Published January 24, 2019 by Tom Porter

Hats, Gloves, Scarves, and Mittens for the Common Good

All semester, the group Knitting and Crocheting for the Common Good has been meeting two days a month to make handmade items to give away.
Students knitting together
The new group, launched this semester by biology lab instructor Bethany Whalon and science librarian Sue O'Dell, is working on a growing pile of hats, socks, mittens, scarves, and baby blankets to donate to community organizations.

On every second and fourth Friday of the month, Whalon and O'Dell invite staff, faculty, students, and locals to knit or crochet for two hours together. Volunteers can pull yarn from a large bag of donated wool and other fiber. (Whalon said bags of yarn have been appearing outside her and O'Dell's offices.)

The group will deliver the items to places such as battered women's shelters, organizations that help the homeless, maternity wards, and chemotherapy centers.
Whalon, who has been making and giving away her creations for years, said she's found that a spirit of generosity infuses the knitting community. Indeed, if you ever ask knitters to help out, you will likely soon be engulfed in warm and fuzzy things. "That's what happens when you put a call out to knitters!" she said.

Story update: Sue and Beth dropped a bag of items at The Gathering Place in Brunswick on Dec. 19. The Gathering Place is a daytime shelter for those who need a welcoming and warm spot to spend time in.