Knitting in public, oh my

Submitted by: Jan Ballard Mississippi State University Extension Service – Choctaw County 662-285-6337

(From local newspaper in 1917?) “Knitters Are Busy”

“The Ackerman Red Cross Chapter makes, another shipment of knitted garments, consisting of sweaters, helmets, socks and wristlets.

Several new knitters and some of our worthy industrious, girls have joined in with the old members and are very busy plying their needles.

On account of an epidemic of measles many of the unfinished garments are on hand which will be finished soon.

We have instructions from headquarters that our Army and Navy must be supplied with these much needed garments before they can furnish the organizations in France.

We have a supply of yarn and needles on hand.

Rally to the call knitters!

Mrs. Cochran Mrs. McKinnon, Committee on Knitting” Almost 100 years later and some things have not changed. Actually, most of the techniques of basic knitting and crocheting have not changed for many hundreds of years! Somehow, there is some comfort in that.

And, there are residents in Choctaw County who still get together and knit and crochet to make items to give to people who might be in need of them (hats, scarves, lap robes, afghans, slippers, cowls and toys). Somehow, there is GREAT comfort in that.

On Tuesday, November 13, several members of the Full Circle Knitting/ Crochet Group met on a cold, crisp morning to Knit in Public at French Camp Historic District. The ladies were able to find some seats in the sun, and even though the breeze was brisk, and falling leaves were a little pesky, and a few tried to knit and crochet with their gloves on, spirits were not dampened (although some of the knitters’ sitters might have been), nor did it keep the group from sharing and joking and being productive.

The staff of the Council House Café was generous and thoughtful to bring out a tray of hot coffee and crackers and later in the morning everyone went inside to sit by the appreciated warm fire, and have a scrumptious lunch.

After lunch, some of the members went on to the Choctaw County Nursing Center to donate lap robes and walker bags and spend time with the residents making flowers out of recycled (the new term being used is “up-cycled”) plastic bags.

One resident asked, “Do you ever make these flowers to sell?” “No”. “You should, you could make a mint!”

In that setting, it’s often hard to discern who has the more enjoyable and beneficial experience, the ones teaching or the ones learning? And, who can really say WHO is teaching and WHO is learning?

There is comfort in knowing some things stay the same. And, there is GREAT comfort in knowing that the very best thing to stay the same just might be the human heart.