Knitting for Warmth covers the community with care »Minden Times

The Knitting for Warmth group met at Highland Hills United Church on May 10 for the first time in two years. “Some are seamstresses, some knitters, some crocheters,” said Mary Trepanier. Back row, left to right: Ruth Ann Bryant, Mary Trepanier, Barb Todd, Dorothy Archer, Susan Archer. Front row from left, Pat Thornett, Marilyn Burrows, Joan Chapple, Meg Leonard, Carolyn Christian. /Photo by Deanna Wruth

Knitting for Warmth covering the community with care

By Sue Tiffin

Over the past 20 years, a small group of caring women have created over 88,741 squares that make up 2,702 blankets.

These blankets were then distributed to those seeking comfort or in need of a pick-me-up, including those supported by Children’s Aid, SIRCH, local food banks and long-term care homes, A Place Called Home, Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, Point in Time, Haliburton Hospital and others including Ronald McDonald House, some of which have been shipped around the world.

And while the pandemic kept the group from being in each other’s company as they crocheted and knitted the squares together, that didn’t — couldn’t — stop the group from creating the squares or the blankets.

“It was wonderful to learn that knitting has been an important hobby for seniors who want to feel useful, hospital patients, children learning to knit, summer vacationers, and people with a lifetime supply of scraps of yarn (striped squares can look great too),” said group member Mary Trepanier. “Perfect knitting isn’t necessary (that’s why we call it Knitting for Warmth, although some turn out to be beautiful).”

Trépanier said the group is making “something out of nothing”. Some people, she says, couch surf with their blankets on. A little girl from Australia at the Ronald McDonald House for eye surgery made sure she could take it home, loving her blanket for its bright colors which were easier for her to see.

“Also, I found that the coming together and the blankets themselves aren’t as important as the knitting,” Trepanier said. “It’s relaxing and something people do to feel good about helping. Some knitters have dementia, but remember how to knit.

Blankets are always needed. The squares are wearable and measure eight inches by eight inches (a suggested size is 4.5mm, 32 count for worsted weight), and Trepanier said the group is happy to accept them, or even yarn donations. if someone prefers to work alone at home or elsewhere.

“Thanks to you, someone might be warm tonight,” she said.

If you knit or crochet eight-inch squares, or have yarn to donate to the Knitting for Warmth group, please drop off either on Tuesdays from 1-2 p.m. in the church parking lot Highland Hills United in Minden. For more information, please call Mary Trepanier at 705-286-5173.