Semester I Special: Nurses, secretaries form knitting club

The Newtonite

by Hilary Brumberg
After a long day taking students’ temperatures, warning them of the perils of drugs and STDs, answering phones and communicating with administrators, a few nurses and secretaries at this school head over to the Newton Free Library for their weekly knitting club.
The club, which includes health assistant Debbie Donovan, nurse Rozanne Milner, Adams House secretary Lorene Shapiro, Beals House secretary Cheryl Stover and former nurse Kathleen Walsh, meets every Monday and started three years ago when these faculty members realized that they all enjoy knitting.
Donovan, founding member, enjoys the knitting club because “it’s nice to get together with other people. We enjoy being together, knitting and being creative.”
During meetings, members work on their current projects and help their friends.
While knitting, the collection of nurses and secretaries “chat about everything,” she said. The club’s conversation topics include weekend activities, knitting projects, current events and family, according to Donovan.
Donovan said that she works on easy or intermediate projects during club meetings, but does more advanced projects at home.
Milner, another member of the Monday knitting club, praised Donovan’s knitting abilities.
The bond between the members of the Monday knitting club “has gotten stronger, and we get to know each other better,” she said.
Milner said she pursued the hobby because it is a “creative and therapeutic activity.” She enjoys participating in the group because “everyone is very outgoing and friendly.”
Stover, who is a founding member of the knitting club, echoed Milner’s appreciation for the club. She said that she finds it to be a “relaxing and social time with my co-workers.”
In addition to the social benefits of the club, Stover said that her knitting abilities have improved as a result. “Knitting is not my best craft,” she admitted. “The other members can help me if I have questions and mentor my knitting.”
Donovan participates in Thursday knitting nights at the Sheep Skate Yarn and Craft in Dedham. She has participated in this group for about five years and has become friends with the other regular members.
“I like it because I get to meet people from other towns and people you would not otherwise spend time with,” Donovan said.
She explained that the Thursday club is essentially the same as the Monday one, except with different people. “We talk about everything and have a lot of good laughs,” she said.
In addition to knitting for themselves, family and friends, the Thursday group occasionally knits items to donate to charitable causes, according to Donovan.
Donovan said that one of the most cared for items she has knit was a blanket, which she gave to her nephew’s son, Caleb, when he was born three years ago.
“It was difficult to make and had to be perfect or else the diamond-shaped pattern would have been thrown off.”
Now, Caleb “loves the blanket so much that he drags it around everywhere,” according to Donovan.
“It’s so cute.”
However, a hole has formed in the blanket, but the boy refuses to allow Donovan to fix it, she said.
While she is proud of her final products, Donovan admitted that she sometimes finds knitting to be arduous and frustrating.
“When I make something, it has to be perfect,” she said.
Even so, Donovan urges everyone to knit and join the Monday knitting club.
“Try it. You’ll like it. It’s a good hobby because it’s useful.”