Stitch it forward

By on April 5, 2017

Quinnipiac will welcome “Stitch It Forward,” a new knitting and crocheting club founded by Jaclyn Munsinger and Devin Shields-Auble.

MunsiIMG_4067nger, a freshman occupational therapy major from Long Island, New York, along with her vice president, Shields-Auble, a business-management freshman from Yarmouth, Maine, think it will be fun to teach students how to knit and crochet.

Shields-Auble attributes the idea all to Munsinger.

“I think the credit should go to Jaclyn. She was really the one who came up with it and motivated the start,” Shields-Auble said.

The idea came to Munsinger after coming up with a plan where students could knit individual squares and sew them together to create blankets for chemotherapy patients. The Long Island native hopes to continue this charitable trend in her club going forward.

“We hope to have service projects where we can make items for organizations in need.  We have ideas like making baby hats for the hospitals. Or making plastic mats for the homeless,” said Munsinger.

Munsinger is confident that students will be excited to join the new club. She has been working incredibly hard to kickstart the new school organization with the help and support from her friends and staff.

“I got my friends together who know how to either knit or crochet. I bought a box ton of yarn back with me from spring break so we (can) teach people how to crochet or knit,” Munsinger said. “We’ve got an enthusiastic advisor (Stefan Znosko) who’s ready to learn. All the paperwork is in, and of course, I already have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to (the) club that’s filled with patterns and ideas.”

Munsinger’s passion for crocheting started at a very young age. She even taught herself how to crochet in fifth grade by watching tutorials on YouTube.

“I‘ve been a grandma from a very young age. I wanted to learn, so I took a class to get started. After that I learned through watching YouTube videos,” she said.

As for Shields-Auble, his mother introduced him to the art of knitting at a very young age.

“When I was younger and I lived in New Hampshire, my mother was constantly involving me in her knitting projects and I probably started, on my own projects, somewhere around the age of six or seven,” he said.

Shields-Auble uses knitting as a way to escape and find time for himself.

“I see knitting as a way to get away from screens and constant mental and visual stimulation. Obviously, you need to pay attention while you knit, but it is very relaxing and a good release,” he said.

Munsinger has done a lot of research on whether yarn-crafting can benefit students’ mental and emotional health.

“From researching, knitting and crocheting relieve depression, crafting reduces anxiety, projects build self-esteem and yarn-crafting builds community,” she said.

In a Lion Brand Yarn Company article that Munsinger read, it notes that knitting and crocheting brings the mind to a calmer space which could help students cope with anxiety through the repetitive motions and the need to keep the focus.

Students with little to no knowledge of how to knit or crochet are more than welcome to join.

“Anyone can join. I’m sure we will get people to join who are much much more experienced than myself, but I also know there will be people who have zero knowledge. As for them, we can teach them,” Shields-Auble said.

The duo hopes to bring people together through this fun and creative craft.

“We plan on teaching people how to knit and/or crochet. People will be able to connect with others who have the same interest as them,” Munsinger said. “I can’t think of a better activity (than) crafting and helping people.”

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