Friday, August 26, 2005

Knit one, laugh two


By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer

From the left, Lila Corrock, Pat O'Neill and Judy Webb are part of a long-standing knitting group that is making afghans for Afghanis. Photo by Willy Cook

If you scurried up behind a huge vegetable and flower garden adjacent to a house in Warm Springs, you might hear women laughing and the clacking of knitting needles moving in concert, one evening a week.

Patritia O'Neill, Judy Webb, Lila Corrock, Andy Bell, Linda McClatchy, Jeannie Koleno and Patricia Lirk gather to knit, and are very serious about their craft. Corrock taught some of them to knit over 20 years ago. The core group comes most every week to work on their projects.

"She started as our teacher and some of us stuck," Webb said.

"We do on occasion tell a tale or two," O'Neill added.

"It's really evolved into being friends, a reading group...We have a lot of fun," Webb said.

They are also generous. Often they knit booties and hats for newborns for the hospital to dole out. Corrock, who spends winters in Mexico, teaches knitting in the small town she and her husband Jack go to.

"By golly, it's worked," she said. "I've done it for four years or so. They give me a party. It's all grade school kids. One year I asked for donations (from here) and received yarns and needles to take to them."

Currently, the knitting group's pet project is making several afghans to send to Afghanistan. They began the project in May.

The program, afghans for Afghans, is a humanitarian and educational people-to-people project overseen by the American Friends for Service Committee, based in San Francisco. Inspired by Red Cross volunteers who made afghans, socks, slippers, and other items for soldiers and refugees during World Wars I and II, afghans for Afghans started in 2002.

For the next shipment, which is being sent overseas on Sept. 16, the group will send four beautifully made, wool afghans.

Afghans, by the way, came to be called such in the early 1800s after visitors began returning home with elaborately woven scarves, blankets and rugs from the Far East.

Instead of calling them "Afghanistan coverlets or shawls," the term was shortened to just "afghans."




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