FAIRBANKS — Sitting in Spanish class one day this school year, eighth-grader Winter Weixelman was teaching her friend how to knit when she had the idea to spread that love to other students in her school.
Weixelman attends Barnette Magnet School in Fairbanks, which operates classes on a shorter rotation than schools on semester systems. Shortly after having her idea in Spanish class, she began taking an art class focused specifically on knitting.
That nine-week class was taught by Rebecca Kegley. Weixelman liked the class, but wanted to expand the practice further, outside the regular class schedule, by creating a school club.
“I was thinking it would be a great idea if we could make a club and everybody knits things and we donate them,” Weixelman said. “I took the knitting class that I had forgot I signed up for, and I was trying to edge the idea to her to make it seem like it was her idea, kind of like ‘Inception.’”
Kegley agreed to act as the club’s advisor, and it took off. As many as 26 students at once have attended the club’s meetings, Kegly said.
“Some weeks we have quite a few,” Kegley said. “Some grandparents will come and help out a little bit cause it’s hard to help 26 beginning knitters all at the same time.”
Parents and grandparents have also helped the club by donating much of the yarn for the students to use. In turn, the students have taken to completing the cycle by donating their finished garments. The club calls itself “Knitting for the Kneedy.”
On Jan. 29, some of the older students from the club walked from Barnette to The Door youth shelter to donate their completed winter hats and scarves.
“We wanted something with kids,” Kegley said, “where the kids could relate.”
The knitting club plans to continue practicing after school, but they’re not sure yet what they will create outside of winter apparel or where they might donate next. As for Weixelman, she plans to create a knitting club in her new school next year when she moves to high school.
Contact staff writer Weston Morrow at 459-7520. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMschools.