Warm Up, America! Knitting Club

Knitting ‘Knotes’

“A clique (or two) a day keeps boredom at bay,” say the third graders in the Bales Knit Club. In its 14th year, the Club and its the young needle-workers are at it again. Seventy-plus knitters strong, the group meets bright and early on Tuesday mornings to add stitches to their bookmarks, scarves, blanket patches, or baby hats. Volunteers from the community and mentors from 4th & 5th grades assist club sponsor Sandra Miller by teaching the knit stitch, unknoting unruly yarn, and encouraging the students to keep on keepin’ on. One stitch at a time, rows turn in to finished products, bringing smiles to the knitters as well as to the recipients of this service-learning opportunity. Volunteers are always welcomed; why ‘knot’ join us!

Warm up, America

Members of Westwood’s third-grade Knitting Club who stuck with it the whole year, even when spring fever hit, were on hand Wednesday to present a baby blanket and matching hat to Christina Garner from the Center for Pregnancy, who accepted the donation on behalf of an expectant mother and her child. Also joining us for this celebration were Laura Danielson, Kathy Tucker, and Evelyn Martin, volunteers from the local Knitting Guild who helped bind our 7X9″ blocks together into a beautiful patchwork afghan. This is the second quilt that this year’s needle-workers have made; earlier this year, they sent 650 baby caps to Save the Children for the Knit One, Save One Campaign. The club’s sponsor, Barbara Gruener, thanked the knitters for their dedication, perseverance, and hard work, and invited them all to return next October to serve as Knit-Club mentors.

Knitting ‘Knews’

Calling all third-grade knitting kids; are you ready to get the ball rolling? It’s time to go out and get those knitting needles because Knitting Club meetings are just around the corner. We’ll be starting Thursday, October 2, at 7:10 a.m. in the Westwood cafeteria. Please bring a pair of SIZE 10 SHORT knitting needles in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag labeled with the student’s and teacher’s names to Mrs. Gruener at your earliest convenience. Marie’s Yarn Shop in town carries the needles you’ll need, as do places like WalMart, Hobby Lobby, and Michael’s Craft Stores. The sooner we get the initial cast-ons finished, the more prepared we’ll be to start on the 2nd. We have plenty of yarn to get started, but we can always use an extra pair of helping hands, so why ‘knot’ plan to join us and volunteer to help with this awesome service opportunity!

**NOTE: For those of you who are not quite ready to start on the 2nd in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, no sweat! Come by anyway and watch, listen, and learn so that when you do have your supplies, you can jump right in.

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A Recess Click

Westwood’s third-grade knitting clique, 65 members strong, are meeting in the most unusual places. Our character cam caught them at recess this week getting individual lessons from club sponsor, Mrs. Gruener, along with community volunteers Mary Warwick, Kathy Tucker, and Laura Danielson.

Many of our knitters are well into their practice project, a bookmark for them to give away to a friend or keep as a sample of their very first knitting. Several have already finished their bookmarks.

A few are patiently waiting for their very own private lesson so that the knit stitch will start to click for them. Wherever they are in the process, these novice needleworkers are awfully excited about their new craft. Our next project will be making baby hats to donate to Save the Children’s Caps to the Capital Campaign. Visit www.savethechildren.org on or after Wednesday, October 15 to see their new home page, complete with a whole display of photos and video clips showing celebrity supporters who are joining us by knitting caps to Knit One, Save One.

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Learn to Knit? Why ‘Knot’?

Third graders will once again have the unique opportunity of learning to knit for service when our Knitting Club begins meeting October 2, 2008.

To date, we have knit hundreds of rectangles for our patchwork afghans and baby hats, all of which we donate to people in need. We are happy to partner with Save the Children again this year for their Caps to the Capital Campaign; we’ll be knitting baby hats for babies in developing countries and writing letters to the President-elect to ask for his support in helping decrease the infant mortality rate worldwide.

We meet once a week on Thursday mornings before school to add stitches to our patches as we socialize with our friends. This year we are also planning a lunch bunch knitting group.

Mentors from Bales come back to help and volunteers from the community assist us as we learn to perfect this lifelong skill.

The application for Warm Up America! will come home to all third graders in Friday Folders mid-September. In the meantime, students can purchase their size 10 short knitting needles at any local craft store. Marie’s Yarn Shop on Friendswood Drive will even give a 10% discount if you mention that you’re part of the Westwood Knitting Club. As always, volunteers and yarn donations are welcomed; we can’t wait to get the ball rolling!

For those students who want to get started memorizing the Knit Stitch Poem, here it is:
Under the fence,
From behind catch the sheep,
Back we come
and then off we leap.

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Teamwork is the one word that comes to mind as I look with awe at the wonderful handiwork of our little ones. Check out this beautiful afghan, a collection of 7X9″ rectangles, each stitch knit with love by our third-grade Knitting Club Members, our Bales Mentors, and our Community Volunteers.

When a Westwood student completes a patch, it’s turned in to our Bales Mentors.They crochet a border around the patch, then give it to parent volunteer Mary Warwick. With a needle and yarn in hand, she stitches the patches together and voila, it’s a patchwork throw. This year’s blanket will be donated to the Westwood PTO to be auctioned off at Round Upon April 12th. The proceeds will go to two charitable organizations, our PTO and Save the Children. With one month of Knitting Club meetings left, students are busily working on the next afghan, a baby blanket to be donated to the Center for Pregnancy for anexpectant mother and her newborn.

This year marks the fifth-year anniversary for Westwood’s Knitting Club and to date, they have donated a dozen handmade afghans to people in need.

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Knit Together

Our third-grade knitting club resumed meetings in February so that we could get closer to our goal on completing a patchwork afghan for someone in need. Bales mentors are hard at work crocheting a border around each of our 7X9″ patches; check out their handiwork! Each Thursday morning, we meet in the cafeteria for some social time and to add stitches to our patches. In between visits, students are encouraged to knit whenever and wherever they can, especially in the car on their way to their other activities. A few students have gotten so good at their craft that they can actually knit while they’re watching television! In any event, these little needleworkers are finding out that the more they knit, the faster their complete their patches, and the closer to finishing our goal we become.
We extend our sincere appreciation to our community mentors, Mrs. Laura and Mrs. Beverly, who come out early on Thursdays to help us detangle knots and pick up dropped stitches, to Mrs. Mary Warwick for coordinating the Bales mentors and sewing our patches into a blanket, and to our Bales mentors who give up their time and share their talents with us. The finished product truly is a team effort.
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Knitting A Memory

The third-grade ambassadors from Westwood’s Knitting Club met at Summerville of Friendswood on Thursday after school to deliver their handmade bookmarks to residents on the Alzheimer’s wing there. We were greeted with a smile and told by the employees that these people didn’t normally get visits from children. Interestingly enough, this outing proved somewhat challenging to the little needle-workers trying to give a gift to those who didn’t fully understand why the children were even there. A few of the residents actually gave their bookmarks back. One lady, however, seemed to momentarily regain her memory at the flash of the camera, and, when she realized that she could keep the bookmark, that it was a gift from us for her, her face lit up the room.

The joy and happiness that today’s brief visit brought to both the knitters and the residents truly made the confusion worth it. After sharing their bookmarks with their new friends and chatting about their new craft, this tightly-knit group sang “We wish you a Merry Christmas” before heading home. We thank Summerville for giving us the opportunity to share the gift of our time and our handiwork.

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Bookmark It!

These days when people talk about a bookmark, it quite often refers to a website address that they want their computer to remember. That’s not, however, what the word bookmark means to the knitters in Westwood’s third-grade Knitting Club.

Check out these colorful handmade bookmarks, beautifully crafted by our little needle workers. Members of the Club and their Mentors from Bales have been invited to Summerville at Friendswood (1310 S. Friendswood Drive) on Thursday, December 6, to deliver their handiwork to the residents there. Students are asked to meet Mrs. Gruener, the club’s sponsor, and the parent volunteers at Summerville at 3:30 p.m that afternoon to spread some holiday cheer and greet the recipients of their bookmarks.

It promises to be a heartwarming, inter-generational activity, so “bookmark” your calendars now.