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VIDEO: Langley middle school students all wrapped up in crocheting

The fibre art has captured the imaginations of many students who have joined the school Crochet Club

Peter Ewart Middle School student Juan was intrigued when he saw education assistant Tanya Biddle using a small metal hook and yarn.

“I just thought, hey, that looks cool so I decided I’d like to do it, too, and she then she taught me,” he said.

Intrigue led to interest which led to trying out crocheting for himself. That inevitably led to the Crochet Club and roping in other students at the school to try the hands-on craft.

Juan has done sewing, knitting and finger knitting in the past, making things such as scarves, and some toy dinosaurs, and other items. He scours the internet for patterns and project ideas.

The school invited students to suggest clubs they would like to start, and he asked about a crochet club in September of 2022. Juan thought a few kids would sign up, but it’s become more popular than anticipated.

“At first it was just Juan and I, then suddenly the majority of the class wanted to participate, to a point that we could not accommodate with the supplies demand,” Biddle said.

Students of different ages and abilities make yarn crafts, some crocheting, some winding yarn around pegs on plastic looms to make tassels or pom poms.

In between bites of lunch, the students crochet away, often teaching each other stitches or encouraging each other when it’s necessary to rip out stitches to fix project. Lots of the yarn they are using comes courtesy of a community partnership with crafters at Harrison Pointe seniors residence. The club members and seniors recently met via a Zoom call to put faces to names and to discuss their special project.

“The staff at PEMS was eager to help out in collecting supplies,” Biddle explained. “We even reached out to the community for donations and this is when a group of seniors from Harrison Pointe Retirement Home generously donated crochet supplies, their time and energy in producing granny squares to contribute to our crochet club blanket.”

The results of the student and senior crocheting will be an inclusivity blanket.

“We decided to make a blanket. No matter what size or how we make it, everyone [contributes pieces], and we sew it together,” Juan explained.

Biddle has seen how what was once considered a craft that may have been destined for the history books in the age of machine manufacturing has grabbed the interest of so many students.

“The crochet club has benefited so many students in various ways, making them feel a sense of belonging. Many students have found a social group that share a common interest,” Biddle said.

Some find the activity calming and relaxing while others enjoy the creativity of learning a new craft.

“To see a skein of yarn all wound up in a tight ball can become so many items. They really have gained a sense of pride, built on their confidence and satisfaction through this old-fashioned activity that they can use as a life long skill. They have learned to work together by teaching one another crochet techniques and stitching the squares together,” she noted.

The blanket project also involves problem solving because so many disparate pieces must fit together.

“Through this blanket making process it portrays that each unique square and sometimes not-so-square square, fit together no matter what,” Biddle added.

Student Ceasar took up knitting a couple of years ago when his mom started. He tried it and then tried crocheting, which he prefers.

He’s kept up his interest, making various items including hair scrunchies, water bottle covers, and even a multicoloured sweater.

Sometimes the student has a project in mind and seeks out the right colours, and sometimes the yarn inspires his creation.

“Sometimes it can give you inspiration. Sometimes you know what to make and want a yarn that will go really well,” he explained.

Needless to say, it was an easy yes when deciding whether to join the crochet club when Juan started asking other students if they were interested.

Ceasar enjoys other hands-on activities such as sewing, but crocheting occupies his attentions right now.

“It’s fun,” he explained.

Ceasar likes that what starts out as yarn and a hook results in a useful item, something tangible that he’s made with his own hand, and no high score on a video game can beat that feeling.


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The Peter Ewart Middle School Crochet Club is making a blanket with contributions from all the members, includng Juan, Sthuthi, Reiden and Ceasar. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Members of the Crochet Club held up the group blanket for seniors at Harrison Pointe seniors residence to see during a recent Zoom call beween the groups of crafters. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Tanya Biddle, an education assistant, showed Harrison Pointe residents during a Zoom call the sweather crocheted by student Ceasar, a member of the Crochet Club. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Juan, a Peter Ewart Middle School, started the club which is making a group blanket with help from Harrison Pointe seniors residence crafters. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
The Peter Ewart Middle School Crochet Club members meet during lunch breaks. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Students Kemi (foreground) and Vella are members of the school’s Crochet Club. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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