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Knotty knitters up to their eyes in wool

August 11, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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A group of seniors can’t purl fast enough.

About 15 reformed so-called naughty women, mostly in their 80s tirelessly twirl their needles for patients at the Ottawa Hospital. As the name implies, the Knotty Knitters of Revera Retirement Community in Sittsville, Ontario, Canada are both sassy and haritable.

"Our naughty days are over," says Monetta Ayotte, 89, head knitter, to the Ottawa Citizen. "We'd like to be naught but we don't know how to anymore. Now, I just want to do things for other people."

Since the group formed in November 2015, they have made more than 1,000 items for patients, including hats for preemies and knitted arm sleeves to cover peripherally inserted cetnral catheter (PICC) lines. The women knit several hours each day and rely on their own supply or donations to keep going. Their supply was dwindling, so last month, they made an appeal to the larger community. The response has been overwhelming, Ayotte says.

“I’ve got four drawers full of wool in my room,” Ayotte says to the Ottawa Citizen. “And Doris (another knotty knitter) has about four big bags in her room."

The extra wool means they can knit more items for patients, but Ayotte wishes they had extra hands, too.  

Jenna Gardiner, lifestyle consultant at Revera Retirement Community, says a few more women have joined the group since the call for hands. The Revera community plans to host an open house to attract more knitters and is looking to expand the Knotty Knitters to its other facilities.

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