On Thursday mornings you will find a close-knit (pun intended!) group of ladies in the Billiard room. No, they aren’t playing billiards; they come together to chat and knit or crochet shawls for local hospice programs, cancer centers and the Salvation Army. They also make shawls to give to residents upon their 100th birthday.
Any given week will find 6-12 ladies plus two very well-behaved dogs enjoying each other’s company for an hour or so. These women create their own patterns, choosing yarn of their favorite color. They lovingly knit two purl one or chain three as they work on their shawls. One resident only knits special red, white and blue shawls for hospice patients who are veterans.
When the ladies heard of a need for chemo caps, those were added to the project. Several of the ladies who crochet can create a shawl in as little as a week and make a chemo cap to match. What a thoughtful gift!
The knitters’ supplies are financed by the Residents Association. They also receive donations of yarn from people downsizing, moving or just as a generous gift. Even the smallest piece of leftover yarn becomes a Josephine shawl; nothing is wasted.
Since 2006 when the group first started through 2012, the knitters donated 824 shawls. In 2013 they gave a total of 285 items (156 shawls plus 129 chemo caps.) So far in 2014, 124 shawls and 110 chemo caps have been created. For a special project last year they created 39 scarves and shipped them to Newtown School after the tragic shooting as part of the national “Hugs for Newtown” project.
As to the question of why do they meet in the Billiard room? The answer is that it simply has the brightest lighting and the Billiard table is ideal for laying out shawls for measuring, sorting through bins of yarn, and packing up the donations.