Nifty Needleworkers

“Nifty Needleworkers” sharing their craft with local children



By Ron Giofu


A group known as the “Nifty Needleworkers” knit every Wednesday with their work often benefitting area charities and causes.

Now, the knitters are aiming to share their craft with the next generation.

A group of women from the Wednesday afternoon knitters stay at the Gibson Gallery and teach local children how to knit later in the day, with three children currently enrolled in the classes.

The classes are wrapping up their first four-week stretch, with another four-week schedule of classes to immediately follow.

“We just decided we’d like to teach some young (people) how to knit,” said Judy Bondy. “We thought it would be a good art for them to have.”

Charlotte Bondy, Eden Pare and Aria Pare enjoy a recent knitting class for children at the Gibson Gallery.

Bondy said the classes are free and open to both girls and boys. They are aiming to get children ages 7-12 years of age.

“We think it’s going well,” said Bondy, who was teaching last week’s class with Jeannie Galt and Liz Campbell. “We have three enthusiastic young knitters. We’re happy with the numbers right now. They are enthusiastic about what we’re doing.”

The classes are free and the “Nifty Needleworkers” provide the needles and yarn, though the students can take them home to work on their knitting. Classes run Wednesdays at the Gibson Gallery from 4-5 p.m.

“It’s really fun,” said Charlotte Bondy, one of the young students in the class. “They make it really easy to learn. When I came here, it just came so clearly.”

The students said they have fun when they go to the gallery for the classes.

“Time flies when we do this a lot,” said Charlotte.

Nifty Needleworkers looking for yarn donations, members



By Jolene Perron


A local knitting group is creating hats, mitts, scarves and more out of yarn for more than ten local charities, and is looking for yarn donations to assist them in producing more.

Nifty Needleworkers, a group of more than 20 women meet at the Gibson Art Gallery every Wednesday at 1 p.m. The group brings in items they’ve created throughout the week, as well as continue to create together.

The Nifty Needleworkers, a group of about 20 people, meet last Wednesday at the Gibson Gallery. New members are welcome to join the group, which meets every Wednesday at 1 p.m.

The Nifty Needleworkers, a group of about 20 people, meet last Wednesday at the Gibson Gallery. New members are welcome to join the group, which meets every Wednesday at 1 p.m.

“We produce over 300 items a year, not including what’s in the Gibson and at Art By The River,” explained coordinator Sharon Damm. “Susie just dropped off well over 100 hats to the neonatal unit at the hospital, we donate to the Ronald McDonald House, we do The Mission in town, we do Coats for Kids, Shaken Baby Syndrome which is purple hats, we do hats for the cancer center, Richmond Terrace nursing home, Brock Public School in Windsor. Somebody would come in and say why don’t we do this, why don’t we do that, and now we have all of these people we donate to.”
Damm has been a part of the group for about six year. Her sister was a member before she was, and when she moved back to Amherstburg from Kitchener, she brought her in and she said she loved it from the first day.

Susie Mickle, who’s been a long-time member, said while it wasn’t this many members when it first started in 1973, it’s had an incredible impact on the community since it’s existence.

“I came with a woman who did needlepoint lessons and the ladies asked how we could keep this going,” said Mickle. “I am excited every time I come in here. We just need people to come out, even if you can’t do much. If you can sew on a button, you can do something. Just come out.”

The ladies aren’t shy about teaching new skills to anyone who is willing to learn, and they said it’s free to join. Damm said if new members really enjoy the group, they can even become members of the Gibson Art Gallery and receive the perks the gallery gives to its members.

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For more information on the group, or to donate yarn and/or knitting and crocheted items, contact Damm at 519-736-2275, or stop in to the Gibson Art Gallery Wednesdays at 1 p.m.

“We’re so cohesive,” said member Judy Bondy. “We solve many problems other than knitting and crocheting in an afternoon. You want to be here and that’s why the group keeps getting bigger and bigger, we just have a ball. And we have a purpose, a really good purpose.”