Knitting at Malabar

Blake Anthony sits with fourth-graders at Malabar Intermediate School as they make knitting loops.

MANSFIELD -- Stephanie Uhde’s fourth-graders are about to finish their knitting – yes, knitting – and they’re eager to donate the proceeds of their labor to a good cause.

Since December, Blake Anthony, owner of the salon in downtown Mansfield that bears his name, has volunteered his time at Malabar Intermediate School once a week to teach the 10- and 11-year-olds the basics of knitting.

Anthony and his young protégés are nearing completion of two blankets that are the focal point of this year’s class philanthropy project. So what’s next?

Malabar 4th grade students learn to knit

Malabar 4th grade students learn to knit.

“We will have a raffle for both blankets,” Uhde said. “The students decided on their own to donate the proceeds to the Friends of Gorman Nature Center, which is part of the Richland County Parks District. This is the group that provided weeks of nature journaling at Malabar and coordinated the field trip we are going on to Gorman Nature Center.”

Anthony, “an avid knitter” for 22 years, said working with the students has been more than rewarding.

“They have learned the basics of knitting,” he said. “Knitting helps with eye-hand coordination and concentration. We talked about the history of knitting as we worked.”

Uhde said both girls and boys in each of her classes have been enthusiastic about Anthony’s visits. The blankets, which should be finished next week, will be shown on and displayed at Anthony’s salon at 26 Park St. S.

“We’re still working out the details, but we will announce the raffle dates soon and complete the project before school is out,” Uhde said.

“I am so grateful to Mr. Anthony for all that he has shared with our students. This is another positive relationship between Mansfield City Schools and the community.

“And I am very proud of the kids for working hard and deciding that they want the money from the raffle to go to the Friends of Gorman Nature Center.”

Larry Gibbs is a spokesman for Mansfield City Schools.

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