Seniors share knitting talents with families in need

Elaine Allegrini

Virginia Tibbetts likes to knit, but she says it’s more fun knitting for kids than for yourself.

She has had lots of fun this year.

Tibbetts is among a group of 20 knitters whose needles have produced hats, mittens, scarves and slippers that are being donated to the children at the Family Life Center, a home where up to 13 families live in their own apartments while getting help to repair their lives and live independently.

“We really love to knit,” said Pat McCarthy during the group’s Christmas party last week.

They didn’t bring their needles that day but were happy to show off the results of months of work.

Using yarn of varied colors, the women crafted knitwear of simple and fancy stitches, designed specifically for each of the 35 children who live next door.

The women get a name and an age, the rest is up to them.

Alice Farnsworth leads the group, happy to share the talents of the seniors with their young neighbors, even though the recipients are totally anonymous.

“It’s doing something for someone,” said Marion Kelliher, one of the few in the group who works. She is a real estate agent but takes time to join the knitters.

“It’s nice to be able to do something for someone else,” she said.

The knitting done, the focus is now on the Bingo players at the senior center who fill stockings for the same children.

Candy canes, toys, and new toothbrushes and toothpaste are ready to go into the stockings that local police officer Al Gazerra will pack up and deliver.

“We drop them and run,” he said. “We’re like the Christmas elves, nobody even knows we’re there.”

Elaine Allegrini can be reached at