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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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String Arts Squad weaves together a new club

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Co-President Maddie Tucker with some crocheted fabric and her dog. (Courtesy of Maddie Tucker)

Co-President Maddie Tucker with some crocheted fabric and her dog. (Courtesy of Maddie Tucker)

Creators aim to create a space on campus for comfortable crafting and sustainability

A new club has arrived on campus, completing the lives of thrillseekers everywhere: String Arts Squad. Perhaps that first sentence was a bit misleading. While knitting is widely considered the typical activity of grandmas, co-presidents senior Caitlin Edelmuth, junior Maddie Tucker and their club members are giving it new life.

While they both had previous interest in starting the club, they decided it was time to create it during the midterm break.

“I wanted to do something like this for a while,” Tucker said.  “I picked Caitlin up from the airport a couple of weeks ago, and we talked about how it would be a really cool thing to have a space for people to learn all these different things within string arts.” 

The name of the club begs an important question, “What exactly is ‘string art?’” According to the club poster, a string art can be anything from knitting and crocheting to rug punching and friendship bracelet–making. Essentially, if it is crafty and utilizes string, it belongs in their club. Edelmuth primarily knits and Tucker is a crocheter, but together they have explored a wide range of these techniques.

“Between the two of us we know a bunch of different methods of using string, so we thought, ‘Why not put it together?’” Edelmuth said.

The first two meetings were virtual and mainly focused on introducing members to the topic while also gauging experience and interest. The third meeting, however, was held in person in Ferris Lounge.

“I think it’s much more conducive to an in-person space just because it’s really hard to teach someone how to make a chain virtually,” Tucker said. “We’re not really able to get a hands-on experience with it.” 

The pandemic has required many events to be online, and although their meetings can now be in person, the marketing of the club began when they made an Instagram account. They designed the poster, created an account and got 111 followers very quickly. The first meeting drew 20 members, primarily freshmen, with varying levels of experience and interest in different string arts.

String Arts Squad is not an approved club on campus, but Edelmuth says this is somewhat intentional. Her understanding is they only have to register if they want funding from the school, which they do not yet require. However, she has plans to register as a club.

“We are eventually hoping to get approved, but we just wanted to start out and see how many people were interested and what the format of the club will be,” Edelmuth said.

They are currently planning a variety of events and collaborations with other clubs. Tucker said they hope to collaborate with Common Ground, an LGBTQ+ organization on campus, and have an event where they crochet pride flags. They also plan on partnering with Students for Sustainability during Earth Month and creating some reusable swaps for cotton balls and washcloths. They also plan to teach participants how to mend clothes to give them additional use. Edelmuth said that the goal of sustainability really seemed to resonate with members and writing it into the way that the club functions. 

“We’re trying to recruit exec [members] right now. We are hoping to have the same exec that you would see in other organizations like a secretary and treasurer. We are also hoping to have a sustainability/philanthropy chair who can spearhead those projects,” Tucker said.

As the club begins to grow into its full potential, Tucker hopes that when she graduates next year, she will have made String Arts Squad a welcoming space.

“I’m hoping that by the time I leave, this is a well-established place that’s a safe spot for anyone who wants to come learn any of these new skills,” Tucker said.

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