Orem Public Library : New year, new you

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A new year can mean a fresh start, a chance to improve life and an opportunity to thrive. But keeping New Year’s resolutions can be an unexpected challenge for most.

The Orem Public Library is helping people push past the resolution roadblock. Its motto, “new year, new you,” focuses on leaving behind the past and getting a fresh start, with workshops in January teaching how to conquer the difficulties of following through with New Year resolutions.

Displayed work at the free Orem Public Library workshop teaching locals to knit and crochet.

The workshops will be a motivational strategy that helps locals get a head start on their New Year’s resolutions. The workshop themes were based off of the most commonly made resolutions, such as craftsmen skills, active lifestyle tips, home ownership advice, organizational help and healthy eating. Each workshop has specific instructors to help people follow through with their goals and give advice on how to maintain their progress.

The library held its first workshop with the leaders of the weekly Pins and Needles group last Thursday. Workshop instructors Jamie Bartlett and Chelsie Young provided a demonstration table that displayed their past knitting and crocheting projects. The projects displayed showed Bartlett and Young’s skill level as well as the variation in time put into each work.

Workshop participant and library worker Marilee Clark has been knitting for most of her life but attended the workshop knowing she would learn from it.

“I want to get some new ideas for knitting and putting things together,” Clark said.

She mentioned that her resolution was not just about learning new things to knit, but to make time to do more things she enjoys doing — in this case, knitting.

Bartlett aided with knitting projects while Young helped with the crocheting part of the workshop. Both being self-taught, they view these skills as being easy to learn and beneficial to know.

“Move to learn, learn to do. You just can’t get frustrated,” Bartlett said as she taught BYU student David Leavitt how to do a pearl stitch.

Bartlett explained that although the skill of knitting is time consuming and requires patience, the skill is worthwhile and takes little time to learn.

Leavitt, being new to the art of knitting, did not know what to expect before he was introduced to the skill.

“I have wanted to learn how to knit for a while, and I just never had a chance to learn it until now,” Leavitt said.

He stated that although knitting was not his New Year’s resolution, “learning new things” was.

Within minutes of working with Bartlett, Leavitt was able to create a line of pearl stitches.

Another participant at the Pins and Needles workshop, Claire Hunter, showed interest in what Young and Bartlett had to teach.

“This is one of my New Year’s resolutions,” Hunter said. “I’d like to learn how to make some socks.”

This was not her first attempt at knitting, but the workshop helped her address questions and difficulties she had while beginning her project. Hunter mentioned that she wanted to come to the weekly Pins and Needles club in order to continue her progress throughout the new year.

Although the Pins and Needles workshop has come and gone, the library will host our other workshops throughout the rest of the month of January. These workshops include a dancing lesson from a professor of dance at BYU, a Utah Valley home ownership project, a night with an organization expert and a food-sense class with a certified nutrition educator.

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