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At library, Westwood knits for a cause

By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff

Two knitting groups have been meeting in the Westwood libraries for the last few years. The teen knitting group is comprised of local teens in grades six and above who hope to learn how to knit. Every Monday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., the group, led by Islington Branch Librarian Claire Connors, learns how to properly create and complete beautiful pieces with just yarn and some needles.

Meanwhile, the adult group, Sit and Knit, is made up of seasoned knitters and crocheters, with a few beginners in the mix. Since the group started, it has become a hotbed of service projects for knitters wanting to some good in the world.

The group began as a general knitting group - a collection of individuals who wanted to enjoy the craft together. Every Thursday at 10:30 at the Islington Library (now temporarily at the Main Branch), members would take out whatever they were working on and knit, informally, to their heart’s content.

Over time, that informal group has seemingly become more focused, taking on philanthropic projects. “Different members came up with the projects along the way,” notes Connors.

Most of the projects the knitters take on are designed to be completed in one night. In the past, the group has made blankets for premature infants, red hats for heart awareness month, and helped a local high school student knit blankets for children at the Home for Little Wanderers. Other projects have included prayer shawls for the sick and afghans for those in need of a little more comfort in their lives.

The group recently tackled knitting hats, mittens, and scarves for the Pine Street Inn, which assists Boston’s homeless population. “One of my volunteers at the Branch Library serves meals at Pine Street once a month,” noted Connors. “I asked her for a contact, emailed them, and heard back the next day. So there is a need for them. The knitters were all happy to work on this project.”

The knitters give back in more ways than through their handiwork, though. They have also welcomed those in need of some friendly interaction, including residents of Bridges, a local memory care facility. These residents visit the club, their memories of how to knit still intact. For them, Sit and Knit provides a chance to engage and show off their knitting skills, despite other mental hindrances.

Knitting has long been touted as a way to de-stress and socialize. At the Westwood Library, though, it’s become something more: Sit and Knit has turned knitting into a way to provide peace and comfort for those who need it.

Sit and Knit is always welcoming new members - and new projects - to their group. For further information, visit www.westwoodlibrary.org.

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