Residents at Artman Lutheran Home who participate in a weekly “Knitting Circle” are working on a special project. The group, which meets every Wednesday in the Fireplace Room, is crocheting a “Celebration of Life” quilt, which are used to honor residents who have passed away.
The idea for a weekly knitting circle came from Laura Raggi, a medication technician at Artman. Laura learned how to crochet from an Artman resident nearly 10 years ago. “I used to make fun of my mother-in-law for crocheting all the time, but when I started working at Artman I noticed that this woman made really neat stuff, so I asked her to teach me. I just fell in love with it and I haven’t stopped since,” Laura said. “Then I noticed that a lot of the residents knitted and crocheted so I thought ‘why can’t we all do it together and create a fun group?’”
Residents and staff typically bring their own projects to the circle, and help and learn from one another. Resident Emily Pennypacker knits baby hats for the neonatal unit at Abington Hospital. “When I had my first son, Emily showed me how to make hats for him,” Laura said. “I learn something new every time we meet,” said Emily.
Margaret Gormisky, a resident at Artman, learned to crochet from a neighbor when she was 16 years old. She has crocheted on and off ever since, but hadn’t made anything new for the last several years. “I go back and forth with it. Things come up and I don’t do it for awhile, then I get back into it,” she said. When the group started working on the new quilt, Margaret decided to help, and has already crocheted 80 squares. “I don’t know what the big deal is. I only did 80 of them,” she said. “I enjoy doing it. It did take me a week or two to get my hands used to it again though!”
At the knitting circle, residents are also encouraged to “show and tell” items that they have made in the past, and share stories. Everyone enjoyed listening to Larry Exner talk about how he used to spin wool for his wife Clara. “We’ve been doing the knitting circle for awhile now, and I’ve really enjoyed it,” Laura said. “I think everyone else has too.”
Click here for more pictures of the knitting circle and the quilts.