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Tim Bissell Tim Bissell
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Stitched with love

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BANGOR - Nancy Driscoll may no longer have her eyesight but that isn't preventing her from seeing the needs of many in the Bangor community. Each week Driscoll and several other talented residents at Winterberry Heights Assisted Living on Ohio Street gather in the front lobby to knit and crochet newborn hats for the babies at Eastern Maine Medical Center or make mats for the animal cages at the Bangor Humane Society.

"It's nice to get together and for me it's something to do that relaxes me," explained Driscoll. "[Plus] it's good for a lot of us with arthritis."

Every Thursday these crafters sip coffee and reminisce about their childhood while their knitting needles maneuver with ease around blue, yellow, pink and white spools of yarn.

"My mother used to knit all the time and she taught me. But I crochet more than I knit because I can start and stop. If I'm knitting, I have to finish the row or I forget where I am," said Cindy Bromley with a chuckle. "I'd love to be able to make socks someday, but you need double needles for that."

"I made socks once," said Driscoll. "I made just one pair for my husband-to-be. I was probably 18 and the heels were hard to make."

All the yarn used by Driscoll, Bromley and the others is donated to Winterberry Heights by family members, friends and staffers. Once a number of the gifts are completed, they're then hand delivered to each location.

"They're always sitting here knitting, and the next time you see them they're working on something else - and they're all good at it," explained Winterberry Heights employee Sara Smith. "All the babies, the kitties and the doggies are very lucky to have these ladies."

The group admits very few in today's generation know how to sew, knit or crochet, nor do they want to.

"My grandchildren don't even try it, but maybe when they're older and they have children, they will," said Driscoll.

In the meantime, Driscoll will focus on stitching one item at a time, hoping her age-old craft will continue to warm the lives of those around her.

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