implements] to make cardigans and stuff with rainbows and hearts that you wouldn’t be able to buy in store. It just makes me feel really happy,” Nagle said.

Crochet Club remains open to anyone with an interest and attracts members with some experience in the art and some still with no experience whatsoever.

Junior Arjun Ramesh said that he wanted to try something new and, after seeing a poster about the club, decided to join.

“You don’t really see Crochet Club too often so when I saw it in the weekly announcements. It was something that stood out to me and it seemed like it would be an interesting experience. It wasn’t something that I had ever tried before,” Ramesh said. 

Senior Gloria Bajlozi’s family had experience with crocheting and she herself had seen different knitted clothing that people had made on the internet. Fascinated, she joined the club in order to explore crocheting more.

“I’ve been doing this for fun and it has become a stress reliever for me. I’m just following along with the projects the club is doing right now, but in the future if I did it on my own, I would like to start making my own clothing,” Bajlozi said.

This club has not only been a fun hobby for students but also a relaxing thing for them to do.

Spanish teacher and club founder Alexis Zayed said that crochet had been one of her outlets to de-stress and she wanted a way for her to expand that to students around the school.

“I think way too many high school students are stressed out and way too focused on clubs and activities that are meant to boost their resumes and their college applications,” Zayed said. “We were looking for something that would help students meditate and relax and calm down and find joy. And since this is how I find joy, what better way to pass that on?”

“I think way too many high school students are stressed out and way too focused on clubs and activities that are meant to boost their resumes and their college applications. We were looking for something that would help students meditate and relax and calm down and find joy.”

Spanish teacher & Crochet Club Founder Alexis Zayed

For some, the club has created a unique opportunity for students to find a community that shares a common interest. 

Junior Lily Reingold was new to the school and used the club as an opportunity to build a community and new home. 

“It helped me alleviate stress after having a particularly stressful move here. And it really helped me adjust and meet a lot of new people,” Reingold said. ‘The people here are just so lovely in the Crochet Club. There’s no judgment about whether or not you’re new or old and it’s a very, very flexible thing. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or anything. They help accommodate you.”

This activity, which is all inclusive and something virtually anyone can learn, has worked to unite different students around the school. In the future, once all the members know how to crochet and are ready, the club has plans to donate crocheted items to different charities.

“Our focus currently is just to get the kids excited about crochet as much as possible,” Zayed added. “But there are organizations where you can crochet hats or blankets or scarves and you can donate to very worthy causes.”

For now, the club works as a place where students can express their creativity and continue to learn and master this new skill.

“You can make anything. You can make clothes, which is actually really amazing. You can make your own wardrobe,” Reingold added. “And it’s a really nice comfort to have, knowing that there’s going to be a group there with something in common with you.”

Crochet Club will meet next on December 10th in J105.

Saba Ahmed is a staff writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

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