One of the great things about UoP is the large range of societies. If you’re not a sporty person it doesn’t matter, the sports societies do get a lot of publicity but that isn’t all that is available. There are many other societies from academic to local volunteer groups, but there are also ones that will teach you new skills. My favourite is ‘Knit Fast Die Warm’, UoP’s knitting society.
Don’t run away laughing just yet, learning to knit is a fantastic skill to have. I’m a very experienced knitter having learnt from my mum at quite a young age, but you don’t have to be a knitter to join the society - most people are complete beginners. It doesn’t take very long at all to learn to knit all it is is repeating a set of four steps. In less than an hour we can show you everything you need to know and after that it is simply about practise.
It is very social, you are able to talk and watch films all whilst knitting (with a little practice) which means the group meeting involves a lot of gossiping, eating cakes and popcorn whilst watching films or listening to music. The society isn’t formal at all so it is a lot more like meeting up with a new group of friends each week. Even over the holidays when the official room bookings end the society goes one simply moving to a new location, cafes, coffee shops anywhere comfortable to sit back knit and chat.
So what do we make at Knit Fast Die Warm? Well, you can forget about the stereotype of holey knitted jumpers two sizes too big, we can make useful stylish products that we can wear all the time. I have even started selling my knitting, I love knitting socks but I’ve made too many for myself so I sell them online. Once you have the basics down you can knit virtually anything. Everyone starts out by making a scarf, it’s basic and allows you to practice before moving on. We’ve made all kinds of things between us: scarfs, hats, gloves, bags, jumpers, socks, even laptop covers and cases. Knitting is really versatile and is only as limited as your imagination. It doesn’t take you long to be able to knit these things either - after only a couple of weeks, we have complete novices creating their own hats.
Knit Fast Die Warm do a lot for Plymouth’s community as well. Some of our members knit for a homeless knitting group, a local group who knit hats and gloves and donate them to homeless charities around the cities. Each year the society also supports the British Legion around Remembrance Day. They crochet hundreds of red poppies to sell with all proceeds going to the British Legion.
Being able to knit is a fantastic skill to have, not only because you can make useful things but I find it works as a great icebreaker with new friends or even a talking point in an interview. You can make your own clothes or even knit something up as birthday presents of friends. It’s a skill that shows that you have patience and creativity. I really like the fact that the University actually has a society which supports this and allows people to learn in a relaxed friendly environment. This is something you should definitely try, knitting isn’t just for old ladies.