There is a group of women at the Cheney Care Center clacking their knitting needles together for a good cause.
The Twisted Sisters knitting group meets about once a month. They are about 30 knitters ages 17 through 98. They are residents, staff members, family or friends of the care center. Last week, the group presented 13 blankets to provide warmth and comfort to people in need.
“My name is Joanna and I’m a yarn-aholic,” Joanna Morris, the social services director at the care center, said at the presentation.
Morris said her husband often holds her purse while she feels the yarn at the store. She said she crocheted for years and picked up knitting to keep her hands busy while she tried to quit smoking.
Morris got her start making blankets after her son became ill when he was 16 years old. The outlook was grim and someone at the hospital gave him a blanket. She doesn’t know who knitted it, but she knows that it meant a lot to her and her son at the time.
Her son, now 26, eventually pulled through, but he still has his blanket. Morris brought it to the presentation to tell the story after pulling it off his couch and washing it. She said she is under strict instructions to return it to him.
The blanket inspired Morris to start making her own blankets to give away to charities. She was knitting and crocheting with a group from her church and someone challenged her to start a group at the care center.
In June, the group started meeting every Saturday. She said if attendees don’t know how to knit or crochet, they will be taught. Each knitter makes a square seven by nine inches long. It takes 49 squares to make a twin-size blanket.
Bonita Brady, a resident of Sessions Village at the care center, also learned how to knit so she could keep her hands busy while she quit smoking. She has made four squares so far.
“It can be frustrating,” she joked.
The yarn was donated by Avista Corp. through its “Warm Up America” program.
Tom Ulvin, of the YMCA’s retired and senior volunteer program RSVP, accepted the blankets the knitters made. He said they will be distributed throughout Spokane County to crisis nurseries, transitional living centers and the Ronald McDonald House.
“I think it’s a wonderful project,” said Keith Fauerso, the executive director and administrator of the care center. The center lets the knitters use the community room of Sessions Village for free.
Now that the group has made its first donation of blankets, they are going to continue to meet and knit.
“It’s just been wonderful,” Morris said.