Tara Charlton

Tara Charlton

Knit up some warmth this winter

The Knotty Knitters and members of Knox Presbyterian Church get busy to help the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners

Walk into the narthex of Knox Presbyterian Church and it’s not uncommon to find one or more members of the Knotty Knitters, needles and yarn flying, as they create hats, scarves and prayer shawls.

And at this time of year, much of their handiwork ends up in one of the donation barrels that has been set up for the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners, which is collecting socks, mittens, toques and undergarments to be donated to orphaned children in eastern Europe.

But what they could also use around this time is donations of yarn, so once again the Rev. Dr. Teresa Charlton has set up a spot where those who need yarn can pick some up and those who have extra can drop some off.

“Every year, there will be people looking for yarn, some for Christmas gifts, some for the barrels,” said Charlton. “We’ve already filled one barrel and they brought us a bigger one.”

Charlton said when it comes to those who enjoy knitting and crotheting, many enjoy creating hats, while others enjoy making prayer shawls for those in need. And still others prefer to make layettes to be donated to the North Okanagan Pregnancy Care Centre.

“Knitting has a way of bringing people together, as we find they will come in and we’ll have a pot of coffee on and what we discover are people’s stories,” said Charlton. “We’ve had people who have brought things in after cleaning out closets when a loved one passes away, so we’ve had people bring us garments that are unfinished, and so there is an emotional attachment to this yarn, and a lot of unresolved grief wrapped up in it. We found that people wanted to finish these pieces, but they didn’t want to at the same time, and it’s a little bit like saying goodbye to mum.

“So it was so much more than just the yarn they were bringing us.”

She said for many who can’t afford to purchase their own yarn, they are welcome to stop in and pick some up.

“We’re calling it yarn toss — it started with a small basket and it has grown,” said Charlton, who has crocheted many items, including the tam worn by her daughter, Tara, in the photo.

And the Knotty Knitters welcome new members to join them Tuesdays at 10 a.m.

Yarn can be dropped off or picked up at the church Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Knox Presbyterian Church is at 3701-32nd Ave. For more information, call 250-542-8613.

The 19th annul Okanagan Gleaners Sock and Mitt Drive is on until Nov. 30, with barrels set up at most Vernon churches, the Schubert Centre and the Gleaners used furniture store at 4405-29th St.

If you can’t knit, the Gleaners also welcome new socks, mittens, toques, scarves and underwear — all sizes are needed.

For more information, call Howie Anhorn at 250-549-1632.