One stitch at a time

Published 10:51 am Friday, August 21, 2009

To watch Faye Sobel knit is in itself somewhat amazing. Her hands move quickly around the needles, tying off that knit and then the next.

But what is even more amazing than her knitting ability is the project she and others with the Constantia Chapter of the Daughter of the American Revolution have taken on in support of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

In conjunction with Project Patriot, the local DAR chapter is working to supply toiletry items and clothing to troops at a medical facility in Landstuhl, Germany, and has now starting providing knitted and crocheted scarves, booties and helmet liners to troops fighting in Afghanistan.

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“We really work to support our troops through DAR,” chapter member and Project Patriot coordinator Bonnie Roblin said. “Project Patriot is just a way for us to show our love and appreciation to those servicemen and women serving.”

Recently, the group completed a batch of scarves and helmet liners that have been shipped. Members are now working on a new template of the helmet liner — an easier template — that they hope can be produced and shipped to troops in time for the winter months.

“People sometimes don’t realize how cold it gets in Afghanistan, especially in the mountains,” Sobel said, with the knitting needles and the next helmet liner in her lap. “It is cold and we have heard of our troops being extremely grateful for these liners and scarves.”

Sobel, the chapter’s vice regent, said she has already completed 10 copies of the current template of helmet liners and calls the newest template much easier.

“It’s less intricate than the one we were doing earlier,” Sobel said. “The other one came down the neck and covered part of the face. This one is just a hat and fits under the helmet to keep the head warm.”

The chapter took on this project since its last meeting in May. The chapter doesn’t meet during the summer months but will be passing out materials to members in the coming days.

“We have a number of women who have been helping us and are looking for others to join in,” chapter regent Frances Carr said. “This is an important project and one that we are glad to be a part of.”

Sobel said the biggest problem with making the liners and scarves is finding the needed materials.

“Right now, we are looking for a local retailer to help us order the yarn,” Sobel said. “We need specific colors and it needs to be 100 percent wool. We’re just having a hard time finding enough.”

Sobel said the scarves and liners must be made out of 100 percent wool to prevent them from sticking to a soldier’s or Marine’s face and creating wounds.

“They also have to be either camouflage, dark green or dark brown,” Sobel added.

The group wants to be able to make as many of the liners as possible in time for the upcoming cold weather.

“We really don’t have a number in mind,” Roblin said. “We just want to make as many as we can.”

For more information on this program or to find out ways to help knit or crochet the needed liners and scarves, contact Roblin at 562-4801 or Carr at 539-8812.