Manitoulin residents gather to knit for charity

Twenty-two knitters took part in the first St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church knitting for charity outreach program. A second session will be held on November 16 at 9 am at the Mindemoya church and all are welcome. photo by Betty Bardswich

MINDEMOYA—Knitting for Charity, an outreach program of Mindemoya’s Anglican Church, proved very successful at the first event held on October 19. Twenty-two people sat down at St Francis of Assisi Church for knitting and fellowship. As Northern Life associate content editor Heidi Ulrichsen explained in a release, “every new patient receiving chemotherapy treatment at the Northeast Cancer Centre receives a present—a beautiful afghan or quilt made by a volunteer. The blankets keep the patients warm during their treatments. The drugs feel cold as they’re going through their system, and the chemotherapy room itself can be a little chilly at times. Unfortunately, the cupboard at the Northern Cancer Foundation where the blankets are kept is currently a bit bare.”

During a recent visit by, there were only three blankets left. On busy days, volunteers at the cancer centre can hand out eight or nine.

That’s why Northern Cancer Foundation volunteer adviser Angela Corsi-Raso, who co-ordinates the blanket donation program, is putting a call-out to the community.

She’s asking for people to knit or crochet afghans with a minimum size of 40 inches by 56 inches (enough to cover an adult from shoulders to toes). They can also knit eight-inch squares that are later sewn into blankets.”

Ms. Corsi-Raso also noted that her current group of knitters and crocheters are aging and dwindling in number, so she is hoping to find fresh recruits which is exactly what happened when the knitters gathered at the Mindemoya church.

“We held this outreach of the church,” member Dorothy Anstice explained, “as we wanted to offer an opportunity for knitters to take part in the making of comfort blankets for chemo patients.” She went on to say that yarn and needles were donated by church, as well as community, members although those interested in the project were asked to bring their own size six needles.

Ms. Anstice also spelled out that the yarn used has to be 100 percent acrylic as chemotherapy patients can have a sensitivity to wool.

The knitters for this venture at the church were from Central Manitoulin, M’Chigeeng, Little Current, Gore Bay and Tekhummah and there was even a visitor from England as Ms. Anstice’s daughter Esther also joined the group.

Ms. Anstice said that there was so much enthusiasm for this event that it will be held again on November 16.