When the Looney Loomers, a group of ladies that knit and crochet, get together, it’s not like a sewing or quilting bee. There are no knitting needles or balls of yarn in sight – it’s party time.
The ladies enjoy each other’s company so much that their get-togethers are strictly a social occasion.
“We talk too much to knit,” said Barb Toy of Masury.
Yet, that doesn’t mean they’re not serious about knitting or crocheting. The group that started more than nine years ago has made more than 11,000 hats that have been donated to hospitals, homeless shelters, cancer patients, afterschool programs, college students and anywhere else that the members can find to send them.
That total doesn’t include the blankets, scarves and mittens that also have been hand-made and donated.
Some of the items have turned up in unusual places. Referring to a college student, Marsha Carlo of Hubbard said, “He sent us a picture with his hat on the Great Wall of China.”
Toy said it’s a joy to meet the recipients of the hats.
“It’s fun to see their faces,” she said at the Looney Loomers’ Jan. 27 meeting.
Many of the members have ties to Brookfield, even though they might live elsewhere, and work for, or have worked for, Cortland Bank.
“Some of us have skills legitimately,” group President Nancy Shields of Brookfield said of those who crochet or knit. “The rest of us do it on looms.”
Leah Sveda of Hubbard, formerly of Brookfield, described the loom as “like a potholder loom, only it’s round.”
No matter how the items are made, they reflect each artists’ personality, from the choice of colors and materials to the knitting technique that is used, Shields said.
Toy said knitting is not hard, but it is relaxing.
“I sit and watch TV,” and knit, she said. “It kind of keeps us a little bit out of trouble.”
“I don’t like to just sit and watch TV at night,” said Nancy Hoffman of Niles, who has been knitting for so long she can’t remember when her mother taught her the art. “I have to be doing something.”
The Looney Loomers meets at 6 p.m. the fourth Monday of the month at Papa Louie’s Italian Cafe, 7172 Warren Sharon Road, Brookfield. Anyone interested in joining, learning about the club or learning to knit or crochet is invited to attend.
“We are looking for people who want to join,” Shields said.
The group holds other events at various times.
“It’s a good hobby,” Shields said. “We have a lot of fun. We’re an easygoing, fun group.”
“Everybody has a big heart,” Toy said.