The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

January 25, 2013

Yarn about knitting

Group meets to create items

DANVILLE — Using sashay yarn, Becky Doss knitted a ruffled multicolored scarf with the ease of a pro. In reality, Doss, who works in the information division at Danville Area Community College, picked up a pair of knitting needles for the first time just a week earlier.

“My grandmother has been knitting for years and she tried to teach me, but it didn’t happen for me,” Doss said.

Thanks to a group of about a dozen DACC employees who meet informally during their lunch hour every Thursday, Doss not only has learned how to knit but is working on her second sashay yarn scarf.

Laura Williams, director of adult education and middle college, spearheads the group that has dubbed itself, Darn It!

“My friend started a knitting club at her home last year,” Williams explained. “It was supposed to be four weeks, but nobody wanted it to end.

“It’s been so therapeutic,” she said, adding that the craft helped her and her friend during a rough patch last year when William’s mother passed away and her friend’s husband died.

Williams, who just took up knitting again in the past year at her friend’s gathering, decided to start a knitting group with her coworkers at DACC.

“It’s really an extension of what my friend started,” she said of the Darn It! group. “I thought some of the girls at school might want to do it. It’s fun and you’re learning a craft.

“Everyone has a base of knowledge and if you don’t know something, someone will jump in and show you,” she said.

The Darn It! group, which started meeting last semester just outside of the student union, has caught the attention of some DACC students who have shown interest in joining the group, proving that knitting and crocheting — once thought of as old-fashioned crafts — are gaining in popularity.

“It keeps growing,” Williams said of the group.

On Thursday, eight women showed up with various projects in different stages of completion.

Isela Rangel, who works in DACC’s records department, said she started knitting again because of the Darn It! group.

“This is my first time since third grade. I learned how to knit in an after school class at East Park,” she said.

“I think I did pretty well for my first project since third grade,” she said, referring to a scarf she knitted with Red Heart boutique sashay yarn, which she said gives the scarf “a nice, designer look.”

Rangel admits, “I’ve messed up a couple times. I lose my stitches.”

Veteran knitter, DACC Spanish instructor Roxie Nixon offers Rangel words of encouragement, “Nobody will ever know.”

Nixon was knitting an orange-and-blue scarf for the son of Stacy Ehmen, DACC’s director of enrollment services and registrar. Although most would identify the color scheme with the University of Illinois, it’s actually the young boy’s elementary school colors.

The Darn It! women have been taking turns knitting the scarf.

“I’ve been knitting and crocheting for decades,” Nixon said. “I taught myself when I was a kid.”

However, if anyone is interested in taking up knitting or crocheting, there is plenty of help to be found on the Internet.

“If anyone wants to learn, there are so many videos on YouTube,” she said.

Carol Neff, DACC’s payroll specialist, has been knitting and crocheting for years and sells many of her wares at the Vermilion River Fall Festival and the Christmas Village Craft Fair at Harrison Park.

Neff estimates that she crochets 150 dish rags and 300 crocheted-top towels each year for the two shows.

“I can crochet two dish rags a night while watching TV,” she said.

Neff, who learned how to knit first as a child, said she draws the line at fancy cable knitting but can do just about every other kind of stitch and willingly gives pointers to the other women in the group.

“We do it for the camaraderie,” Neff said of the gathering.

Johna Bolton, who works in DACC’s accounts payable, just started crocheting a purple blanket for her granddaughter’s baby doll on Thursday. She also crocheted hair scrunchies for her granddaughters as Christmas gifts.

Sue Mosiman, DACC’s science lab assistant, said she’s been crocheting on and off for years. On Thursday, she was crocheting matching hats for a mom and son.

“To me, it’s a craft, it’s not a profession,” she said. “I learned it from my grandmother. It’s something to keep the hands busy while the mind is doing something else.”

Dawn Nasser, DACC’s recruitment coordinator, said she first started knitting in September. She was knitting a sashay yarn scarf on Thursday, and she said someday she’d like to make a rug.

“I went to the first class and it was fun,” she said. “I found it to be relaxing.”

The Darn It! women all agreed that knitting and crocheting are soothing, but the crafts still carry with them a stigma as being a pastime popular with grandmas.

Nasser said she brought her knitting with her while watching a DACC game, but her friends made fun of her, saying that she wasn’t going to meet a boyfriend that way.

Tracy Wahlfeldt, executive director of the DACC Foundation and grant development, said her family has had a lot of fun teasing her about her newfound hobby, too.

“My kids have great fun making fun of me and my old lady craft,” she said.

Still, Wahlfeldt said she is glad she learned how to knit.

“I’m on the computer all day at work, so I want to do something mindless at night,” she said. “And you can take it with you in the car.”

Wahlfeldt said she “didn’t know anything about knitting.”

After joining the Darn It! group, Wahlfeldt knitted four scarves, including three Santa scarves, last month.

“It’s kind of fun and you get to see people you don’t normally see,” she said of the group.

Taking up knitting also has helped bridge a generational gap and created a bond between Wahlfeldt and her 87-year-old grandmother.

“It’s a common thread we have now,” she said.

Text Only
Local News
  • jimmyjohns1.jpg Sub shop to open second city location DANVILLE — Ask Jimmy John’s owner/general manager Seth Hobbs how Jimmy John’s is doing in Danville and he’ll tell you “things are going really well.”In fact, he’s planning to build a new store to reach more customers in the southern part of the city.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mayor to go to design program SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Advancing plans for riverfront development with other professionals is what Mayor Scott Eisenhauer is excited about attending a fall city design session.That is his desire for his design challenge when he is paired up with planners a

    August 1, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleMonday:Theft in the 100 block of Minnesota Avenue.Tuesday:Theft in the 100 block of North Bowman Avenue.Theft at Logan Avenue and West Main Street.Deceptive practice reported at First Financial Bank, 901 N

    August 1, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Wednesday, 7:51-8:03 a.m. — A medical call in the 600 block of Jewell Street.Wednesday, 8:34-8:51 a.m. — A motorcycle crash on Interstate 74 at the 214 mile marker.Wednesday, 11:12-11:30 p.m. — A medical

    August 1, 2014

  • Beef House sets production of 'Return to the Forbidden Planet' COVINGTON, Ind. — Get ready for a wild journey into space with The Beef House Dinner Theatre’s production of “Return to the Forbidden Planet.”This jukebox musical will have audiences laughing and singing along to familiar tunes such as “Good Vibratio

    August 1, 2014

  • State cites 3 Danville financial businesses DANVILLE — Three local businesses were issued citations in June by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.The citations, which were announced on Thursday, and resulting punishments were leveled against Illinois Title Loans,

    August 1, 2014

  • Ornament designs sought

    July 31, 2014

  • NAACP plans brunch

    July 31, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    July 31, 2014

  • Fun Days this weekend

    July 31, 2014

Spring 2014 Photos

Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train
Must Read