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Close-knit club keeps thriving

Needles have started showing up this fall around Emery Collegiate in windswept north Etobicoke — in the halls, the art studio, at the back of one French class — and teachers couldn’t be happier.

Needles have started showing up this fall around Emery Collegiate in windswept north Etobicoke — in the halls, the art studio, at the back of one French class — and teachers couldn’t be happier.

They’re knitting needles, mostly 4.5 mm in size, and a growing lunchtime knitting club is using them to make scarves and hats and a cozy circle of friendship within a big-city school.

With more than 25 rookie knitters since art teacher Hilary Masemann formed the group two months ago — most in Grade 9, a quarter of them boys — this unlikely club in one of the city’s more challenging neighbourhoods is growing as fast as its trademark scarves.

“I don’t care what people think when they see me — men were the first ones to knit,” proclaims Grade 9 student Shukar Parkin as he works on a light-brown scarf in the art room where the club meets each Friday over lunch.

Like many club members, Shukar now knits every chance he gets, even during spare time in another class.

Fellow art teacher Jodi Goodfellow, whom Masemann has also taught to knit, calls the club “a huge success, it just keeps growing. It’s a great way to make new friends, they get excited to show each other their knitting and what really excites me is the boys.”

 
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