For nearly 10 years, Marianne Mead, Pat Londeree and about 20 other residents at Edgemere have used their knitting, sewing and crocheting skills to help U.S. troops, local newborns in need and other heartwarming causes.
The Knit Wits, as they affectionately call themselves, started in 2010 when they decided to knit items for troops in Afghanistan as part of Operation Helmet Liner. In the decade since, the group has taken up a variety of local causes, such as scarves and hats for The Stewpot homeless mission, caps and blankets for newborns at Parkland Hospital, and a holiday bazaar to benefit the Genesis Women’s Shelter. At the end of September, they donated two dozen handmade teddy bears to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (see photo).
“We’re more than just a knitting group; people need this group for various reasons,” said Mead, whose passion for knitting started in high school when she started to make mittens and argyle socks for boyfriends. “In many ways, we’re a support group.”
For the past several months, the group has also been making fidget sleeves – 24-inch long knitted sleeves that have buttons, rings and other items sewn into them. The sleeves are donated to residents at Edgemere with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia who benefit from therapeutic, hands-on stimulation.