Next generation takes best parts of grandma to college

Once a student leaves for college, the days spent at grandma’s house dwindle. The new Grandma Club on campus tries to fill this gap and lets students express their own grandma tendencies together. Flyers around campus advertised the first Grandma Club meeting on Jan. 18 with the words “Are you a hooker? Do you like needles? Do you get baked?” This language stems from “a new trend in the knitting world,” Aurie Asthar Ben-Ezri-Ravin, the unofficial president of the club, said. “The idea is that knitting is for everyone, not just the grandmas.” Ravin recommended two books for first time knitters and crocheters: “Stitch ‘n Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook” and the “Stitch ‘n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker.” Both books helped to inspire the flyers, Ravin said.Liz Sanders, the unofficial vice president of the club and knitter for four years, said “people like the posters so much they take them to their rooms.”The Grandma Club emerged from “a knitting social that met in U-Heights North,” Sander said. Judy Contompasis, co-founder of the original UHN knitting social, said “at our last knitting social meeting before Christmas break, we decided that we should really try to get recognized by the SGA.” “I just started talking to Aurie, and we were both interested in the same thing, so we decided to join forces,” Sanders said.”We have to write up a constitution, get an advisor and submit the paperwork to the SGA all by early February,” Sanders said. “Hopefully, we will make the deadline.”While its precursor was a knitting social, this club “is not just knitting. It is expanded to different handicrafts,” Sanders said. Sewers, bakers, quilters, knitters and crocheters were all at the second Grandma Club meeting Sunday, Jan. 25.”I decided to join for the company and to learn new skills,” Phil Morin, a freshman and first time knitter, said. “So far, I’ve tried casting on and maybe knitting one row.”Erin Hayes Pontius, a sewer since the age of nine, said “I’m more of a sewer, [but] I get the impression we are all going to get to learn to knit so that we can make hats for charity.” When asked about the first Grandma Club meeting, Jesse Taylor, a continuing education pre-med major, said, “There was a great turnout. People expressed all sorts of interests: knitting, crocheting, baking.” Taylor said he learned to knit from his girlfriend and that he donates everything he makes. “You get to love people through the knitting that you do,” he said concerning his donations.The club also has aspirations for doing group charity work. Going to an old age home and knitting with them as well as making chemo patient hats are a few ideas Ravin has.In addition, Sanders said, “In Africa, a lot of girls do not have [sanitary] pads and can’t go to school, so we are going to be sewing fabric pads for our first project.” The organization that ships the pads is called Goods for Girls, Sanders said.Yet beyond the charity work, “the club is a fun social thing to do,” Pontius said. “It is no fun to knit or hand sew alone.”Meetings are every Sunday at 2 p.m. in L/L’s Fireplace Lounge. Look for “The Grandma Club” facebook group.