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Culture Shock: Knitting Nuts

ASU's Mad Hatters knit for charity

 by Stephanie Berger
 published on Thursday, November 3, 2005

<em>Photo courtsey of KRT Wire</em>/issues/arts/694732
Photo courtsey of KRT Wire
 

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While some students get sore thumbs from sending text messages or playing X-box, English literature junior Alison Lewis has another use for her fingers and free time.

Lewis is president of the Mad Hatters, a campus club that meets to knit and crochet, teach its skills to new members and donate its work to charity.

"Younger people are knitting again," Lewis says. "You don't just have to make a grandma's afghan anymore."

The Mad Hatters' members get together to work on their own personal projects, but also to knit blankets, sweaters and other items for Warming Families, a charity that donates the work to other charities that give it to needy families.

Lewis says last semester the group donated more than 60 projects.

"We can make anything and they find a charity that needs it," she says. "We don't have to get bored knitting scarves all the time."

Scarves, however, are a good project for beginners. Lewis says that it's easy to learn the beginning knitting and pearling stitches, and it gets more complicated from there.

Prices also vary, with yarn priced from a couple of dollars to up to $50 for hand-spun and dyed varieties.

More advanced members work on baby cardigans, sweaters and other complex patterns. There are even patterns for iPod covers.

Lewis says that crafting is a great break from homework.

"You can justify it by saying, 'I'm doing this for charity, so it's okay if I'm putting off my reading,'" she says.

Reach the reporter at stephanie.m.berger@asu.edu.



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