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It is still dark outside on a Thursday morning as the knitters begin gathering.
Unlike the image some might conjure up of grandmothers wearing shawls and sitting in rocking chairs, these knitters are members of the Knitting Club and students at Central Hardin High School.
“The kids that come seem passionate about what they’re learning,” teacher Kristi Vernon said.
Anywhere from a half dozen to a dozen students meet every Thursday morning at the high school. Now in its third year, the idea for the club actually originated from a student, Vernon said.
“There was a girl who wanted to learn to knit, so I told her I’d start a club,” she said.
Vernon’s own interest in knitting came several years ago when she saw some projects online and decided knitting was something she wanted to do.
A faltering economy the past few years probably has contributed to the popularity of knitting in general, the teacher said. Shoppers see knitted items for sale and would rather make them than spend the prices asked for them.
Club members have other reasons for joining.
“I had several friends who were in the knitting club, and they encouraged me to join,” senior Mandy Hart said.
Likewise, sophomore Anna Huffman joined the club because of a friend.
Senior Karah Cruz has a relative to thank for her interest.
“My grandma knits, and it’s amazing,” Cruz said. “I think I’m still learning a little bit.”
That enthusiasm spilled over. Cruz’s boyfriend, junior Jacob Thompson, joined the club, too.
“She kept saying she wanted to go,” Thompson said.
At his first meeting, Vernon helped Thompson get his knitting started.
“It’s not as hard as it seems to be,” he said.
Eventually, Thompson hopes to knit a scarf.
Cruz, who started attending club meetings with Hart, made a cup cozy for a friend that’s her favorite thing she’s knitted. Hart’s favorite completed work is a scarf.
The item seems to be popular.
“I think it would be cool to have a scarf or something I’ve made,” Huffman said.
For the sophomore, learning to knit is more difficult than some might realize, she said.
As with other members, the Knitting Club was Hart’s introduction to knitting.
“It was hard at first, but then once you get it, it’s easy,” Hart said.
Though the high school students enjoy the activity, they realize not all their friends and fellow students share their view.
“They think it’s lame,” Cruz said.
“They think it’s weird,” Hart said.
That doesn’t deter the Knitting Club members.
“It’s actually fun,” Thompson said.
Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743 or email@example.com.