NEGAUNEE - The first order of business in the informal meeting of a group of knitters at Negaunee's Lakeview Apartments was a happy one.
Reading a thank-you note from the Marquette General Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
"They wanted to thank us for all the lovely hats," said Shirley Juchemich, one of the group's organizers.
The knitters, mostly senior citizens, get together at 1 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month in the Lakeview Apartments commons room. They swap patterns and talk about yarn and work on projects for charity.
"I've been knitting all of my life," said Eliza Goudge, who just turned 101. "I don't know why old people give up knitting. It's something you can keep doing."
After its August gathering, the knitters sent a box of more than 100 tiny hats to the MGH NCIU for the babies there. This month, they worked on filling a box with as many hats for the Bell Hospital NCIU.
"We're talking about switching to doing mittens next," said Amy Gawry, an office assistant at Lakeview Apartments who participates in the knitters group with the seniors.
"We spend about an hour or so together once a month," Juchemich said.
"Sometimes, one of the ladies will bring a pattern," Gawry said. "Then I will make copies for the others to share."
The women hope more people will join their group.
"Non-knitters and crocheters are welcome," Juchemich said.
"They can come to a meeting and we will teach them."
Gouch added: "If there are older women who knit before and gave it up, we would like to see them get back into it."
This group does not discriminate, age wise. The youngest at 23 is Gawry and the oldest at 101 is Gouch.
"We all just enjoy knitting," Juchemich said. "We make things for ourselves, too, to give to family members and friends."
They take pleasure in looking at the works done by one another, exclaiming over a new pattern or a special variety of yarn.
The next meeting of the group is at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9. All are welcome.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.