Their hands nimbly winding strands of colorful yarn around the knitting wheel, seven residents of Epiphany Assisted Living, Coon Rapids, have already created more than 250 one-of-a-kind caps and scarves.
Those handmade items will be distributed to those in need this holiday season by the Epiphany Catholic Church’s outreach program.
“This is a service project we really stay on top of and like to do,” said Program Coordinator Vanessa Sabre as she knitted alongside the women.
Boosting the woolly donation of some 252 hats and a few scarves, knitter Florence Habermann’s son and daughter-in-law donated 100 additional hats, scarves, mittens and gloves to the cause.
“We’re just so happy to be able to give so much. And this is a sweet time for us to get together, too,” said Habermann.
Habermann’s knitting cohorts include Carol Schwanbeck, Alice Hoolihan, Helen Montain, Karin Gardner and Pat Drinville – in addition to Sabre, who schedules knitting hours every Tuesday and Friday and knits alongside the women.
“Every year we grow and every year I set the standard higher and higher,” said Sabre.
Last year the women donated 117 knitted items, she said.
This year, Sabre set the goal at 250 and the women passed that number more than two weeks before Christmas Day.
In addition to donating the knitted items, Epiphany Assisted Living organizes a food drive, Toys for Tots collection and pictures with Santa.
“Christmas is a big deal around here and we like to help make it special,” said Sabre.
Sue Austreng is at firstname.lastname@example.org