Monday, November 21 marked the celebration of Knot Just Knitting’s one-year anniversary at the Mint Hill Library.
The 35-member group led by Shelia Moore meets from 1:00 – 3:00 on the third Monday of every month in the Community Room at the Mint Hill Library. Every meeting has a theme – Monday’s was last-minute Christmas gifts – but participants are welcome to work on any knitting or crocheting project.
Coordinator Shelia Moore is proud to be “one of the few” who has lived her whole life in Mint Hill! She began working at the library in 2004 and will celebrate her 12th anniversary there next month. Moore actually learned to knit at the library and considers it one of many crafty hobbies she pursues. “Most people know me as the cake lady,” says Moore, who enjoys baking and decorating cakes for friends and family. “You don’t realize how many friends you have until you start making cake!” she adds.
Although they are celebrating their one-year anniversary, the group actually started as the Mint Hill Stitch-In at the library in 2006. When the library faced a reduction in staff in 2010, they were forced to cut several programs, including the Stitch-In. For a time, the group met at Hobby Lobby under a different name. Now that the economy has improved and the library is fully staffed, they have been able to rejuvenate some programs that were eliminated. “Because this is such a requested program, we were able to bring it back,” says Moore.
The group is open to anyone who knits, crochets or wants to learn. Monday’s well-attended anniversary meeting drew a crowd of varied skill levels working on many different projects. Veteran Kathy Cruse, who has been with the group since it started, was working on a knit poncho. Sitting next to her were two newcomers, Marge Gledhill and Janice Dold.
The two became interested in the group when they were volunteering at the library. Gledhill and Dold, who are both new to Mint Hill, were interested not only in learning something new but also in striking up friendships. In fact, while we talked, newcomer Dold and veteran Cruse made a connection about Dold’s home state of Tennessee. That spirit of fellowship is one of the things Dold enjoys most about the group. “It’s a wonderful group of women,” she says.
Several women in the room were working on blankets for Project Linus, an organization that makes, collects, and distributes handmade blankets to children who are ill, in crisis, or have experienced trauma. Project Linus accepts all sorts of blankets made to their specifications: knit, crocheted, quilted and no-sew fleece. Some of the group’s members who can no longer knit or crochet due to arthritis help with Project Linus by tying the edges of no-sew fleece blankets or even washing finished blankets and sewing in labels.
Serving the community has always been an important component of the group. “We’ve done a little bit of everything,” says Moore. “We try to help out where we can.” Before pairing with Project Linus, Knot Just Knitting made blankets for the Mint Hill Police and Fire Department to give to young victims of domestic violence. Currently, the group has paired with a student from Independence High School who is collecting hats for preemies. The tiny hats will go to preemies born at Novant Health Medical Centers in Matthews and Huntersville.
At the end of the day, Knot Just Knitting is a wonderful place to learn a new skill, practice an old hobby or make a new friend. “I just love getting the group together,” says Moore. “It’s a wonderful bonding time.”