They may call themselves the Knit Wits, but the knitting group at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Marlborough, used both their heads and their hearts in a search for people to wear their warm, hand-made hats and scarves.
Seafarers International House is an ecumenical mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to seafarers and sojourners, as well as people who are distressed, disadvantaged, and displaced. Seafarers are often isolated and lonely, sometimes without the means to contact family frequently, or purchase needed items while in port. Typical contracts put most at sea for 10 months a year, and they remain a largely forgotten population at the holidays.
Their needs include warm clothing, and the Knit-Wits decided seafarers should be the recipients of their efforts. Hudson residents Norma Dubois, Marlea Dutt, Elaine Recklet, Yong Hee Spiller and Jane Woolsey, along with Paula Blomquist of Marlborough and Janice Conlin of Southborough not only knitted hats and scarves for the Seafarers Christmas-at-Sea program, but they also applied for a $250 grant through the Thrivent Financial Action Team Project. This allowed them to purchase sweatshirts, long sleeved tops, warm socks, and bars of chocolate.
“These items made up 5 satchels,” noted Marlea Dutt. “In addition, we knitted more items that went to other places.” In a thank you from Seafarers, Port of Connecticut/Rhode Island Chaplain Ruth Setaro wrote that the recipients got their packages before leaving on the M/V BBC Aquamarine, but would be “in the middle of the ocean” on Christmas Day. “They have promised not to peek and have locked up the satchels so they will have something special to open at Christmas. They are so excited to receive these gifts and to know that they are appreciated and not forgotten.”
The Knit Wits have now moved on to making prayer shawls, but Ms. Dutt says hats will continue to be a staple of their efforts. They meet again at the church on February 5.
Attached to each hand-knit item was a copy of the Knitter’s Prayer:
May this knitted piece be for you a sign of God’s loving, healing.
May it warm when you are weary.
May it surround you with encouragement when you are discouraged.
May it assure you of God’s care and comfort when you and your loved ones are troubled.
May it remind you that you are always safe in the arms of Jesus, and that you are surrounded by the prayers of others.
– May you feel God’s loving presence in your life every day. Knitted for you by someone at St. Stephen Lutheran Church.