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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

How It’s Made: Students craft handmade clothing

Anna Engelhardt `21.5 enjoys knitting fruit-shaped hats, stuffed animals and scarves in her free time. Photo by Natalia Ramirez Jimenez.

It’s that time of year again; fall is coming to an end and the cruel Iowa winter cuts to the bone. As we all long for the comfort a warm, fuzzy sweater can envelop us in, Grinnell students who can craft their own scarves, sweaters and dresses are seldom daunted by the turn of the season.

One such student is Anna Engelhardt `21.5, who enjoys knitting fruit-shaped hats, stuffed animals and scarves in her free time. Engelhardt’s great-grandmother first taught her to embroider. Her love for embroidery evolved into a passion for knitting when she knit her first scarf four years ago. Not long after that, she was knitting her own sweaters while watching TV.

Engelhardt once made a stuffed animal inspired by the character Hawk from the anime, “Seven Deadly Sins.” Engelhardt knit the squishy pig out of yarn in just a week, it is a piece she is particularly proud of.

Her hobby has been gaining popularity among her friends as she likes to give her pieces as gifts to her teammates on the soccer team. Engelhardt said, “I actually taught some of them to knit and they’re always excited to hear about what I’m working on or show me what they’re working on.”

Anna Brew `22 is also known among her friends for her knitting skills. Brew got back into knitting as a quarantine hobby and break from her job as a nanny by watching YouTube video tutorials. “I had found this cowl that I had started, and I was like, well, I need something to do when the nanny kids are doing school,” she said.

I’m a snob when it comes to fabrics. – Anna Brew `22

Though Brew doesn’t have her own Instagram account for knitting, she likes to follow other knit and crochet-focused accounts. Tom Daley’s crochet account is one of her favorites. Brew loves working with soft fibers like wool, cashmere and mohair.

“I’m a snob when it comes to fabrics,” she said.

Brew’s favorite piece is a long-sleeve sweater which she knit over one weekend. Her other knitting projects include a pair of shorts and several scarves.

For the warmer months, Brenna Hanlon `22 has summer clothing covered. It was her mother who taught her how to use a sewing machine almost a decade ago and she has been sewing shirts and sundresses ever since.

“One of my mom’s favorite stories is that I used to be afraid to press the pedal on the sewing machine because I was scared by the noise. But I think I’ve gotten more confident and experimental now,” she said.

Now, Hanlon mainly sews as a part of her studio art class and sometimes posts pictures of her work on social media. As she likes working with cotton fabric best, shirts and sundresses are her favorite pieces to sew.

“It’s like the perfect level of fun and a little bit risky to work on,” Hanlon said.

To keep up with what Hanlon creates next, you can check out her Instagram account @tempestatae.

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