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Knitting away the winter

Sophia Pickles, working on one of her most recent knitting projects at the weekly knitting circle at the New Glasgow library.
Sophia Pickles, working on one of her most recent knitting projects at the weekly knitting circle at the New Glasgow library. - Fram Dinshaw

For local lady Sophia Pickles, knitting is therapy, socializing and learning a new skill all rolled into one.

 

The New Glasgow native pops into the library most weekends to join her friends in the knitting circle, sowing gloves and woolly caps as she catches up with friends and shares any problems she may have.

 

“There is always someone here to help,” said Pickles.

 

Only four women joined the knitting circle New Glasgow’s library on a frigid Jan. 6, but librarian Heather MacInnis said that typically up to 12 people come, including some men.

 

“We have quite a wide range of ages generally. We have some younger ones,” said MacInnis.

 

Mastering the art according to MacInnis and the others is simple: practice with the needle.

 

This includes learning how to sow things together, including socks, gloves, hand muffs, sweaters, hats, mittens and shawls, which are especially popular.

 

Handmade clothing is donated to local charities, seniors and children. The hand muffs come in handy for people living with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Meantime, another knitting circle in Stellarton stitched together squares for blankets and sent them to Africa.

 

“I’m just an average knitter but in the few years that we’ve been doing this, I feel like I’ve gained in skills to a certain extent, just watching other people and getting ideas,” said MacInnis.

 

Skills mastered include sewing and grafting. Knitters on Saturday start off with a ball of wool or fabric that they slowly meld into a piece of clothing.

 

“You just pick up little things as you work together,” said MacInnis.

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