Views 5 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 11 - 7 - 2018 | By: Anna Besh
M’Kya Williams greets her club members with a huge smile and a quiet, genuine enthusiasm. As a club that started amongst a small group of friends who wanted funding for snacks, the vision for String Things has rapidly developed into what Williams now considers “a club worth funding;” one that creates a “close-knit community that serves Santa Barbara through our art.” Williams smiles a bit, evidently aware of the pun she has woven into her mission statement.
Outside Winter Hall in the bright September sun, Williams explains the origin of String Things. During her first year at Westmont, Williams and some of her teammates from the Westmont track team crocheted and embroidered as a means of winding down on Friday nights.
“We have track meets on Saturdays in the Spring semester and we were trying to find a way to make sure we went to bed early. Friday nights became our crochet and embroidery nights--we would talk, have snacks, crochet, then go to bed. That was our beginning.”
Now, Williams’ club consists of about eight members (give or take a few depending on the night) who come together every other Sunday to knit, crochet, and embroider in community. Of course, snacks are provided.
Williams smiles as she begins reminisces on her first creations--an unfinished beard beanie, and a legless elephant-- she laughs as she recounts these first artistic endeavors, as they were a bit overambitious and didn’t quite turn out the way she had planned.
Each new member who joins String Things receives a warm welcome and an introduction to the art of crochet from none other than Williams herself. At the most recent club meeting, she spent an entire hour helping two new members learn the beginning stitches of crochet, encouraging them with smiles and congratulating them with every bit of progress, no matter how small each victory seemed.
For the future, Williams has big plans for String Things that have already been set in motion. Finding a way to meet some of the community’s needs is something that Williams tackles with joy, determination, and excitement.
“When we started asking ourselves how we could become a club worth funding we found a few different opportunities. One of the ways we serve the community is by actually teaching people our art-- how to crochet, knit or embroider. We started asking more questions about how we could serve Santa Barbara and found that Cottage Hospital accepts knit and crochet hats for their newborns, so we plan on helping with that. We also reached out to a local retirement home, and discovered that they have a knitting and crocheting club as well, so we are going to make hats with them. They actually have a couple of Westmont alums, so that will be really cool to meet them, talk about something that we have in common, and share our art.”
To those wondering what a typical String Things meeting entails, it’s all about community, cozy couches, and shared creativity.
“We’re super flexible. We show up, talk until everyone gets there, and everyone pulls out their individual projects. We all update each other on how our projects are going, get advice, talk about our weeks-- it’s a lot of fun. All that we ask is that you come willing to learn and with good stories.”