For more than a decade, The Nifty Needlers at Lake Minnetonka Shores have been creating beautiful shawls and blankets that deliver courage, strength, and comfort to fellow residents.
It’s a fun activity and also a ministry!
The group meets weekly in the Club Room – each participant arriving with their skein of yarn and needles. While some knit and others crochet, each person’s hands are constantly moving round and round. They discuss current events, share stories from days gone by, and pray.
Shawls and blankets are made in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are made for wrapping around shoulders like a hug. Some are kept shorter and narrower for fitting a lap while in a wheelchair. Some are made 60 and even 72 inches long to provide warmth and comfort all day and night.
While each shawl or blanket is unique, every one comes wrapped with the enclosed note:
This shawl was handmade
for you by our prayer
As it was created,
we prayed for you.
May this shawl
As you wear it
on your shoulders,
may it be a
God’s love for you.
The Nifty Needlers
It takes a village.
The group thanks volunteer Judy for “keeping the magic cabinet stocked with yarn” and packaging up the finished gifts. Judy also knits and often leads prayer.
Campus Pastor John comes by to bless the completed shawls and blankets. Later he also makes deliveries on behalf of the knitters.
The group supports one another too.
For example, if you find that you made a mistake several rows back, you can give your work in progress over to Gynnie. She can fix any erroneous stitch!
And when your skein of yarn becomes a messy knot, you can give it to Zoe! She’s the master at untangling and says she finds the process satisfying … like solving a Rubik's Cube.
Although most of the knitters learned from their mothers and grandmothers as young women, Jeanie credits the group for teaching her how to knit when she became a resident just five years ago.
Whether recovering at Lake Minnetonka Shores for a short while or becoming a long-term resident, every newcomer to the care center is offered a prayer shawl or blanket. Thank you notes come from residents and even their families at times. Eunice, founding member of The Nifty Needlers explains it this way: “As you get older, you don’t get that personal touch like you used to. And you miss it! To have something that feels like a hug is just really special.”
Thank you to The Nifty Needlers for creating smiles, enriching lives, and sharing warm, blanketed hugs.
Enjoy this video of the blessing ceremony: