By: WNYT Staff: If your only recollection of knitting is as an old hobby of your grandmother’s, you may not be aware that many consider knitting an art form and knitters are doing things with knitted wear that you never imagined. Elena Fasullo, 12, is a typical teen. She enjoys hanging out with friends and bike riding. She also knits. “Some of my friends like it too, and my mom at school – she actually had a knitting club,” Elena noted. “They like it. It’s pretty cool.” She’s made gloves and bags. While some see knitting as a bygone hobby, Jody Mason who founded the group “Chicks with Sticks,” says it’s an art form that is not unraveling. “There’s a website called Ravelry.com. They have over a million members worldwide,” Mason said.
Nearly a dozen women make up her group as she’s found a way to weave the young with the young at heart. “I know another knitter in the group. She asked me to join. I said ‘yes’ and I’ve loved every minute of it,” said Liz Hotaling, another knitter. Mason learned to knit from her grandmother — also a knitter and her mom — a fashion designer. She says fiber runs in her family. “My great uncle was a monk in a monastery in Italy. He was a tailor, and he made the long brown robes they wore. However, it’s not just the comradery that the women find here. They are also excited about sharing their craft — donating many of their finished products to charity.
“We’ve donated to Albany Med, to the Homeless Female Veterans up in Saratoga. There’s an organization called ‘Bus Stop Club’ that supports siblings of chronically ill children,” explained Mason. It can be emotional when those donations are made. “He picked out some baby clothes – hats and sweaters and booties. Tears were welling in his eyes, and I was starting to cry,” recalled Mason. “It’s really nice to think that we made their lives better a little,” beamed Elena. This fall, many in the Capital Region will become benefactors of their scarfs, mittens and hats — as they launch a yarn bomb. They’re popular in many cities. These won’t decorate the trees, lamp posts and benches for long. The “Chicks with Sticks” are donating them to whoever finds them! “It’s wonderful to know that somebody’s wearing it,” acknowledged Hotaling.