By DENETTE WATSON
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR — If people ever wondered where they can go to find bargains on skeins of yarn or how to double crotchet an afghan, then they should consider participating in Itch to Stitch.
Itch to Stitch, a weekly drop-in program held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays at Taylor Community Library, 12303 Pardee, provides a venue for those interested in crocheting or knitting.
Itch to Stitch is one of several adult programs the library offers. Despite its classification as an adult program, the program welcomes children and individuals of any skill level. The program doesn’t offer regular teaching lessons, but, according to participants, there is always someone there who is willing to help or share a new skill.
On one recent Tuesday, several participants gathered in the library’s program room to share ideas and patterns, to socialize and to continue works already in progress. On this particular day, topics of discussion included shopping for material, yarn costs, needle sizes, upcoming charity events and tea.
Brooklyn Ward of Taylor, a 10-year-old cancer survivor and beginning crocheter, joined the group with her grandmother Debbie Ward a few months ago. Brooklyn’s interest in crocheting came from watching her grandmother crotchet at home.
“I was really amazed by the stuff my grandma made,” Brooklyn said. “I like feeling proud after I finish something.”
Since learning how to crotchet earlier this year, Brooklyn has made approximately 30 different items including afghans, pot holders, coasters, dish towels and towel toppers. She plans to donate the items for a bowling fundraiser at Taylor Lanes Bowling Center later this month. The fundraiser is to benefit the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk.
Charitable giving is high among the majority of Itch to Stitch participants. Several women in attendance actively were continuing works already in process for upcoming charitable causes.
Grace Young of Taylor provided several knitted hats for Brooklyn to donate to the leukemia/lymphoma fundraiser. Young started making hats in February 2012 after witnessing a demonstration at a local fabric store. She said she has made more than 600 hats, most of which she has donated to children and charities.
“I want them to have something new,” Young said. “There are a lot of kids who just don’t have anything and Michigan winters are so cold. It just breaks my heart.”
Young uses a variety of yarns and makes child size and adult size hats. She makes the hats unique so the children can differentiate their hat from another child’s or sibling’s.
Other items created and donated by participants in this group include scarves and mittens, baby afghans for school children, chemotherapy caps for cancer patients, and headbands for soldiers.
Phyllis Bohren enjoys the weekly gathering. She has several works in progress, some of which are time consuming, but she finds knitting to be relaxing and rewarding.
“It’s nice to see all the beautiful things that the ladies make,” Bohren said. “Some of this stuff can take a long time to finish, but if you know where it’s going and what good it’s doing, then it makes it better.”
Library staff members said Itch to Stitch is an important adult program because it provides an outlet for socialization, allows individuals to develop a skill, and provides an opportunity to give back to the community.
For more information on Itch to Stitch, go to the Taylor Community Library website, www.taylor.lib.mi.us.