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Leaside’s Knit-wizzes

Leaside’s knitting ladies led by Doreen Sherk (back row, 2nd from the right)

Leaside’s knitting ladies led by Doreen Sherk (back row, 2nd from the right) Photo by Sarah Kelly.

Since January, a group of 14 women at Leaside Gate, calling themselves the Leaside Gate Condo Knitting Group, has knit an astonishing 1,500 seven-inch squares.

The knitting takes place mainly on Wednesday mornings in a pleasant common room in the building at 955 Millwood Rd. It’s a time for knitting, obviously, but also a time for
chatting, catching up and just being with other likeminded people.

And what happens to the squares? One of the knitters, Magda, assembles the squares into a pleasing pattern and crochets them together – making blankets, knee throws or shoulder shawls. Some of the squares are monochromatic, with no pattern, while others include fancy patterns, colourful variations, or both – but all are made of washable fibre so they are easy to care for.

The finished products, tied with ribbon and a tag identifying the makers as the “Leaside Gate Condo Knitting Group,” end up in long-term care residences, at K Wing at Sunnybrook Hospital, or with friends in the building, neighbourhood or out of town. The recipients appreciate that these blankets are made by hand, and with love, and feel that someone cares.

Leaside knitters items

Photo by Sarah Kelly.

Some of the knitters are originally from England, where knitting was a skill taught in school, and featuring early projects for soldiers in the Second World War. These women caught the knitting bug, and they’ve been knitting ever since. A couple had knit long ago, but stopped and took it up again as part of this group. No one is an absolute beginner, and so far at least, no man has taken up the needles, though he’d certainly be a welcome addition.

One of the circle, Edith, creates preemie hats and sweaters for Sick Kids’ Hospital. Evelyn knits on Tuesday mornings at St. Cuthbert’s Church to contribute sweaters for the church’s semi-annual sales. These are only two of the women turning wool into beautiful creations.