Spinning a yarn with KnitSoc

By Eoin Silke

Bella Fitzpatrick and Hannah Cagney were brought together by a love of knitting. During their Medicinal Chemistry lectures, they would knit to pass the time. In March, they decided to share their passion with the rest of College, and Knit Soc was born. The aim of the society, according to their webpage, is “to promote, share and teach knitting and other yarn crafts.”

The first step in setting up Knit Soc was talking to the Central Societies Committee (CSC). “The CSC was very helpful,” Fitzpatrick, who is now the Treasurer of the Knit Soc, told us. “The process wasn’t complicated at all.” She said that once you’re sure that what you want to do isn’t covered by other societies already in existence, there’s a lot of support and information available. She explained that the CSC wants to make sure that the proposed society is viable and will make a contribution to College life.

The next step was collecting 100 signatures from Trinity students who would like to see the society recognised. This is to make sure there is significant interest on campus, but for Knit Soc this wasn’t a problem. “We just talked to people around College,” said Fitzpatrick. “We basically got 100 in a day.” Once they had the signatures, the society was granted associative recognition by the CSC in April. Associative recognition is given to societies that fall under the remit of the CSC, but require only small-scale financial support.

Since then, Knit Soc have been active in promoting knitting around campus. During Freshers’ Week, Knit Soc held a picnic (or “pic-knit”, as Fitzpatrick says) for their members. The society provided wool and needles to any beginners who hadn’t brought their own. Since then, the society has hosted a weekly stitch ‘n’ bitch, and on Wednesday 13 October they held a pub crawl. Fitzpatrick describes Knit Soc as an “alcohol-alternative way of socialising”, which is quite different from many other societies. Along with providing beginners workshops, the society caters for its more experienced members with a needle library and yarn exchange.

Fitzpatrick says she has been knitting since a young age, but that she doesn’t know a lot of the more expert technique. She says she has learnt a lot from other members who are more proficient, and that one of the great reasons for having a knitting society is for that kind of information exchange.

Whether running an established society or trying to set one up, Fitzpatrick stressed that the most important thing was to “be committed.” She spoke about the responsibility involved. She also said that it was a little daunting being at the helm of a society which now has 440 members, especially since it is her first time as a society officer. But on the whole she was very optimistic about the future of Knit Soc.

Did she have any other advice for anyone wanting to set up a society? “Just talk to the CSC.”