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Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Knitter hopes scarves she made from scrap help ‘share the warmth’

November 21, 2007

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Ruth Glass, 65, of Lawrence, has knitted for 40 years, but this is the first year she has done it for a charity. Glass knitted 26 scarves during the last year to donate to a the Share the Warmth coat drive this winter, taking time off over the summer because "it's too hot in the summer to knit."

Ruth Glass, 65, of Lawrence, has knitted for 40 years, but this is the first year she has done it for a charity. Glass knitted 26 scarves during the last year to donate to a the Share the Warmth coat drive this winter, taking time off over the summer because "it's too hot in the summer to knit."

A little leftover yarn can go a long way.

Just ask Ruth Glass, 65, who knit 26 scarves for the Share the Warmth coat drive using only scrap yarn.

It all started last spring. Prairie Commons Apartments, the independent senior community where Glass lives, had a pile of donated yarn and an old coat another resident wanted to give away. That's when Becky Janzen, the activities director, decided to organize participation for residents in the coat drive. This is the first year the activity has been offered.

"Prairie Commons has residents that really come through with stuff like this every time," Janzen said recently.

The yarn went to Glass, and she started knitting with the intention to donate the scarves for the coat drive. She finished about 15 scarves before it got too hot this summer to be working with yarn. She picked up her needles again about a month ago and got up to 26 scarves by the time donations were due Friday at Prairie Commons. She was working on her 27th, but it will have to wait until next year.

She spent, at most, a week and a half on each scarf.

"I just take a skein and work until I'm out of yarn," Glass said.

She ended up with quite a variety of scarves. Some were striped, some combined knit and purl stitches and one even had an intricate basketweave pattern.

Glass has been knitting for about 40 years. She turned to the hobby again after she moved to Prairie Commons about four years ago. Often, she knits to take a break from quilting, which can be tough on her back. Other times, she knits to keep herself occupied while she watches TV in the evening.

"If I didn't have something to do with my hands, I'd go crazy," Glass said.

Even if Prairie Commons hadn't participated in Share the Warmth, it wouldn't have stopped Glass from donating scarves.

"I'd have taken them down to the homeless," she said.

The Scotch Fabric Care coat drive continues through Saturday. Donations can be made at four locations in Lawrence: 1029 N.H; Sixth and Florida streets; 1526 W. 23rd St.; and Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive. Blankets, scarves and matched gloves also will be accepted and cleaned before distribution.

Staff writer Kristi Henderson can be reached at 832-7222.

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