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Ohio State students craft a warmer winter ‘One Stitch at a Time’

The logo for the One Stitch at a Time student organization that knits hats and scarves for the homeless. Credit: Courtesy of Esther Kang

Ohio State students are handcrafting cold-weather accessories to help those in need in Columbus, stitch by stitch.

Members of the newly-formed student organization, One Stitch at a Time, knit and crochet scarves, hats and blankets to donate to the less fortunate in the local community.

Esther Kang, a second-year in biochemistry and the organization’s president, said the organization is open to all students who wish to help warm the community.

“You can have literally zero skill and you are completely welcome as long as you’re OK with donating your work,” Kang said.

The service organization partners with Faith Mission of Ohio, a local shelter that houses and provides meals for men, women and families in Franklin County.

Kang said One Stitch at a Time will operate on donation cycles, meeting weekly throughout the year and donating a collection of items at once each winter. In the coming months, the group will make its first donation.

It can take anywhere from six hours to a couple weeks to make a scarf, depending on the pattern, Kang said.

“It’s really worth putting so many hours into it,” she said. “If I keep it, great, I have another scarf. But there are people out there who greatly appreciate getting something like that.”

Emily Hu, a second-year in marketing and One Stitch at a Time secretary, said knowing whom the items are going to makes it easy to donate them, despite the amount of work that goes into each piece.

“Having someone appreciate or enjoy something you made for them is better than keeping it for yourself,” Hu said.

The group currently receives funding only from the Council on Student Affairs, but hopes to partner with larger craft stores for supplies as the organization expands, said Vijay Rings, a second-year in neuroscience and the organization’s treasurer.

He said he recently learned to crochet from fellow organization members. He said learning to create something intended solely for donation has been rewarding on a personal level.

“When I finish my first scarf ever, I’ll be like ‘Wow, I actually did something and I can give it away,’ so it’s definitely a sense of accomplishment,” Rings said.

One Stitch at a Time meets on Fridays in Hitchcock Hall at 5:30 p.m.

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