The Ormond Beach Knit and Crochet Society regularly donates quilts to multiple local organizations.
Every Wednesday at 10 a.m., snippets of conversations and the clicking of knitting needles can be heard inside the Ormond Beach Senior Center.
Some of the women of the Ormond Beach Knit and Crochet Society have been meeting there for almost two decades. Others have only been there for a couple of weeks, and some only drop by occasionally to pick up yarn or drop off a completed quilt.
Ellen Krokel has been regularly attending the society's meetings for 10 years. She's been knitting for almost 60. Her favorite thing about the meeting is the socialization. The ladies often trade stories back and forth of their youth, from working in the New York Fashion District to stowing away on a ship from Russia.
“If you’re home and you’re knitting and crocheting, you’re still alone," Krokel said. "It’s a way to find out new things, learn something new, help one another with something.”
The meetings were originally part of a class, recalled Kathy Astrella, who's been coming to the meetings for 16 years. When the instructor died, the women continued to meet.
Astrella started attending after she retired because she wanted to learn how to make a doily, like her mom used to. She joined the society seeking help, and she's never left.
Kitty Boch joined around the same time too, needing help with understanding the crocheting patterns, as she had recently moved to the U.S. from Germany. Boch jokingly refered to her and Astrella as the historians of the society.
“Our lives are just entwined since," Astrella said. "One way or the other.”
Aside from their own personal projects, group regularly makes quilt and knitted clothing donations to organizations like the Pregnancy Crisis Center, Halifax Urban Ministries, the Ormond Beach Police Department and to homeless and disabled veterans.
They're a mixed bag of talents, Krokel said. There are times where she'll start a knitting pattern and hand it off to another member to finish or add on to.
“A lot of our donations are a bit of everybody," she said.