Knitting addiction deemed community crisis

Isabella Zhang, Staff Writer

Knitting, initially introduced as a means of relaxation during Wellness Week, has become a dangerous addiction for the student body. The activity has taken over every corner of the school and become commonplace for students yearning to destress and let go of their responsibilities.

The school first ordered knitting supplies for students for Wellness Week workshops that aimed to teach the craft to help students to relax, Director of Counseling and Guidance Dr. Ivanna FeelGood said.

“We did not expect the entire student body to go bonkers over the idea,” said FeelGood. “Last year, only 10 to 20 people showed up to knit, and this year, it’s the whole school, except for the MUN kids.”

During Wellness Week, knitting workshops boasted hundreds of participants each period, math teacher Chance Probability, who led a knitting workshop, said.

Since the workshops, yarn bombings have filled every corner of the school, including pieces with no real purpose lining the railings of the Olshan staircase as well as sweaters and scarves that students create to look hipster and authentic, Lisa Randolph (10) said.

Spanish teacher Julia Hidalgo first noticed the knitting obsession hit the classrooms when teaching her senior Spanish class during Wellness Week.

“At first it did not bother me, because most of the students were paying attention,” Hidalgo said. “I thought it was just a tradition of the senior slump, but within days everyone – and I mean everyone – had a knitting kit in hand, and kids were falling asleep in class because they were so relaxed.”

Knitting “dealers” have also become a phenomenon within the school, selling overpriced yarn and knitting needles to students who want to learn the craft in order to make a profit, Anna Rent (11) said.

Hidalgo is waiting for the school’s administration to enact a solution to the craze, and rumors have arisen of HMO and SOI classes committed to helping students understand and manage their knitting addictions, she said.

“What really worries me are the kids who leave in the middle  of class to knit in the bathrooms,” Hidalgo said. “It’s a cry for help.”

However, the knitting craze has reached beyond the classroom and into the administration. The Head of School has not been seen since he attended a knitting workshop at Wellness Week, the Director of Public Safety said.

The knitting craze has also followed students beyond the school campus. During the spring sport pre-season trip to Florida, coaches noticed that instead of tanning, the Boys’ and Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse Team sat together in a circle by the pool and knitted, Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse Coach Kara Penelope said. Students even stayed back from the Universal theme park to continue knitting their creations, she said.

Students also knitted during the annual senior Paradise Island, Bahamas trip, Catherine Gomez (12) said.

“I knitted all the time during spring break,” Gomez said. “Every morning when I got back to my hotel room after clubbing, I would need to knit a little to ‘de-stress’ myself, because of the thinking I’ve been doing when playing hard to get,” she said.

Students have been knitting in the classrooms, in hallways, in lunch lines, and even in one on one meetings.

“I mean, if the students don’t want to learn, why do I need to be here – can’t I just go home and knit?” a history teacher said. “It’s technically an old people thing, after all.”

Isabella George (11) thought that knitting was really relaxing at first, but it soon developed into an addiction, she said.

“It is not that I want to do this – it’s more about being an HM student who cannot help but finish everything to perfection that fuels my need to keep working on my piece and make it better,” she said.

“Knitting has helped me to become a better version of myself,” Randolph said. “It’s not an addiction – it’s a religion, and it’s helped me to achieve true happiness.”