Hooked on Helping stitches warmth for 'giving tree'

New group of knitters and crocheters welcome all who want to be part of the fun, whether beginner or advanced


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  • Darlene Bartley has been crocheting for 20 years. On the table in front of her are a hat and scarf that will be added to the giving tree. In the background, Lisa Montalbano (left) is teaching Pat Schwetje to knit. (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)




  • Analiese Fammler made a pink pussy hat for the Women's March in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)




  • Analiese Fammler shared a pink pussy hat she made for the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)




  • Lisa Montalbano teaches Pat Schwetje to knit. (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)




  • Lisa Montalbano, knitting and crocheting teacher, models the hat Darlene Bartley made for the giving tree (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)




  • Beginner Pat Schwetje shows the handy reference Lisa Montalbano made for her (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)




  • The giving tree (Photo by Geri Corey)



The newly formed group of knitters and crocheters meets the second, third, and fourth Mondays of each month, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church of Goshen.

By Frances Ruth Harris

— A handmade shawl is like a continuous hug for the person who receives it, say the members of Hooked on Helping, who meet regularly to make toasty hats, scarfs, and mittens for Goshen's "giving tree."

Members also make prayer shawls for occasions both sad and joyous.

The newly formed group of knitters and crocheters meets the second, third, and fourth Mondays of each month, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church. Anbliese Fammler of New Hampton, Lisa Montalbano of Florida, N.Y., and Pat Schwetje and Darlene Bartley of Goshen, started the group and invite others to join them.

Bartley knows how to knit but prefers crochet, which she's been doing for 20 years. She carries projects everywhere she goes in her antique Bank of New York bag. She posts the group's meeting dates and other news on Goshen's Facebook page.

Fammler made a pink pussy hat to be worn at the Women's March in Washington, D.C., on the day following the Presidential Inauguration. She planned to make one for herself to wear at the "sister march" in New York City in front of Trump Tower. She taught herself how to knit and crochet when she was 12 years old, and has spent 50 years happily stitching away. Her granddaughter attended the Presbyterian Church's pre-school.

Montalbano has been knitting and crocheting for 45 years, having learned from her mom. She's the group's teacher and welcomes new members who would like to learn. She made a helpful reference file for the group's beginner, Pat Schwetje.

Schwetje works in the church office and gratefully accepts donations of yarn for giving tree projects. Her goal is to make prayer shawls and items for the tree. Donations may be left with her at the church office from Monday through Friday, 9 to 11:45 a.m. and 1 to 3:45 p.m.

No donation is too small, she said. Everything they receive will be turned into winter warmth for others.

Branches of the "tree," which is located at the bus depot in the heart of Goshen, hold bagged items labeled with information on size and age-appropriateness.






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