On Pins and Needles
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“I started knitting and sewing clothes with my grandmother when I was 6 or 7,” recalls Priscilla, masterfully twirling the knitting needles to create rectangular patterns for the orange baby blanket she was working on.
“I did some growing up,” added Sally, who was knitting a colorful hat and had three or four others splayed in front of her on the table. “I really picked up cross-stitch and quilting when my children were out of the house.”
“If there was a class, I took it,” asserted Susan, who rattled off some of her favorite techniques – needlepoint, sewing, knitting, cross-stitch, and so on.
Joan chimed in, “My mother taught me to crochet but I got back into it when my daughter and daughters-in-law started having kids,” briefly looking up from the blue and white baby blanket on the table.
Seated around the long farm table in the library and computer room at Brightview Rolling Hills, the group reminisced, laughed and chatted about lesser-known techniques – Hardanger, tatting, practices of the Amish and Franciscan monks – for a moment or two more, then returned to their handiwork, meticulously crafting their items for charity.
“Now we knit and crochet baby caps, blankets, sweaters, and chemo caps and donate them to organizations here and around the world,” explained Sally.
St. Agnes Hospital, the Crisis Program Center, the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns and Knit for Kids, a program through World Vision, receive donations from the resident-run group, dubbed Pins and Needles.
“The group meets each Thursday afternoon,” said Vibrant Living Director Shirl Younger. “It is impressive to see what the ladies make in a week, a month, a few months.”
“Theirs is a labor of love.”
“This is our way to contribute,” Carole said, who sewed clothes when she was a girl with her mother and grandmother. “Getting together and socializing is also important.”
“We encourage each other, share tips, and teach each other tricks,” added Sally. “We have fun and enjoy each other’s company.”
“Yes, we inspire each other,” concluded Priscilla. “And giving back makes us all feel really good.”