This month we’re back in the UK in the northeast of Scotland, catching up with the Aberdeen University Knitting Society.
When it comes to university there’s an array of different groups to choose from, from archaeology society to chocolate society to yoga society, so when we heard from Beth Miller we were thrilled to find out Aberdeen University had their very own thriving knitting club. There’s nothing more important than keeping our craft alive and the only way to do that is to ensure the younger generations are taught knitting too. Over the last decade homemade fashion has become a growing trend and knitting has gone from being a craft Grandma does to a hobby and skill that creates cool and individual garments. But what inspired these youngsters to take up the craft? The British weather of course! Beth tells us Aberdeen is really cold, so it’s essential to know how to knit. Always in the forefront of autumn winter fashion shows knitted garments are the key to keeping us cosy through the bitterly cool days.
The Aberdeen University Knitting Society formed many years ago, but because of the nature of the group the members are continually changing from year to year. Meeting on a Tuesday at 4pm to 7pm the group on average see’s 20 members get together to knit and natter. The group is a great way for new and unfamiliar students to make friends - from time to time the society gets international students on placement joining in too and as the members themselves like to say the club is a “low pressure social interaction with loads of banter.” A welcoming and friendly group, the Aberdeen students find themselves stitching and hooking along to great gossip and on the occasion they’re armed with tasty treats too; other weeks you’ll find them gratefully accepting stale sandwiches from the chaplaincy – after all waste not want not!
From pub quizzes (which the team are very proud of coming runner up in once) to pub crawls, you’ll always find this group of friends together, whether it be at knitting society or other social activities. Beth tells us about Sophie, who plays a key role within the knitting group as social secretary. Sophie is always keen to organise outings and loves to have a tipple or two with her friends. We think it is great the group not only knit together but find the time to see each other outside of university and the knitting society. Together the friends have hours of laughter, fun and craft time, teaching each other new skills or attempting to in the case of Sophie, who has been taught to crochet at least ten times, but can’t quite get the knack of it – we hear you though Sophie, some of us here at Deramores HQ can’t quite wrap our fingers around hooking either!
Together the group aim to get as many university goers knitting or crocheting as possible. With great enthusiasm and knitters of all levels, the members are always there to help each other out. So beginner or expert the Aberdeen University Knitting Society want to hear from you. Students and non-students alike are welcome to join and you can do so here. For the small fee of £2 you too can be part of this university society that focuses on an array of crafts from knitting to crochet to embroidery, so what are you waiting for crafters? Join these creative characters and get your hook on.
So what’s to come for the group…
“In January we’ll be running a workshop to make knit and crochet houseplants- they’re completely unkillable and because of the way they’re made they’re a great project for beginner knitters and more advanced ones.”
With the ability to even kill a cactus here at Deramores HQ we think some of us could do with joining the Aberdeen students in making everlasting plants too! The biggest challenge for the group has been raising the profile of knitting. Beth, has found many students at the university knit or crochet, but few had heard of the brilliant group at the beginning of the term – now they even have members from other universities.
Beth, herself began crocheting at the age of 15, hooking a hat from a tutorial she watched on Youtube and it was in the Aberdeen University Knitting Society where she learnt to knit, knitting a pair of hand warmers as her first project. Beth’s knitting highlight is a blanket she made for her parents a few years back, which to the day still proudly sits on their sofa. A big fan of James C. Brett yarns, we asked Beth if she could only knit with one yarn what would it be? And we’re a fan of her answer – “Something chunky and soft that comes in a lot of colours”, chunky yarns are some of our favourites too, they’re quick to knit up and create gorgeous textured garments, then choice of colourway is always a must too.
“I like to knit (and crochet) so I’m doing something active when I’m watching TV. It’s a really calming thing to do at the end of the day.”
University can be a stressful time with deadlines and targets; meaning every student needs an outlet. Various studies have shown both crochet and knitting help to relieve stress and as Beth has said are calming too, making these crafts brilliant hobbies for students especially. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed finding out about the characters of Aberdeen University and we hope you have too. It just goes to show from teenager to pensioner, knitting and crochet provide a creative release for us all.
Why not share your knitting or crochet group story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured and receive a £100 yarn bundle! We’ll be back next month with a knitting group from across the Atlantic Ocean.