Knotty Ladies

Rose Ritter (from left), Linda McKinley, Norma Perrine and Rose Carter are known as the Knotty Ladies at the Crawford County Care Center. They create blankets for children in foster care.

WOODCOCK TOWNSHIP — A group of ladies who live at the Crawford County Care Center were looking for a way to help those in need. You wouldn't know it from the group's name they chose for themselves, but the only thing getting twisted when they get together is fabric.

The "Knotty Ladies" started meeting in January. Since then they have gathered on four occasions to create tie blankets to donate to children in foster care.

Rose Ritter, Linda McKinley, Norma Perrine and Rose Carter sat at a table in a cozy room Monday working on blankets and admiring the stuffed animals that will be donated along with each blanket.

Carter joked about the group's name.

"Sometimes men ask us where we are going and what we are doing," she said. "I just tell them I'm going to do things with the 'Knotty Ladies.' I don't tell them how to spell it."

The ladies don't have a specific date or time to meet. "We meet when we have material," McKinley said.

The material used to make the blankets has been donated. The stuffed animals were donated also.

Meadville Toys for Tots received a large donation of stuffed animals from Build-A-Bear Workshop during the holidays, according to Carrie Nageotte, Meadville Toys for Tots coordinator.

"When I heard what the ladies at the center were doing, I thought what better way to use our donation," Nageotte said. "It just worked out perfect."

As the Knotty Ladies went about their business Monday morning, Pam Schultz, the care center's activity director,  talked about the idea that sparked the group's projects. 

"A nurse who works here has a friend who works in the court system placing children in foster care," Schultz said. "Sometimes the children are taken from their homes with nothing. It's so scary for them."

The blankets created by the ladies, as well as donated stuffed animals, are taken to court and given to each children, according to Schultz. 

The knots all around the edges of the tie blankets serve a purpose for both the creator and receiver, Schultz said.

"Twisting the knots has a calming, soothing effect," she said.

Not all of the Knotty Ladies tie the knots that surround the blankets, according to Schultz.

"Everybody has a different skill," she said. "Some are good at cutting, some are good at knotting and some come just to add to the conversation."

As if cued by Schultz, the two Roses at the table acknowledged each other with a "Hi Rosie" and a grin.

Everything that happens in the court system is confidential, so the ladies never get to meet the recipients of the blankets, Schultz said. "But it still gives them purpose to do things for others," she said as all four Knotty Ladies nodded in agreement.

The Knotty Ladies aren't the only residents of the center who are finding creative ways to give back.

"We have a men's group who made dog toys from socks and water bottles," Schultz said. "They're being donated to the Crawford County Humane Society."

The center is also accepting donations Thursday through Feb. 20 of food, treats, toys, blankets and money for the Humane Society. Donations may be dropped off at the Crawford County Care Center, 20881 Route 198. Donations will be delivered to the Humane Society on Feb. 21.

Lorri Drumm can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at lorrid@meadvilletribune.com.

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