Students warm the Help House with a new skill

Lauryn Boelke and Erica Sugatan both said they enjoyed knitting scarves. “I thought it was really fun. I’d love to do it again,” Boelke said about the project. - Rebecca Olson/Whidbey News-Times
Lauryn Boelke and Erica Sugatan both said they enjoyed knitting scarves. “I thought it was really fun. I’d love to do it again,” Boelke said about the project.
— image credit: Rebecca Olson/Whidbey News-Times

Knitting needles have been clacking in North Whidbey Middle School’s family and consumer science classroom as 7th grade students learned how to knit to benefit the North Whidbey Help House.

Teacher Mary Ann Duhrkopf had talked to the Help House staff about what her class could do to help the community during the cold winter months.

Cindy Noe, who works at the Help House, came to the middle school to accept the donated scarves.

“This’ll be a wonderful added bonus,” Noe said.

Besides the contribution of the scarves, Noe said the skills students are learning are also important. Having a class that teaches basic skills like knitting and cooking is vital for youth, Noe said.

“Many homeless children and adults are going to just treasure the beautiful work you have all done,” Noe told the excited students, many of whom learned to knit only recently.

“It was really fun because    I didn’t know how to knit so I learned how and got to help people,” said student Hollie Dunn, whose favorite part of the project was donating the scarves.

“I caught on really fast,” said student Jennifer Turnek. She knitted five scarves and some ear warmers in the two to three weeks the students have been working on this project.

“Now it’s a hobby and I can do it for other people,” Turnek said.

Student Erica Sugatan knitted two scarves and is hard at work on her third.

“I feel really great because the people really need them and their necks are going to be cold,” Sugatan said.

Gregory Kaplan learned the basics of knitting with his mom years ago but this project made him more interested in knitting.

“When I was doing it I felt really good because the scarf was going to go to someone in need and that felt really good,” Kaplan said.

With the holidays approaching, the students said they were pleased to have learned a new skill that they can continue in their own time.

“I’m going to keep knitting stuff for presents for family and maybe more for the Help House,” Kaplan said.

After knitting two scarves and a leg warmer, Sharon Cleary said she will definitely keep knitting.

“It’s a fun thing to do, especially when you’re bored. It’s a nice hobby, especially around Christmas because you can make people gifts,” Cleary said.

Kathy Fleck from Oak Harbor Knit and Sew helped teach the students knitting and offered discounts on yarn.

Next, the students plan to make quilts for wounded soldiers with help from Quilters on the Rock.

To donate items or receive assistance, visit the Help House, located at 1091 SE Hathaway St., Oak Harbor. For information call 675-0681.


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