A New Stitch in Student Association

Photo by Mary O'Leary
Photo by Mary O'Leary

The Student Association at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz is now inviting anyone interested to come and stitch or crochet their hearts out with its new Hooked on Stitches Club. Added only at the beginning of the semester, the organization offers a stress-free zone where anyone is invited to come out, calm down and create.

Although the club was just made official on campus, it was sort of a work in progress over the last year for the club’s president, fourth-year history major Rachel Herman. It all began as Crochet for a Cause last year, which would meet at the former Muddy Cup where they would make toys and donate them. There was also an event for the FYI program that provided lessons for any students.

“It was very inconvenient meeting in town because most of the people who knew how to crochet were living on campus,” said Vice President Luigi Scarogni, a third-year communication and media major who was one of the club’s first members.

Everyone seems to believe that things have been coming together quite well.

“It’s amazing,” said Herman, who started crocheting when she was nine, when her mother taught her. “[At first] it felt like there was no on else on campus that was interested. I don’t think you know how excited I am.”

The club came to inherit Student Union 318, but is currently waiting to move into a bigger room due to the crowd its drawn. Herman imagined it would be a group of friends sitting and stitching, and was ecstatic to see a collection of about 15 crocheting away in a circle on the Atrium’s ground floor this week.

“I figured an excuse to come sit down and relax would not be a bad thing,” said first-year undeclared student Maddy Grupper, who has been knitting for some time, but never manages to keep at it for too long. She seemed enthusiastic about returning to the club in the future, so she wouldn’t take “two years” to finish each project.

Rather than sitting around and recreationally making scarves and socks, however, the club also has a couple of goals that any interested members can pursue at will. One such aspiration is to make baby blankets for Project Linus, which “provide[s] love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans.”

They also plan on participating in the Recycling Club’s Recycle Crafts Fair, where a number of creations will be made by using recycled goods, such as plastic bags.

The club also hopes to add some adventure into the mix, intending to take a field trip to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds on Oct. 16 and 17.

To find out more about the club, go to the meetings on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., or check out “New Paltz Hooked on Stitches” on Facebook, where it says “Whether you’re hooked already or have a longing desire to learn, come cast on to help us make something!”