Pioneer Activities Council Collaborates Knitting Workshop with Local Guild

6 people hold blanket with college logos

On Sunday, February 18th, the Pioneer Activities Council (PAC) featured Knit Wits, a free knitting workshop event. Attendants had the opportunity to learn from knitting experts in the community.

The K.O.M. (Kanawha, Ohio, and Muskingum — the three rivers in the guild area) Rivers Knitting Guild, a part of The Knitting Guild of America (TKGA), taught the knitting workshop.

“Our Guild was founded in 2007 and has a current membership of around 25 people from around the mid-Ohio valley. We are members of The Knitting Guild of America (TKGA) and are a sanctioned guild” said Brynn Rader Riordan of K.O.M.

It also wasn’t the first time that the K.O.M. Rivers Knitting Guild has put on events like this.

“This was our third year joining PAC for the Knit Wits event at MC,” said Brynn Rader Riordan. “One of the major mission statements of the K.O.M. Rivers Knitting Guild is to promote the craft of knitting through education, awareness, and community outreach.”

The knitting workshop gives students an easy-to-learn introduction to knitting. The students were taught how to make arm-knitted cowls, which Rader Riordan mentions has “an overwhelmingly positive success rate.”

“The thing that surprised me most was how quickly knitting techniques become muscle memory, after a few minutes you don’t even think about what to do, you’re just doing it” said Franco Biondolillo ’18 (Painesville, Ohio).

Other than learning the basics of knitting, the activity itself has health benefits, especially for college students.

“The health benefits of knitting are well-documented,” Rader Riordan said. “Lower stress levels, better memory retention and increased eye-hand coordination are all benefits of knitting. College students especially can always use a little boost in each of these areas, so why not make something beautiful for yourself or others and help yourself out at the same time?”

Biondolillo saw the event as a time to free his mind from school.

“I enjoyed having something to take my mind off of schoolwork for a bit and being able to have good laughs with friends when we got lost on what to do,” he said.

Brynn and her guild also gave away a special Marietta College-themed blanket at the event. It featured 12 blocks, each with a unique design.

“I designed a Block-A-Month for the Guild that explored a new technique each month, for a total of 12 squares that could be sewn together to make an afghan. When PAC approached me about doing the Knit Wits again this year, they asked if our members could make something that could be raffled off at the end of the event,” Rader Riordan said. “I immediately thought my Skill Builder Afghan would be a perfect fit, albeit with some personalized modifications. So I tweaked several of the blocks to be MC themed and asked guild members to help out. PAC supplied the yarn for us and nine members knitted 12 blocks. I sewed them all together and that’s how it came to be!”