The Dale Association group keeps them going
October 21 — As they have done for the past eight years, the Needlers, a group of no more than 15 members every Tuesday, met and knitted, crocheted and stitched their own projects or took cabinets full of yarn to make. mittens and hats for local school district students.
“Mittens, I’ve been doing them all my life, 70 years old,” said Linda Sawyer. “We make hats, mittens, whatever. We don’t give nobody what to do. If they want to do something and give it to the Grigg Lewis Foundation or give it to the Dale Association for them to do. sell it, that’s their option. If they want to work on their own stuff, they do. “
“So everything is strictly voluntary,” she said.
Sawyer said the Dale Association traditionally handed out backpacks and had a table of hats and mittens for children.
“I guess they were underprivileged kids who couldn’t afford a backpack,” she said. “Since then we just did and for the last couple of years they haven’t come looking for the backpacks and they didn’t want the kids to go through the hats and mittens because of Covid. “
Now the school districts have taken over the distribution, Linda said.
In addition to doing what could make or break a child’s winter day, the group jokes with each other.
“It’s a labor of love,” said Doreen Petty with a laugh. “I make baby blankets, sweaters and hats and I make mittens and hats and scarves.”
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the group said during the warmer months they would sit in the Dale Association parking lot and make hats.
“We sat in the parking lot, pulled out our own chairs and there were about 10 or 12 of us at the time,” Sawyer said. “We laugh, we tease, we have fun. We bite people.”