Four Clear Lake students' classroom passion has expanded into something bigger.
Ella Landau stated, "We were kind of just bored in study hall one day and Mrs. Symonds asked us if we wanted to make hats.”
Eighth graders Landau, Gracey Smith, Savannah Flores, and Lily Bunn started the year learning how to use a round knitting loom, a circle with pegs. The same kinds of crafts can be made using traditional knitting techniques and loom knitting. The user can choose between a product with a tighter or looser knit depending on the peg spacing and kind.
Bunn described it as "a small round thing with pegs that you just wrap around the hooks." When I first started at the school, we had yarn, but it was only in the back room. If the students had extra time during study hall, I would advise them to use it productively, said Rachel Symonds.
None of the girls had any prior craft-related experience, so it took them some time to become acclimated to the loom's rhythm. The four began creating baby hats using the loom after some trial and error.
Each one has a pom-pom attached to it and is vividly colored. The plan evolved to give the hats to infants at Mason City's MercyOne Birth Center.
They were thrilled when I called ahead to make sure they could accept them, said Symonds. We like that they accepted donations.
Nearly 40 baby hats have been manufactured and donated by Landau, Smith, Flores, and Bunn. Their second batch of donations will soon be made. The hats for the babies are brought in by Symonds' husband, who works at the hospital.
Smith stated, "It's cool to think about how the parents would save it."
The group's work garnered over 300 replies and multiple shares after it was posted on the district's Facebook page. Many people from the Clear Lake neighborhood commended them for their efforts in creating "beautiful warm hats" for newborns.
The ability of young children to do it and then take the initiative to do it themselves is wonderful, according to Symonds.
Symonds expressed the hope that the girls will continue to learn throughout their lives and use the skills they acquire to serve their communities
The four said anyone who wants to support them in their endeavor to produce baby hats can donate to Clear Lake Middle School.
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