Archived Article

Knitting club works on many projects

BY SARAH SIMMONS ReminderNews
Windsor Locks —  posted 03/17/2009
Settled in the back of the Windsor Locks Public Library , a group of women gather around a long table and greet each other as friends , with smiles on their faces and needles in their hands . They settle in , and out come the yarn, pattern directions and , at this particular meeting , a couple bags of Dove chocolates .
The knitting club that meets on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8 p . m . has been running for seven yearsstraight . Men are welcome to participate , but the group has always been more popular amongst women .
Nancy Wenzel , originally from upstate New York , started the group out of her own passion for the craft . “ I was 7 yearsold when my grandmother taught me how to knit , ” Wenzel said . “ And guess what she taught me with ? Pencils . ”
The group welcomes anyone with an interest in knitting or crocheting , and it is taught by someone who wants to pass along the craft . “ Nancy’s our teacher and mentor really , ” Sharon Scrivano said . Scrivano was one of the first members of the group , along with Gilda McPheat .
The club members bring in their own projects to work on , but they have also pulled together to do group projects . Claire Frew , of the Windsor Locks Middle School , was there to collect the donated 85 fingerless gloves that the group made for the middle school’s marching band .
“ We needed these gloves for the St . Patrick’s Day parade this Saturday , so I got in contact with Nancy , and in under two months , they finished all the gloves , ” Frew said .
The women each shared what they were working on , and each craft was being made for someone else . “ Maybe next time I will knit myself a scarf , ” one member said as she knit and purled her way through a sweater for her grandson .
In addition to putting their own projects aside to make the gloves , the group members have also participated in “ Caps for the Capitol . ” The mission is to have knitters and crocheters unite , make a cap , and write to the president . According to savethechildren . org , the campaign was in response to a report stating that as many as 2 million babies in underdeveloped countries die in the first 24 hours of life , but could be saved by simple measures such as a knitted cap for warmth . The Windsor Locks group has donated more than 75 hats so far .
Shiloh Thomas , the youngestmember of the group at 15 yearsold , was working on a preemie hat – her seventh hat to donate to Caps for the Capitol . Thomas began knitting when she was 10 when her mother Vicki found the group . “ I called around , and no one would take a girl that younguntil I found Nancy , and she said , ‘ Bring her along , ’” Vicki Thomas said . Vicki learned along with her daughter , who wanted to learn knitting as a way to make her own clothes .
With conversation ranging from new grandchildren , to politics and personal life stories , the group fills its meeting space with comfort and familiarity . “ I miss it when I can’t make it , ” Wenzel said .
For more information about the knitting group , contact Nancy Wenzel via e-mail at wlknitter@sbcglobal . net , or visit the library’s Web site , www . windsorlockslibrary . org / knit .
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