Alle-Kiski Valley knitters show love by the skein | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Alle-Kiski Valley knitters show love by the skein

Chuck Biedka
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Regina Rowe, of Arnold, looks at some of the items she has crocheted for patients at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Harrison and for senior citizens and newborns. She started teaching a one-time, six-week crocheting class. But women at the Alle-Kiski Valley Senior Citizens Center in New Kensington have been coming for four years.
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Selena Foster, of Brackenridge, examines some of the knitted caps for newborns on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The caps were crafted by volunteer crocheters at the Alle-Kiski Valley Senior Citizens Center in New Kensington who have been meeting for years to help others and socialize. Some items will go to a Pittsburgh hospital that has a maternity unit. Scarfs and other items will be given to cancer patients.
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Some of the women in a crocheting class at the Alle-Kiski Valley Senior Citizens Center in New Kensington take a break from their three-hour session.
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Special “knitted knockers” are some of the items knitted or crocheted by members of an Alle-Kiski Valley Senior Citizens Center in New Kensington class to help cancer survivors.

A dozen Alle-Kiski women are investing their dexterity and love for others by crocheting knit caps for newborns and a host of crocheted or knitted items to help cancer survivors.

The items include “knitted knockers.” When a woman’s breast must be surgically removed and she decides against augmentation, she can pad her bra with the small, soft knitted breast prosthetic.

Packages of those newborns’ caps and bra fillers are scheduled to be given next week to women at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh.

The crocheted and knitted items come from volunteers who spend three hours each Thursday at the Alle-Kiski Valley Senior Citizens Center, Third Avenue, New Kensington, to learn or hone their craft.

Pat Anicka of New Kensington, Korenna “Kay” Stragand of Arnold and Betty Schmelzer of Lower Burrell were there this week making the bra fillers. The work includes using four needles to hold the yarn.

“It’s also a time for women to talk about shared interests,” said Selma Foster of Brackenridge.

“All of the women are retired, but we welcome younger people,” she said.

It’s harder to teach left-­handed folks.

“I watched to see what they were doing and told me what needed to be done, and then I started to crochet,” said leftie Eunice Ackles of New Kensington. She now helps other left-handed people.

The class started years ago as a way for Regina Rowe of Arnold to instruct crocheting, including how to read patterns.

“It was only supposed to be for six weeks, and an hour each week. Well, it’s now three hours each week,” she chuckled.

Rowe said members of the group also make items that they donate to the center so the center can sell them.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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