By Almeda Girod
“Many hands make light work” is an adage based on a quotation from Proverbs. This is true for the 30-plus Needlecrafters who meet weekly to create lovely items that are used for needy causes.
Articles are sold at the November Arts & Craft Fair with 15 percent of the proceeds given to Riderwood’s Benevolent Care Fund, and the remainder used to buy new and novel yarns to augment donated supplies. Nearly 1000 pieces of the knitted and crocheted works are distributed to 12 charitable groups both local as well as more far-reaching including two Native American reservations.
Doris Burlingame reports that the group began soon after Riderwood opened. Peggy Zee took on the leadership in 2016, and the membership has grown as the workload is distributed. The potato chip scarf is one of the easier projects and yet looks complex. Another must-do project is the diagonal blanket, which starts with five cast-on stitches and adds a stitch at the beginning of each subsequent row. The result is a beautiful blanket of the desired size with a decorative edge.
The Needlecrafters meet 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. each Tuesday in the MST Craft Room. Any “needle activity” is welcome. The meeting begins with a “show and tell” of completed articles. Most of the women report that they knit or crochet daily and that this is “good relaxation,” adding that knitters “never get bored.” Pat Davis says that knitting is a good activity while watching Jeopardy. Else Lundsager has the longest knitting history, having begun 87 years ago when as a six-year old she was homebound with diphtheria. Esther Nichols, who is 99, began needlework 85 years ago. The women recruit new members by asking people that they meet “Do you knit?” Often the response is “Yes, waaay back.” An invitation is given to join the group to learn again, enjoy the camaraderie, and help the needy.
When asked if men have attended meetings, Peggy Zee (President) comments “Yes, but they do not stay long” and Claire Kim (Treasurer) retorts “They do not have the patience.”