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Chaparral 8th grader knits students together during COVID-19 closure

May 6, 2020

By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources

DIAMOND BAR, CA--When Chaparral Middle School eighth-grader Aslin Choi learned of the “Be A Helper” digital challenge, she grabbed her knitting needles.

That’s right, knitting needles.

The age-old pastime has caught the attention of even the Gen Z crowd with its winning combination of creating beautiful projects with yarn while reducing stress at the same time.

In the early days of quarantine, Choi turned to the steadfast, repetitive diversion that requires undivided attention when things got a bit scary.

And she didn’t hesitate to share a few tips with schoolmates when given the opportunity.

“Knitting has been a very calming experience for me, so I wanted to show other students a way to relax that might help them,” she said.

 “I also know that a lot of people shy away from knitting because it seems too hard, so I wanted to present knitting in an easier way.”

With supplies in hand, the 14-year-old offered up a step-by-step lesson using the double loop cast-on method.

“I’m going to teach you all how to knit since I’m sure you guys are going stir crazy being cooped up in your houses,” she shared in the video.

“This is a nice way to stay chill, be relaxed, and keep out of your parents’ hair.”

“And you can make it as a gift and share the love – so why not!” she added.

Choi first demonstrated a slipknot by wrapping the yarn around her finger doing a double twist and sliding it on the needle.

“Now, take the needle, wrap the yarn tightly around the back, then take the left needle, push it up and slip the loop off – that’s a knit stitch!” she said smiling.

She recorded the lesson on her Chromebook while sitting outside on her patio.

The school’s online forum encourages students to submit tutorials during the global pandemic to be included in the weekly Chaparral Good News publication.

Choi was the first contributor.

“I love getting involved in school activities and noticed that no one else had posted anything,” the ASB member said.

“I wanted to try to get other students involved!”

Choi said she’s missing having “precious time” to spend with friends before going to high school.

“Being able to post these videos, however insignificant, is a way to stay connected.”

“Aslin continues to shine and share her efforts to make our Chaparral community a better place!” said Principal Ron Thibodeaux.

Choi has been knitting for two years and recently finished a shawl.

“I always wanted to be one of those people who knits in front of the fireplace during the holidays,” she commented.

Her current project is a rainbow-colored scarf crafted using the garter stitch.

 “My goal is to get the scarf to be 20-feet long, but I'm not sure if that's entirely possible!”


Chaparral Middle School 8th grader Aslin Choi creates a knitting tutorial to help schoolmates during closure.