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Knit Knot Knoop: Changing the World One Stich at a Time

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I’ll never forget the first time I learned about a knit and purl stitch. I was visiting my grandma in her apartment in Chicago and I was 8 years old. That first stitch inspired a passion for knitting that would forever connect me to my grandma, or in Russian, my babushka. My grandma immigrated to the United States from Russia 23 years ago and one of my favorite things to do is to knit alongside her while she tells me stories that her grandma once told her. 

Last year on Halloween I broke my leg and knitting was one of the only activities I could do while I recovered. It brought me great joy and comfort and I found myself wanting to give that feeling back to other people. In addition to teaching me about knitting and making Russian chicken meatballs, my grandma also taught me about doing good in the world and always being kind to people. I knew I wanted to use knitting to give back to those in need. I have always had an interest in public health and one of the greatest public health problems of our time is the homelessness crisis. While I was healing from my broken leg, I came up with the idea for Knit Knot Knoop. 

I created Knit Knot Knoop to bridge my love of knitting with my interest in fighting against homelessness in Chicago. I knitted several scarves and partnered with EZRA, an organization that works to prevent homelessness and relieve hunger, to distribute the scarves to the homeless in EZRA’s care to keep them warm during the harsh Chicago winters. I visited several nursing homes in the Chicago area and taught the residents how to knit. I loved connecting with the residents because they reminded me of my own grandma. 

This year I am working to expand Knit Knot Knoop and bring it into Hebrew schools because I want to teach people my own age not only about knitting, but more importantly, about the homelessness crisis facing the United States. As I teach people about knitting, I will also present about homelessness to inspire them to give back to their communities. I am looking forward to expanding the project and will be including information on my website about homelessness and educational knitting videos so that students far and wide can contribute.

Download a video here.

Here is how you can get involved:

  • Kids and teens in the Chicago area can learn how to knit through online videos and I will pick up the scarves to be donated to EZRA 

Kate Elterman

About the Author: Kate Elterman is a rising 8th grader at the Latin School in Chicago, Illinois. Kate studies Spanish, Russian, and Ukrainian. She is also a competitive fencer and is ranked 30th nationally. She hopes to become a dermatologist focusing on public health. Kate founded Knit Knot Knoop to educate young people about the homeless crisis through knitting.