Stitch ‘N Time in Calabash Knits for Good
“Would you like to hear about my exploding closet?”
Kris Ann Crane’s question is intriguing, so I say yes, and we all have good laugh as she tells us about her yarn-filled closet and how the skeins came tumbling down when she opened the doors one day. Another knitter says, “Oh, I have a story for you.”
This is how it goes with the group known as Stitch ‘N’ Time, which came about in 2004 when Marylin Searby, then a Calabash resident, had a vision for a new library in the Calabash area, along with another idea to form a needle crafters group.
Both became a reality, and now the Stitch ‘N’ Time knitters, needle crafters and quilters gather every Monday at the Hickmans Crossroads Library in Calabash to spend the day stitchin’. As I sit and listen to these crafters, I learn there’s much more than the stitches they take or the skeins of yarn they trade.
Without dropping a stitch, Dorothy Morley tells me how the group came together to send her cross-stitch kits to work on while she spent time with her daughter, who was undergoing chemo treatments. “This group is very therapeutic,” she says.
As I look around the room, I watch as their hands take yarn wrapped around their fingers and with a methodical rhythm and shiny knitting needles, create a piece of art that comes from their heart. The sounds of lively conversation, friendly faces and the soft clicking of needles are certainly good therapy for anyone.
I have many questions for Crane, the group’s leader. She was the fourth member of this group when she joined them in 2004. Now, on any given Monday they may have 15 to 20 needlecrafters around the table. Crane beams with pride about the group and its community involvement. Stitch ‘N’ Time has a strong core but welcomes anyone into their circle without hesitation.
These ladies stitch not only for themselves, but also for others. I watch as several of them tag knitted scarves destined to Operation Gratitude, an organization that provides care packages for military personnel and their families. The stitchers have sent more than 130 knitted and crocheted scarves to this ongoing project.
Another of their projects is Blankets for Carolina Comfort of Brunswick County. The stitchers donate knitted and crocheted blankets to be distributed to babies, children and teens who are ill or are being assisted in shelters, hospitals or foster care. EMT personnel and sheriff’s units carry the blankets to comfort children in emergency situations. The group’s blankets are also used in animal cages at the North Myrtle Beach Animal Shelter.
One-time projects have included the Caps to the Capital campaign, which distributed knitted baby and preemie caps, and 123 rescue nests to Virginia Fish and Wildlife for displaced animals.
Hickmans Crossroads Library is also a recipient of the group’s generosity. Stitchers’ donations have been used to fund children’s programs, tables and chairs for a meeting room, and book shelves for the library. And every fall the stitchers set aside time to create ornaments for the Christmas tree set up in the library lobby. Their knitted cupcakes, snowmen and other designs adorn the tree, and proceeds from the sales of the ornaments are used to purchase items on the library’s wish list.
The group does not offer classes on knitting and needlework; however, if you have a question or need a friendly ear, they offer that at their Monday meetings. You can also check out their lending library, which is full of books and needlework charts to help guide you with your projects.
If eyes are the windows to the soul, then hands must be the road to the heart. And these ladies’ creations surely touch many people’s hearts.
Want to go?
For more information about the Stitch ‘N’ Time group, their meeting dates and times, call Hickmans Crossroads Library at (910) 575-0173 or go to brunswickcountync.gov/library/hickmans-crossroads. The library is at 1040 Calabash Road in Calabash.