Green River Star -

People Editor 

Seniors make hats for school kids


October 25, 2017

Star photo by Stephanie Thompson

Pam Edens cuts a piece of yarn off of the end a hat she just finished making.

Twice a week, a sewing group meets at the Golden Hour Senior Center to work on their projects.

For the past few months, the group decided to set their own projects aside and unite to complete a humanitarian project.

Shirley Okerson said the ladies are using knitting looms to make 120 hats for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade students at Truman Elementary School.

Okerson said the seniors attending the class have learned how to make hats and scarves using the E-wrap stitch to make the twisted stockinette pattern for hats and scarves.

So far, they've surpassed their goal and have made around 200 hats and scarves, but they are still making more because they know there are children in need.

Okerson, who calls herself a sharer not a teacher, says she learns with the others in the class.

Okerson will watch Youtube videos on how to make loom hats. She learns the different techniques and then shares them with the others in the class.

So far, the group has learned four versions of the knit stitch, the E-wrap, the U-wrap, and the Flat-stitch and stitches used in the twisted stockinette and the stockinette pattern.

Pam Edens, one of the sewing group members, had completed about six hats. She enjoys picking out colors that go well together.

"Some of the ladies are crocheting them and some are using looms," Edens said.

Each hat is unique in its own way, Edens said. Some of the hats have bows and flowers, while others have braids or pompoms on them.

"The ladies have put their own little spin on things," Edens said.

All of the ladies in the class agreed the looms are easy to use once they learned how to use them.

"Those of us who have arthritis it's easier to use," Okerson said.

Not only does Okerson watch videos, but she finds step-by-step instructions on how to make loom hats. She passes these out to those who want them.

Okerson said this kind of project not only helps those participating with their social skills, but with memory, focus, vision, hand-eye coordination and self confidence.

What's great is almost all of the yarn has been donated to the group. Some community members have even donated money to go toward the purchase of the materials.

"Everyone is welcome to come and learn the knitting looms with us," Okerson said. "We have looms to check out and yarn to try your hand at before you purchase your own. We all learn at our own pace. No pressure to catch up or compete with each other."

The group wanted to thank everyone who donated yarn or money for the humanitarian project.

On Nov. 1, the ladies are going to start learning the purl and classic knit stitch. They will make 8-inch square patterns on the round looms this winter and put them together as afghans.

The group meets on Wednesdays from 1-4 p.m. and Fridays at 10 a.m. to noon.


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