NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — At the Grissom Library in Newport News, the group “Loosely Knit” has been knitting for nearly 16 years. The members knit, crochet, and quilt using donated materials. 

The items they make are donated to adults and children in need, cancer units, Healthy Families, Link, Books-on-Bikes, Veterans Hospitals, and pet shelters.

In 2018, they donated more than 500 items, including 250 hats, 60 pairs of slippers, scarves, gloves, shawls, blankets, and children’s clothes. But this year, they are in need of yarn donations, so that they can complete all of their projects.

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Alberta Wilson said the group began when her husband was diagnosed with cancer.

"It started out with my husband who had cancer and he would go to treatment. Little bit by little bit, his hair came out. So the ladies started making him hats and blankets. He enjoyed the hats because when they're taking chemo, their bodies get cold and they enjoy the blankets too,” said Wilson.

Wilson's husband passed away from cancer, but the group kept knitting and would drop off items in buckets at local hospitals for cancer patients. Marie Chenette was at one of those hospitals when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in June, so she picked out a hat.

"I saw a whole big bucket of hats that said free for chemo patients, which was me. And here we are, almost seven weeks later and I'm almost bald, so I needed it today,” said Chenette. 

Chenette met with the group when she donated yarn to say thank you for her hat, and she said she hoped other people would donate yarn too.

"If you have leftover yarn, just donate it. They can make anything, even out of scraps,” said Chenette.

If you would like to donate, you can drop yarn off at Grissom Library during its business hours Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The library is located at 366 Deshazor Drive, Newport News.

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