By MacKenzie Patterson
In a technology-dominated age, Knitting 101 is a workshop created in the hope of teaching students a valuable hands-on skill.
The workshops are held every Monday on the third floor of the Student Learning Centre in the Digital Media Experience Lab — a place where arts and crafts meets modern-day technology.
Trina Grover, one of the organizers, said that the idea behind the series is to blend textiles and computers. By doing so, students will be able to bring the traditional art of knitting into the new age.
They start with basic items such as mittens but will eventually learn to knit wearable computing projects such as circuit boards. According to the Ryerson University Library and Archives website, this beginner workshop will help students progress to future workshops planned around wearable-knit projects and computational fabrics or wearable computing.
Grover said that the workshop series provides students with a fresh and fun take on the craft. “We wanted to combine the art of knitting with computational technology to create something both functional and decorative,” she said.
“We all have a passion for textiles and it’s exciting because we’re applying the skill of knitting to technology.”
In its second session, the organizers saw a gathering of about six students from varying disciplines within the university.
“We’re hoping to see some engineering or technology students come because they probably don’t realize how applicable knitting is to their fields,” Grover said.
“Computational knitting is both a practical and decorative skill to learn.”
Martine Magnome, a first-year psychology student, came to the event to brush up on her skills and connect with other students who have the same interests as her.
“I want to get more experience and learn more about knitting because it’s a useful and practical skill,” Magnome said. “But apart from that, it’s also a great opportunity to socialize with friends.”
Not only does knitting give students a chance to make new friends and catch up on gossip, Grover said that it can also be an effective way for students to de-stress, especially with exams just around the corner.
“You’re being crafty with your hands, so it really helps you get out of your head. And we’re not doing really complicated patterns, so it’s just a great way to relax and have fun,” Grover said.