Fibre crafts are reminiscent of warmth, unity, and profound meditation. Each stitch, each row—all methodically joined to one another in precise, enchanting patterns.
As an overzealous knitter/crocheter in my younger days, I yarned to rekindle the boundless passion I once felt towards creating handmade textiles. So, I swung by the Nest on Clubs Day to chat with 2 execs of the UBC Knitting and Sewing Club—Marguerite Fischer (Vice-President) and Megan Yeo-Poulter (Secretary)—right in their club room.
Both Marguerite and Megan got into the fibre arts when they were in elementary school, and were thrilled when they found out about the club in first year. To open the conversation, I found it fitting to ask if they had any recently completed projects they could share with me.
“I mean...” Megan says, “Marguerite is currently wearing the sweater that she made!”
Marguerite says coyly, “It actually took me about a month working on it at home and during club meetings.”
Megan, on the other hand, focuses on an eclectic range of textile work. She’s knitted a shawl for her boyfriend's mom for Christmas, done lace patterns, and made many scarves and hats. “I haven't quite made my own sweater yet—just, like, a cardigan. But I have made baby sweaters that worked out really well!”
Making and mending in a caring space
UBC Knitting and Sewing Club blossewmed into being in 2012 and has since been the home of the fabric arts on campus. Club executives like Marguerite and Megan continue to give students the opportunity to experiment with fantastic crafts like sewing (the club has a sewing machine), knitting, crocheting, and cross-stitching.
The club holds semi-weekly meetings/workshops where members can learn new skills and techniques, or just work on their individual projects. The execs are there to teach basic techniques and help out club members—from those new to the textile arts, to expert knitters hoping to try out a different craft.
Marguerite and Megan assured me that the meetings are super chill (they don’t have an agenda...so the club's not too commitment-heavy!) and that members can just pop over to do their own thing, at whatever frequency and pace they find most comfortable.
“We try to start with simple projects,” says Marguerite, “like things that can get done in a meeting or two. If they get to do a small thing like a coffee cozy or a headband, that gives them a little more confidence that they can do this! And then we encourage members to search up projects of their own and continue from there.”
The club has also given Marguerite and Megan valuable learning experiences, from becoming adept at specific techniques to taking an egoless approach to their work:
“I had a lot of trouble completing projects before,” Marguerite confesses, “so having the set meeting times has been really helpful; and also it’s, like, getting used to pulling things out and starting again.”
“You have to be very comfortable ripping out your own work,” says Megan candidly.
Friendship & support, braided together
“We’re all really interested in knitting, crocheting, sewing,” says Marguerite. “So, I think when people come regularly, you not only get to work on your own thing, but you also get to see other people’s projects and see them make progress and finish things.”
Here are some spindledly magnificent projects that club executives/members have worked on:
- Crochet amigurumi (kawaii little animals)
- Disney cross-stitches, like Cinderella’s Castle and Pinocchio and the Blue Fairy
- A double-knitted hat, a gorgeous work-in-progress by Marguerite!
The environment also flourishes with lots of positive energy. Megan says, “Everyone’s there to support each other and we're really excited about each other’s projects. It's just a friendly, inclusive environment that I really love being a part of!”
Snug, cozy, and welcoming to all—including you
The club has purlvided many opportunities for club members to immerse themselves in the craft and connect with one another. At the start and end of each term, the club hosts socials for the members to chill and do crafts, and, every month, the club also holds a themed workshop, designed to get everybody to tackle a project together. Some events are even open to non-club members!
The club’s also collaborated on creating initiatives—along with organizations on (and beyond) campus—such as:
- Hearts for Period fundraiser (with Period at UBC)
- Zero Waste Starter Kit Workshop (with Common Energy UBC)
- Repair and Create! (with UBC Sprouts and Common Energy UBC)
- A fashion show during UBC Fashion Week (with proceeds going to Dress for Success Vancouver)
The club is currently partnering with UBC Arts and Culture this term to implement an International Women’s Day activity, in which students can take on mini-projects like cross-stitching the equity symbol or making a pride flag!
Club membership ($10) will get you:
- Access to all club materials like donation yarn, crochet hooks, and the sewing machine
- A membership kit that has in the past included balls of yarn, a crochet hook, a sewing kit, knitting needles, and fabric
- Newsletters (textile arts-related community news and cute knitting/sewing GIFs included, courtesy of Secretary Megan!)
- And the chance to make awesome connections within the fabric and fibre arts community!
If you’re apprehensive about joining the club, simply drop by during a meeting! You can try out a craft of your choosing and use whatever supplies you’d like, at no cost—just note that any subsequent drop-ins will be $2 each.