Chemists get Crafty at Knit Night

By Jordan E. Nutting
Graduate Student, Stahl Group

Graduate school can be a stressful time, and many graduate students and postdocs in the Department of Chemistry have hobbies that they use to relieve the stress of experiments, paper submissions, and deadlines. A “Knit Night” event sponsored by the Graduate Student and Faculty Liaison Committee (GSFLC) sought to introduce students and postdocs to a new way of relaxing and relieving stress – knitting.

During the event, Desiree Bates, the department Computational Computer Center Leader and long-time knitter, taught the basics of knitting to a group of students equipped with aluminum needles and a ball of cotton yarn. Students learned how to cast on and do the basic knit stitch. Experienced knitters from the department also participated, using the opportunity to work on their own projects, from socks to hats to a baby blanket, and to help the beginners get over the initial learning curve.

Desiree shared that she first started knitting when she was in grad school, as a way to relieve stress at the end of the day. Once new knitters get comfortable with the craft, knitting can be meditative, providing a quiet space during otherwise stressful times. It’s also a creative outlet that eventually rewards knitters with a tangible (and perhaps useful) product.

At the end of the night, students took home their WIPs (works in progress to the knitting community) which could eventually turn into a small dishcloth.

Keep your eyes open for other stress relief events sponsored by the GSFLC this semester!