Close-knit shop has needy covered

Crafters bedeck Christmas tree with gloves, socks

12/3/2012
BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Knitters spend hours in the shop of Candice Fink, left, of Sylvania and Tracey Maris of  Toledo, working on projects and sharing advice.
Knitters spend hours in the shop of Candice Fink, left, of Sylvania and Tracey Maris of Toledo, working on projects and sharing advice.

OTTAWA LAKE — The Christmas tree is starting to fill up at the Yarn Envy shop here.

It went on display last week as the collection point for mittens, scarves, socks, and hats that regulars at the shop are knitting for the holidays. The articles are hung on the tree and will be a Christmas donation to families using the Ronald McDonald House in Toledo.

“I expect it will be just covered by Christmas,” Candice Fink, the yarn shop’s co-owner, said. “The tree will just be drenched in wonderful gifts.”

Chad Bringman, executive director of Ronald McDonald Charities of Northwest Ohio, said the warm clothing will be put to good use.

Knitted items on the shop’s Christmas tree will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House.
Knitted items on the shop’s Christmas tree will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House.

The Ronald McDonald House is overbooked with families visiting Toledo for their children’s medical care, with the overflow staying at the Ramada Toledo Conference Center on Secor Road.

Many of them are from warmer climates and are ill-dressed for the cold weather.

“These are something that will be offered to the families and kids,” he said.

Yarn Envy, at the former Jacob’s Garden site at 4570 Sterns Rd., is a popular gathering spot for knitters from southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio.

The knitters — mostly women, although a few are men — come from across Monroe County as well as Blissfield and Adrian; south of the state line, they hail from the Toledo area and farther-afield communities such as Maumee, Perrysburg, Bowling Green, and Findlay.

The knitters meet informally and stay for hours in the cheery, well-lighted shop as they work on their projects and share knitting patterns and advice. One group, which is moving to the Bedford Branch Library next year, knitted “chemocaps” for cancer patients undergoing treatment.

“We have all these different groups. They just come together here and knit,” said Tracey Maris, the other co-owner. “They’re not very exclusive. They’re very social. People are just encouraged to come in. People can come in here any time, and we’ll help them with their knitting.”

This time of year finds the knitters with the upcoming holidays on their minds.

Temperance resident Shari Donbrosky was making a Posey hat with a green-and-pink rose on it for her 1-year-old granddaughter. She had made six pairs of mittens for the tree.

Ginger Socie, who lives in Toledo’s Point Place neighborhood, was knitting a sweater for her daughter and will make hats to hang on the Yarn Envy tree.

“There’s plenty of knitting to be done between now and Christmas,” she said. “More knitting than time.”

Joanne Cole of Lambertville worked on a wrister glove for her granddaughter. The gloves, which expose the fingers and thumbs, “are popular now for texting,” she said.

Pat Oliver of Milan, Mich., was knitting a Christmas scarf for her daughter in a variegated yarn that included orange, green, blue, and mauve, while Dundee resident Donna Tansel made headbands decorated with a bow and button for her grandchildren, her church, and the tree.

Ms. Fink said the knitters would be looking to assist other good causes in the new year.

“If we can help, we’ll definitely consider requests from a charity,” she said. “We’d be happy to supply them too.”