Their chatter is loud and their laughter is infectious. They can be found most Tuesdays 1–3 p.m. at the Rose Creek Library with knitting needles and crochet hooks in hand. This group of women will be quick to tell you that no prior knowledge of knitting or crocheting is necessary; in fact, their leader Darlene Pawlicki is known for being able to teach anyone to knit. They will also tell you to come prepared for plenty of conversation and companionship.
Pawlicki started the knitting and crocheting group four years ago, after retiring from her job as a kindergarten teacher. “I had no one to talk to and I missed teaching,” said Pawlicki. So she decided to use her teaching skills to share the art of knitting with others.
Fellow knitter Marian Stroh said she loves the fellowship and the way everyone helps each other with projects. Some of the ladies have even turned their hobby into a way of giving back to the community. Stroh said, “You can only make so many gifts for your family and friends before you have to figure out something else.” So she and several members of the Tuesday afternoon knitting and crocheting club have made caps, booties and blankets to donate to Tiny Stitches, an organization that provides basic clothing, bedding and other items for newborns of families in need in North Georgia (tinystitches.org). They have also made chemo caps for patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy treatments.
The ladies are passionate about their craft and want to keep it alive by passing it on to the next generation. However, in a twist of events, the youngest member of the group Macey Williams, age 13, is responsible for teaching her grandmother, Shirley Williams, to knit. Shirley said she treasures the time she gets to spend with her granddaughter and they often make an entire day of it, complete with lunch and shopping.
The fun doesn’t end when someone completes a project. In fact, the ladies love what they call show and tell days. When a member completes a blanket, shawl or hat, the item is laid out on a table for all to admire and inspect up close. The members talk about the intricacy of the stitches and the softness of the material, and take pictures to preserve the memory of the hard work and love put into each row of looped yarn.
Pawlicki and her friends extend an open invitation to anyone interested in joining the group. Just bring your yarn, knitting needles or crochet hook, and a willingness to learn and laugh.