LOJ students Knit for Newborns
"In an era of smartphones and social media," parent George Foster says, "knitting is making a comeback. Kids at Lake Oswego Junior High formed a knitting club last fall, and its ranks have grown steadily all year."
And now the club, led by Foster's daughter Annelise, is wielding yarn for a good cause.
In February, Annelise and fellow sixth-grader Yadriana Rivera started volunteering through Hands On Greater Portland, an organization that creates done-in-a-day volunteer projects. The LOJ Knitting Club's project? Knit for Newborns, which is a regularly offered project involving knitting, crocheting or quilting anything baby-related that will then be donated to the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Clinic and Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.
"I think that it's good because babies get cold when they're born, and it's nice for them to get a hat," Annelise says.
In May, the LOJ Knitting Club gave 72 hats to help keep infants from getting chilled. Annelise and Yadriana had done the project before, making 15 hats in March and 12 in February, but this time, they got the whole club involved. There was even a contest — with yarn as a prize —to see who could make the most hats.
Annelise plans to continue the club next fall. She also plans to hold onto the hobby she picked up a few years ago from her grandmother and restarted again in earnest this fall.
"It's fun to do because, instead of just watching TV or being bored in the car, I knit when I'm bored," Annelise says, "and it's fun because you actually get things done."
She also knows how to make stress balls, scarves and bunnies with pom-pom tails, and she even knitted a small blanket once for one of her cousins.
She's also inspiring others to join the club to learn how to weave yarn into warm garments and pieces of whimsy.
Yadriana says Annelise taught her a time-honored craft and gave her the opportunity to do something that she loves.
"I like helping people or giving them stuff," she says. "I think it's a nice way to appreciate them."
Foster says he is proud of his daughter "for growing in her own skills and imparting those skills to others." He says he also really likes the social element of interacting with friends and participating in healthy, hands-on activities.
It's a break from the glut of technology in this brave, new world.
"This is the real world in your hands, and I think those kinds of opportunities are hard to come by these days," he says.