Knitting our way to a community
By Donna Wong
What began as a skill I wanted to learn turned into a passion for all things wool. For
years, I have knitted sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves and even gnomes for my son’s
school when he was young. It was something I wanted to share with other members of
So in 2016, we began a beginners’ knitting workshop which soon grew into weekly
meet-ups with fun and different projects. We knitted cowls. We made cable knit scarves.
We created hats, mittens and slippers. But the biggest accomplishment wasn’t just the
end knits that we made. It was turning beginners into true knitters. They learned a new
skill and completed projects with a sense of accomplishment while connecting with one
The best part was creating a community of young and young-at-heart Wongs coming
together through knitting needles and yarn. While the youth learned a new skill, the
seniors, many of who are experienced knitters came out of sometimes isolation to help
me teach the workshops.
We took this further by knitting for charity. Once the knitters learned how to knit, we
utilized their skills to create baby items for St. Micheal's Hospital. The maternity ward
maintains a small Baby Tuck Shop that provides free essential maternity and baby items
to families with limited finances. Expectant moms who otherwise couldn’t afford clothing
could shop for items before and after the birth of their baby. According to Amanda
Hignell at St. Mike’s there are over 3000 births at St. Mike’s each year with 10% or over
300 moms making use of the shop.
We had formed the Wongs Knitters Group and have contributed three donations of baby
sweaters, hats, booties and blankets. With the support of Wong’s, I hope we can
continue to meet to make items for this worthy cause. And as well, have more Wongs of
all ages come out to our workshops. If you’d like to join us or find out more, please
reach out to Brian Wong or myself.