Sashay Sisters Strut Their Scarves

Bethel-Hanberry’s Sashay Sisters Club (back row): Ta’y Brown, Jordan Goings, Arianna Abraham, Ayden Stevens, Sydney Woodrow; (front row): Chloe Narboni, McKenna Brown, Ryan Shull, Dani Goings, Carla Finkel.

BLYTHEWOOD — When a Voice photographer arrived recently at Sheryl McHugh’s after-school program at Bethel-Hanberry Elementary School to snap pictures of a girls’ crochet group, she was surprised to discover, instead, The Sashay Sisters Club – an irrepressibly crafty group of girls more than ready for their close up. Flinging colorful hand-crocheted scarves over their shoulders and striking poses, they proudly showed off their fashionable creations.

“It started as a craft class – making homemade potpourri and painting pine cones,” McHugh said. “Then, one day, McKenna Brown, one of my third-graders, spotted my new crocheted Sashay scarf, and she immediately asked me how she could make one for herself.”

McHugh had recently learned how to make the scarf from one of the other teachers, and she showed McKenna the single-stitch technique.

“She learned it in 15 minutes,” McHugh said with a laugh, “and then crocheted herself a whole scarf. When the girls in our craft class saw it, they wanted to make one too.”

By the next day, 10 girls were clamoring to learn how to make the scarves, so McHugh went to Michaels that evening to buy materials.

“The girls are so smart – they learned how to do it in a matter of minutes,” she said. “They take the scarves home and work on them, and the next day after school we go over any mistakes or errors and work on technique.”

Just a week later, some of the girls had already made two or three scarves.

“The scarves are generally about 3-feet long,” McHugh said, “but the girls love that they can make them as long as they want! They like to wrap them around their necks, throw them over their shoulders or tie them in a neat little loop.”

The scarves are decorative and colorful, and McHugh said some of the girls even made them for Christmas gifts.

“They were excited about it, trying to hide them from their moms,” she said. “One of the girls said her grandmother was thrilled that she was learning to crochet.”

It wasn’t long before the girls decided that their group needed a name.

“They call themselves The Sashay Sisters Club because the brand of the crochet thread they use is Sashay,” McHugh said. “They have such fun together, laughing and talking even while they focus on their crochet. The whole project has been driven by the girls’ interest – they kept saying, ‘I want to learn, I want to learn to crochet!’”

McHugh said she doesn’t see the girls slowing down any time soon.

“They want to crochet every day,” she said, fawning exasperation. “I’m going to have to teach myself more so I can teach them more!”

After Christmas break, the girls plan to make more scarves and donate them to women at local nursing homes and shelters, McHugh said.

“I’m so proud of them,” McHugh said. “I cannot believe how quickly they learned this, and how much they enjoy it.”

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