EVEN DURING A PANDEMIC, the Knit for Christ Ministry at Our Lady of Victory continued to meet on the church grounds during the warm weather days. Sheila Ogden (clockwise from l.), David Benjamin, Kathy Dewine, and Marge Carroll knit on a sunny day. (Emily Benson photo)
EVEN DURING A PANDEMIC, the Knit for Christ Ministry at Our Lady of Victory continued to meet on the church grounds during the warm weather days. Sheila Ogden (clockwise from l.), David Benjamin, Kathy Dewine, and Marge Carroll knit on a sunny day. (Emily Benson photo)

Feeling restless from being stuck inside this year? You’re “knot” alone! But there is one ministry that could help fight the feeling.

The members from “Knit For Christ,” a group of volunteers from Our Lady of Victory parish in Troy who knit hats, prayer shawls and blankets for needy families, have been safely working throughout the year to ensure everyone stays warm this winter.

“I just love to knit,” said Marge Carroll, parishioner and knitting volunteer.

When New York State shut down back in March, the knitting group switched its usually in-person knit sessions to video chat on Zoom. But David Benjamin, knitting volunteer, said that “wasn’t enough” for the group.

Every Tuesday, members started gathering on OLV’s front lawn in front of the rectory for some socially-distanced knitting. Everyone brings their own folding chairs, and with face masks in place, “we just sit … and knit,” laughed Benjamin.

The “Knit For Christ” ministry started back in 2004 to help needy families in the area get hats, scarves and other warm clothes for the cold winter months. Knitting for others serves as a “gesture of care” to the community, said the group, as well as a physical representation of God’s love carried out by others.

Members work on various projects throughout the year, including prayer shawls and blankets, both of which are left free of charge in the OLV parish for anyone to take. Every winter, the group participates in “Cozy Kids,” a parish clothing collection for local charities and shelters, where hats, mittens and gloves made throughout the year are distributed to Joseph’s House, Unity Sunshine Daycare, and local public schools. Last year, over 400 items were distributed.

“One time I got to bring out donations to a school,” said Carroll, a longtime knitter who has been with “Knit For Christ” almost since its inception. Carroll remembers going to Public School 2 on 10th Street in Troy with a box of hats, scarves and other warm clothes knitted by the group. A teacher buzzed her in, and after seeing Carroll’s box of donations, stopped and hugged her.

“She said (the teachers) were just hoping for something like this, and she was delighted,” Carroll said.

This year, the group knows the need for warm clothes will be especially high. Many families are struggling with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the more donations the better.

“We have five to six members who knit every Tuesday, but people also knit from home,” said Benjamin.

Benjamin joined “Knit For Christ” in 2005 with over 50 years of knitting experience. As a child, he underwent a knee surgery that left him homebound and restless during his recovery. His mother, a longtime knitter herself, introduced him to the hobby to give him something to do while stuck inside.

Now, “whenever I get into a low-activity period, I just start knitting,” he said.

The “Knit For Christ” ministry is always seeking new members. No experience is required. Donations can be dropped off at the parish office. For more information, contact Kathy at 518-542-6999.