Every Thursday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., a group of around 12 ladies gather at the Knox United Church to work on artistic, fibre-based projects to give back to the community.
“We put a little trinket, a butterfly, cross or a heart and with a card for every item that comes out of here,” said Pat McGinlay, church secretary. “And everything is blessed on Sunday.”
The group has been meeting for the last 13 years creating items ranging from prayer shawls to knitted hats and blankets for donation. Once everything has been blessed by the minister, church members will go out into the community and donate the projects to organizations ranging from the Terrace Women’s Resource Centre to the Mills Memorial Hospital.
“Every now and then we see them out in the community on somebody,” said Francis Lillie, 71. She has been knitting since she was four years old.
Judi Johnson, 66, is the self-described plastic ‘bag lady’ of the community knitting group. She has made two plastic mats for the Ksan House this year, each taking 40 hours of work to crochet 500 bags together.
“And that doesn’t include the time it takes to collect the bags and clean them, all that fun stuff,” Johnson said.
She started ten years ago after another woman spoke to her about making book bags out of plastic. “I took the idea and ran with it,” Johnson said.
She estimates that she’s reused at least 6,000 plastic bags for her projects over the years from businesses across town, like Save On Foods, Walmart and Home Hardware.
Janis Mooney, 63, said it’s not just about the good work that the community knitting group does but the strong relationships built over the years.
“We’re also a support group for each other,” Mooney said. “If you come here with a problem, the ladies will listen to you and help you until you come away with a solution. It’s more about caring and sharing.”