Strands of yarn dangle over two needles as sophomore Cindy Tran loops them over and under to weave a pattern. After hours of work and sore hands, it will become a scarf, hat, or glove that will be in someone else’s hands.
Starting in eighth grade, Tran watched videos on YouTube to learn the basic patterns and techniques of knitting. She finds that giving her knitted creations to her friends and family is more rewarding than buying a pre-made gift from a store. She prefers to knit with standard 10 needles and yarn, using the English style of knitting, a style of Western knitting where the yarn that will be knit into the creation is carried in the right hand.
“Knitting has more emotion [and] passion to it [than buying a gift],” Tran said.
When knitting gifts, Tran selects materials and a design based on the person receiving it. Once she finishes a project, Tran gives the item to a friend or family member as a gift for a holiday or birthday. Their reactions are a large reason why Tran continues the hobby of knitting.
“[My friends and family] appreciate it, and they’re surprised because not a lot of people knit,” Tran said. “I feel happy when they’re happy.”
Due to her busy schedule, Tran prefers to knit during long holiday breaks while watching Korean dramas. One item can take up to two days to complete if she knits for several hours each day. The “tedious” process tests Tran’s dedication each time.
“I feel like a variety of skills is necessary when it comes to knitting, [like] patience, passion, [and] will power,” Tran said.
Originally picking up knitting as a hobby, Tran experiments with different stitching patterns and designs. However, she prefers to use the knit and purl stitches because they are the easiest for her to do. The knit stitch is done by pulling a loop of yarn from the back of the fabric to the front through a previous stitch. The purl stitch is the inverse of the knit stitch in which a loop of yarn from the front is pulled to the back of the fabric.
“My mission is to learn something new every day,” Tran said.
Although Tran did not originally plan to pursue knitting, seeing her cousins engage in various arts and craft activities compelled her to try this new hobby.
“I got inspired by my cousins because they used to knit a lot, [made] lanyards, and [other creations],” Tran said, “so I [followed] their paths.”
Tran finds knitting to be a peaceful and calming way to spend time giving back to the people close to her. She plans to become a better knitter with each piece she creates.