Knit Wits celebrate ten years of friendship, crafting, and giving back
At least ten thousand: That’s the mind-boggling number of knitted hats, mittens, shawls, blankets, baby booties, scarves, and neck warmers that the members of the Knit Wits have donated over the last decade.
The group meets every Thursday morning in the community building at the Great Hill Estates Mobile Home Park to knit and chat -- just as they have every week for the last ten years.
The group started almost by accident, recalled Knit Wits group coordinator Sheila Monaghan. One afternoon, she was chatting with several of her Great Hill friends about potentially starting a knitting group. They agreed it sounded like a good idea, but were hemming and hawing about logistics until one friend said “How about Thursday mornings? That would work for me!”
And so, the Knit Wits came to be.
The group got its name from Monaghan’s husband Tom, who always observed the group cackling with laughter.
“We get a lot of satisfaction out of doing it,” said Corinne Cazzaero. “It’s a lot of fun.”
“It’s nice fellowship,” said Carol Shapiro. “We laugh a lot.”
“We gossip and solve all the problems of the world,” said Monaghan.
While they are having fun, the Knit Wits are knitting furiously, creating at least 1,000 items a year. Their work is distributed across Wareham and in surrounding communities.
Each year, the group donates dozens of hats and mittens to the Decas School. Each set is accompanied with school supplies.
Baby Point, Turning Point, and Damien’s Pantry get regular donations from the group, as do foster homes and shelters.
The knitters make lap blankets that are especially treasured at hospices. Recently, Monaghan got a call from the hospice to tell her how much one woman had treasured the lap blanket during her time in hospice. After the woman’s death, her family included the blanket in a memory box.
Since the beginning, the Knit Wits have worked with the Wareham Police Department to distribute hats, mittens, scarves, and other items to those in need. Police officers keep the items in their cruisers to hand out to anyone who could use them, including members of the local homeless community.
Monaghan said that the group’s only rule is that every item they make needs to be given freely to someone who needs it. Nothing the Knit Wits make is sold or raffled off.
Several years ago, the Knit Wits devoted their efforts to knitting helmet liners, scarves, and neck gaiters for members of the armed forces. Those items need to be made from 100 percent wool which is flame resistant, which is expensive. After reaching out to several local groups, Monaghan got a check in the mail for $1,000 from a Plymouth veterans group, which funded the project. The Knit Wits fondly remembered getting a photo in the mail of a soldier proudly wearing their knitted work in front of a plane.
Another year, following tornadoes in the Midwest, the Knit Wits gave bags of knitted goods to a local woman who was flying her own personal plane full of donations to the areas impacted by the storms.
When she arrived, she was interviewed by a local TV news station. She reached into the plane to show off a donation, and held up a Knit Wits creation for the camera.
The Knit Wits are open to new members, including people who aren’t Great Hill residents or who don’t yet know how to knit or crochet.
Sheila Monaghan, the Knit Wits coordinator, can be contacted at email@example.com or 508-273-7308.