On Pins And Needles? Lindsay Dupertuis Might Be Able To Help

University of Maryland students created thick, handmade winter scarves during the first of three workshops early February dedicated to learning the ins and outs of knitting. Lindsay Dupertuis, a PhD candidate in art history, guided a $15 knitting class that built “a fast and fashionable chunky scarf,” according to the Adele H. Stamp Student Union website.

For those who didn’t see the workshop Feb. 9, Dupertuis plans to have two more this semester. Though the first instruction consisted of the basics, Dupertuis says the latter two will become “progressively more advanced throughout the semester.”

However, since she will also be graduating this semester, her knitting workshops will also end this spring. Still, Dupertuis notes that it’s “easier to teach it to yourself than ever before.”

Having grown up with both a mother and grandmothers who sewed frequently, but never knit, Dupertuis explains that she didn’t even know how to knit until college.

When explaining why she chose to conduct a workshop, she mentions her schedule as a doctoral candidate: “My time is a little bit more flexible.”

While working toward her doctorate, knitting has served her as “a really good practice of mindfulness.”

“I highly recommend it for anyone who’s looking for a way to destress,” says Dupertuis on the usefulness of knitting.

Following a pattern, concentrating on what you’re doing with your hands and minimizing screen time are all benefits Dupertuis cites as calming impacts of knitting.

She describes knitting as a “relaxing, repetitive task” that is “very rhythmic” as you repeat similar structures and paths throughout the process.

Based on the relative ease or difficulty found in knitting, Dupertuis recommends looking for online tutorials or videos to improve upon skill when written directions seem too complicated.

“It might take some patience but it’s very doable,” she says.

Having spent enough time perfecting the craft, Dupertuis has developed an eye for handmade knitwear. “I can tell whether someone knitted it themselves or bought it at the store,” she says.

And now that she knows how to construct these pieces - creating a sweater was a big achievement for her and “pretty complicated” - Dupertuis spends time staring at people’s hats and sweaters to see if she can discern whether or not they’re store-bought.

Her advice for people looking to start is to treasure the beginning, making reference to oddly-sized hats she made or her own first scarf, which looked like a “ridiculous, strange shape that wasn’t even a rectangle,” according to her.

Most of all, Dupertuis advices beginners to “be patient, be kind to yourself, and also be proud of what you make even if it ends up looking very silly at first.”