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Clothing production took place once more at the Hamburg Knitting Mill.
In order to provide baby clothing and blankets for Mary’s Shelter of Reading, which recently expanded to Allentown, three local women knitted, cross-stitched and crocheted 54 items that were donated to the shelter on Sept. 26.
Knitting Mill Apartment building manager Kathryn Tavares, along with apartment residents Betty Angstadt and Judy Golden, worked on the articles of clothing and blankets for approximately eight and a half months before handing the donated goods over to shelter associate Laura Stewart. The impetus for the project came after Golden read a newspaper article that discussed the expansion of the shelter to Allentown. Golden then took the article to Tavares to see if she thought it was a good idea for charity work. After agreeing on the idea, work began on the pieces.
“It’s just a nice winter activity to do something,” said Tavares, of Orwigsburg. “I never knitted before. This is my first time and I actually got quite prolific at it.”
Most of the work was performed by the women in their spare time, but the group did gather weekly on Wednesday afternoons to produce the articles of clothing.
Through the time spent, the ladies were able to generate 11 sweaters, 13 hats, 10 booties, five pair of pants, four shirts, two jackets, six blankets, and three cross stitch quilts. Golden, who produced the cross-stitch pieces, received help on one of the quilts from Mary Antol and Margaret Bausher. The two women took care of the backing on the quilt.
Even with the help, Golden said she worked on the cross-stitching five out of seven days, four to five hours each time. She noted that the activity is a hobby she enjoys.
“I just enjoy doing it. It’s just plain, old stitching,” said Golden.
While cross-stitching is Golden’s forte, Angstadt spent most of her time crocheting. She knit two sweaters but the rest of her time spent on the clothing, which she estimated as in the 20-30 hour range, was used crocheting while watching television at night
“I just enjoy doing things for other people,” said Angstadt. “And when they said there was a need for the babies, you always do things for babies.”
And although the clothing produced by the women was not going to their own family members, Tavares said the group put forth their best efforts as if the articles were going to relatives.
“We tried to treat what we were giving as if it was going to our own children or our own grandchildren,” said Tavares. “And we tried to make it special.”
“It really makes me feel good,” said Angstadt, of the emotion following the donation.
“Oh it’s just a feeling you can’t describe. It’s just overwhelming to think that a small contribution can literally give wants to an infant or child,” said Golden, of the donation.