The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday January 29th

Orange County residents partake in knitting day

Marion Felts helps Allen Johnson by knitting the first row.
Buy Photos Marion Felts helps Allen Johnson by knitting the first row.

With a wooden needle in each hand, Beth Gregory pulled out her iPad to check on her progress.

Nodding her head, she showed the screen displaying her latest knitting pattern to her friend Kyla Eggen.

The pair, who collectively have 15 years of knitting experience, joined a group of six other knitters Saturday to celebrate World Wide Knit In Public Day at the Orange County Public Library.

For Gregory, knitting is more than a hobby — it’s an addiction. She constantly checks her profile on ravelry.com, where she uploads pictures of her projects and networks with knitters from across the world to discover her next projects.

“It’s like Facebook for knitters, only so much better because you don’t get all the junk,” she said.

The knitting day celebration began in 2005 as a way for interested individuals to get together and share their passion for knitting. This year it is being celebrated from June 11 to June 19.

Knitters in attendance were of all levels of expertise. Marion Felts, a knitting teacher at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop who said she has been knitting for as long as she can remember, offered help to knitting beginners like Ina Phay Johnson and her husband Allen.

The Johnsons said they bought their daughter yarn and needles for her birthday, but she didn’t enjoy the present. So the couple decided to give knitting a try for themselves.

“I just love all the bright colors,” Ina Johnson said.

When the temperature in the top floor of the library climbed to near 100 degrees because of an air conditioning malfunction, the group carted their supplies to the nearby Hillsborough Yarn Shop to continue the celebration.

There, Cheryl Welford, who has been knitting for 19 years, joined the group to work on her latest piece.

“It’s relaxing but I still accomplish something,” Welford said. “When I’m done I take a lot of pride in what I did.”

Welford said she also enjoys knitting because it allows her to do something for other people. She, Felts and Gregory have all made hats for premature babies in the past, they said.

Beyond the opportunity to give back, Gregory said there is also an exciting challenge in every project she completes.

“You can do things you never imagined,” she said.

She said one of the most difficult projects she has completed in her knitting career was making a collection of Barbie clothes for her granddaughter.

“They are put together like an adult sweater, just smaller,” she said.

For Felts, knitting is enjoyable because she gets to wear and treasure the things that she makes.

“There is nothing like homemade socks,” she said. “You can match all of your outfits. It’s all I wear now.”

Contact the City Editor at city@dailytarheel.com.

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