The Close Knit Community at Siena College is a tight bunch for sure, but the group's name means more than that: think backstitching, casting on and binding off. When the crafty members come together—they try to meet once a week on Tuesdays—there's plenty of yarn to go around. We asked co-chair Sydney Sericolo '17 to loop us in (get it?!) with more details on this unique group, which is run out of the Franciscan Center for Service & Advocacy.
What does the Close Knit Community do?
"The Close Knit Community is a group of students and faculty who come together once a week to teach and learn new knitting skills or start from scratch. All levels of experience are welcome. Many of our projects, including scarves and hats, take a long time to make but our end goal is to donate the handmade items to a charity that will give them to people in need. We also serve as a way for students to de-stress when the school year gets busy. By taking an hour each week to work with our hands, practice a simple skill, and socialize, we definitely leave feeling more relaxed and energized than before."
How did it get started?
"The group started two years ago in the winter. After going on a service trip to Philadelphia, Judy Dougherty (Director of the Franciscan Center for Service & Advocacy), Courtney Tomeny (also a co-chair of the group) and I spent time knitting on the trip and decided we wanted to keep going when we got home. After seeing the level of homelessness and poverty in the cold winter months, we thought we could continue to help people in need by donating the supplies we make."
What made you want to form and co-chair a bigger group, and what do you love most about it?
"I’ve knit in my spare time for a while now and when I realized there are actually a lot of people who enjoy doing the same, we decided to make it more of an organized and formal thing. I love getting to see what other people are working on. I also love to help people who are just learning. It is really satisfying once it clicks for someone and they really get it. It’s exciting for me and for them."
What do you think having this kind of group says about Siena students in general?
"I think this shows that Siena students are diverse in their interests and willing and excited to learn new types of skills. This isn’t something you’d learn in a classroom, so I think it’s really cool that so many people love learning in other ways outside of their regular majors and have the patience to sit down and work on a project."
Care to join the Close Knit Community? Your first step...