/Knitting for Warmth blanketing community with care
The Knitting for Warmth group met together at the Highland Hills United Church on May 10 for the first time in two years. “Some are sewers, some knitters, some crochet,” said Mary Trepanier. Back row, from left: 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 blanketing community with care

By Sue Tiffin

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

Those blankets have then been distributed to those seeking comfort or needing a pick-me-up, including people supported by Children’s Aid, SIRCH, local food banks and long-term care homes, A Place Called Home, the Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, Point in Time, Haliburton hospital, and others including Ronald McDonald House where some from there have been shipped worldwide. 

And while the pandemic has prevented the group from being in each other’s company while they crocheted and knitted the squares together, it did not – could not – stop the group from creating the squares, or the blankets. 

“It has been wonderful to learn that the actual knitting has been an important pastime for senior citizens wishing to feel helpful, patients in hospital, children learning to knit, summer cottagers, and people with a lifetime supply of wool ends (striped squares can be great looking too),” said group member Mary Trepanier. “Perfect knitting is not necessary (which is why we call it Knitting for Warmth, although some turn out beautiful).” 

Trepanier said the group makes “something from nothing.” Some people, she said, are couch surfing with their blanket. One little girl from Australia at Ronald McDonald House for an eye operation made sure she could take it home, loving her blanket for its bright colours that were easier for her to see. 

“Also, I found out that the meeting together, and blankets themselves are not as important as the knitting,” said Trepanier. “It is relaxing and something people do to feel good about helping. Some knitters have dementia, but remember how to knit.” 

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

“Because of you, someone could be warm tonight,” she said. 

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