Wednesday, February 17, 2010

my rockin' senior pals

It's been awhile since I've done any updating about the convalescent hospitals I volunteer at. I think the last time may have been when I showed the fall themed knit-covered wreath that TheKnittingLadies and I worked on putting together. Well, we banged out another one for Valentine's Day.

This one is a bit smaller (we have less knitters attending right now). To make these, we just simply knit a mishmash of swatches basically, and we tack them onto a foam core with greening pins. It's a great group project because no matter how much one can knit, one can contribute. You could even stick a little 3-row strip on there, if you had to. It's sort of like a crazy quilt.

We also have a couple of knitters in the bunch who fret about mistakes and so they rip out and re-knit over and over, and then we never get enough fabric to cover our core. With this project I just tell them to not worry about their mistakes, because we just tuck them under bows and flowers or other swatches or whatnot, and they seem to find that freeing.

We finished that wreath at the beginning of February, and TheLadies are asking to make a spring themed one, which I am sure we will.

This week however, the knitting group was canceled to make room for Fat Tuesday and a Mardi Gras party.

The highlight was that a musician was brought in, and he played piano and sang for an hour. Toes were tappin', lemme tell ya'. Click on the guy's website (Macy Blackman & The Mighty Fines) and you will hear why. He was awesome. I'm going to have to go see one of his local gigs, I liked it so much.

Everyone in the house got beads and there were masks and hats.

hey look, my new hat fit right in--LOL

Notice Ms.Bridget of TheKnittingLadies on the far left there...not sure if you can see it, but she's working on a hat. She never puts her knitting down.

Right next to me there though is Ivy (in her handknit scarf, no less).
I must tell you about Ivy.
For starters, she is lovely. Very elegant. This photo and that mask don't do her justice.
Ivy was wheeled into TheKnittingLadies during her first week as a resident because someone saw some of her handiwork. When she came in though, she was not all the comfortable being there. She said (and continues to say) in her lovely english accent, "that her knitting days are over." And then she'll go on to tell you about all the "jumpers" she knit for her kids during the war, and sweaters for grandchildren. Once she told me about making a rag rug for her diningroom. Huge. Like wall to wall.

After awhile of coming, Ivy would say that her knitting days were over and that her eyes were bad and she could no longer see, and her hands didnt work anymore, and she would wheel herself on out of the room. I always invited her to stay even if she wasn't knitting because we have tea and I bring a stack of ladies magazines for the non-knitters that cruise in regularly. Anyhow, one day, she was saying her knitting days were over, and the knitter next to me took a break to have her tea and a cookie, and she took her knitting and passed it across the table to Ms.Ivy and said, "Here. Work on this while I drink my tea."

And Ms.Ivy started knitting.
And knitting, and knitting.
She said she couldnt really see what she was doing, but she could feel it...and let me tell you, she didn't make a single mistake.

It made my eyes water :-)

And she still says her knitting days are over, and doesn't come that often, but I usually drag her in anyhow and stick a pair of needles in her hands that already has a couple of rows on it, and she just goes right at it. Cracks me up. And then she leaves saying she doesnt knit anymore.

I love her :-)


jodi said...

It would be fun to keep putting the same piece in her hands each time (a plain scarf, perhaps, so she wouldn't catch on) and then eventually present her with the finished product that she'd essentially knitted herself.

Jodie said...

I agree with jodi. Some crafty persuasion is in order. Especially if she think it's her idea. ;)

Gwen said...


Anonymous said...

Bless you for getting some knitting back in her life....


Anonymous said...

When I used to work on the Alzheimers' unit, we found that people lost abilities in small, discrete pieces. The gardener might still be able to dig a hole, but need reminding about planting the seedling in it ... and maybe not be able to weed at all. The knitter might still be able to knit a row or several, but no longer be able to cast on or follow a 'knit one, purl two' kind of pattern.

Most of the folks who had lost a beloved hobby were just delighted to be brought back into whatever part they could still do -- and often seemed to enjoy the company of others who could do other parts of the same craft.

How delightful to have knitters willing to share like that.

AllyB said...

I think it's wonderful that you're working with these ladies. Thank you so much. I'm thinking I should follow your example and put all my crafty knowledge to work at something to benefit someone other than myself.