When I came back to ACU, I decided to resurrect an old program that I had done when I was an RA here. I used to have a community service group called Team Tabitha. I taught the girls on Team Tabitha traditional domestic skills, with their first project being a service project. (We did baking, and took cookies to the firefighters in town. We did flower arrangements, and took them to nursing homes. I taught knitting, and they donated their scarves to the homeless.)
This year, I revamped the program. We created the Gardner Hall Intramural Knitting Team. I ordered team tshirts. The girls started calling our get togethers "meets". We met once a week. I taught them simple knitting, and offered them service hours if they donated their scarves to homeless ministries.
45 girls came to the first "meet". Attendance varied after that...anywhere from 3-30 residents in any given week. I started seeing girls knitting in the lobby, at football games, in the campus center. It is epic. And really, that may have been an underlying motive in starting the team. See, I don't look as strange or odd when I am constantly knitting at events around campus anymore because there are a lot of people randomly knitting. Instead of trying to blend in with the "normals"...I have proselytized...creating more "quirks".
Once the tshirts came in, guys wanted in on it. Officially I have 7 guys on the knitting team...in that they ordered shirts. I have only seen 3 actually pick up needles.
I have had residents come knock on my door at 10 o'clock at night...holding their needles and yarn tentatively in front of them, with huge eyes..."I did something wrong! Can you fix it?" I have fixed more dropped stitches and knots this semester than the previous several years combined. (The really exciting oopses happen when my lefties come to have me fix stuff.)
I have also had crocheters come to me for help, and more than a few hand sewing emergency help requests as well. I am getting quite the reputation for handiness!
So far a lot of my residents have completed their first scarves. Some have gone on to knit more for Christmas presents out of "fancy" yarns. A couple have even learned how to purl, or knit in the round. It has been, by far, the most popular hall program this semester. I can't wait till next semester to see what they come up with!