Practice Makes Purl-fect
Everyone focuses on the future at the Foisie Innovation Studio, and with good reason.
From the makerspace and the prototyping labs to the 3D printers and sound studios, much of what goes on inside WPI’s newest building involves the latest and greatest technology.
But high-tech innovation isn’t the only thing happening in Foisie—every Friday, from noon to 1:30, the knit and crochet group meets in the Class of 1965 Conference Room to blend a bit of the traditional with the future.
Sharon Robsky, trainer, technical writer, and development specialist for Information Technology, started loom knitting in 2014 as a way to help her cope with a significant surgery her daughter went through. She steadily built upon the hobby, soon moving from loom knitting to crocheting to regular knitting.
After joining WPI in July of 2018 and being unable to make it to her regular Friday night knitting group, Robsky decided to gauge the interest for starting a knitting group on campus.
As it turns out, Robsky wasn’t the only one who was yearning for a bit of crafting time. “I’m told there used to be a knitting and crochet group here a few years ago, so people were excited about it when I started talking about the idea again.”
Robsky says the group consists of “a mix of experienced crafters and people using it as an opportunity to finally learn a craft that’s been on their bucket list for years.” Like the craft itself, the group transcends specific ages: students, faculty, and staff are regular visitors that get together, work on projects, and socialize.
The hour and a half acts as a bit of an oasis from the stresses of daily life; in here, the biggest thing to worry about is a dropped stitch (or which project to tackle next). Soundtracked by the quiet clacking of needles, group members drop in and out with casual greetings as they create someone’s new favorite gift or keepsake.
Group members are inspired by each other, and it’s easy to see why—crafts being worked on range from pillowcases and shawls to hats and scarves, as well as cross-stitch and embroidery projects. There’s even a handmade Pikachu plush sitting on one of the tables overlooking the meeting.
The group is open to all skill levels (Robsky can help beginners with anything they’d like to try) and the email group also offers advice and encouragement. As a whole, it’s a prime example of that something different that makes WPI, well, WPI. “My favorite part is getting to meet people I wouldn’t otherwise meet,” Robsky says, “and getting to know more about people I’ve met through my job.”
Those interested in joining the group may email Robsky for more information or to join the email group, or just stop by a meeting with their latest project—the more, the merrier.