[by Phyllis Shaikun]
Several months ago, Fran Winchell, an experienced knitter and member of Congregation Anshei Sfard, was looking for a new synagogue activity that might capture the imagination – and harness the talents – of women in the congregation and get them involved. When she put a call out asking if some knitters might be interested in coming together to pursue their common interest, the positive response led to the formation of the shul’s Knit and Qvell Group.
Although the community is dealing with sweltering heat at the moment, the knitters know only too well that winter cold would soon be upon us. So they decided to knit with a purpose and decided to create some colorful hats, scarves and mittens to keep needy school children warm during cold winter days.
Winchell says that when she approached the Jefferson County Public Schools’ VanHoose Education Center to ask if they might be interested in receiving some handmade items, the response was an overwhelming, “Oh my goodness, could we ever!”
Winchell was put in contact with Paula Wolff, school facilitator for the 15th District with responsibility for Parent Teacher Association groups across the city and director of JCPS’ Clothing Assistance Program. Her job is to provide clothing and uniforms for more than 7,000 children in need throughout the community. Parents set up appointments to come in and select articles of clothing for their children and the items go out as quickly as they come in. With all that, Wolff has never before dealt with items made by hand!
Since last October, Knit and Qvell has provided 75 items per month to JCPS clothing program, and each item bears a tag with the knitter’s name. The group was invited to meet with Wolff and tour her facility on June 2. They also received a beautiful certificate of thanks for their efforts.
The group meets in Anshei Sfard’s Library on the first Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. and welcomes all who would like to participate.
On Wednesday, July 6 Carolyn Russman will teach a Mitten Class. If you plan to attend, please bring worsted weight washable yarn (smooth, no bumps), size 5 and 7 needles, two stitch holders, one yarn needle for sewing up and a tape measure.