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Knitting For A Cause

Jane Toly

Anyone who has taken a knitting class through the Park City Community Education department in the last 10 years was invited to share their learned talent and help knit clothes for stuffed animals.  KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher stopped by the knitting circle and has this report.

Jane Toly is the Leisure Learning coordinator for the Park City School District. She’s become good friends with Pat Ronneburg, an award winning knitter and designer and the one Toly hired years ago to teach knitting to the Park City community.

Recently, Toly put out a call to all of those who have taken a knitting class with Ronneburg- whether it was for a never-ever knitter or someone more advanced who was  interested in learning how to knit socks, mittens or a beanie. She got a got a decent turnout when 10 former students showed up to help on a recent Saturday morning…

“We purchased some quality stuffed animals that have a little bit of weight in them and what the plan is to give them to the Park City Police Department and they keep them in their cars and then they can give these animals out to children who might be experiencing a traumatic event of some sort. And we chose specifically weighted animals to give them a sense of comfort.  And we’re knitting custom clothes to make them cuter.”

For Ronneburg, it was great to see  some of those she’s taught over the years use their knitting skills.

“We pulled in some people who have been out of my knitting circle at least and on to their own knitting for many years, so it was really fun to see them. And it was nice too to have the participation of the more experienced knitters with some of the newer knitters today too.”

Using an old pattern book, Ronneburg and Toly worked out the gauge for the stuffed animal clothing  and provided participants with a copy of the patterns.

“We’ve made some sweaters and headbands and the hats. There are some different types of hats. We had a cable hat - we have this. Someone is making a rainbow seater for a unicorn. Super hero capes.  And there’s a lot of different colors that you can see. Margo from Wasatch and Wool came by this morning and donated a bunch of yarn for our project and we’ll be able to use that for different projects going forward too.”

Some of the patterns were simple enough that a couple of the newest students – knitting for only a few weeks - could be successful with.

"Some of the knitters who were with us today have only been knitting for a few weeks. They have an understanding of the knit stich and that’s all they needed.”

They hope to continue the project and provide more animals and knitted clothes for both the sheriff’s office and Children’s Justice Center. If you’re interested in helping – and all knitters are welcome - contact Toly through the community education office at 435-615-0125 and for those who would like to learn to knit – Ronneburg is teaching a new Learn to Knit class in April. The new community education class catalogue comes out in January with details on how to register.