Saturday, September 25, 2021

Knitting Connections: Weaving love and Understanding at the Senior Activity Center

A little old lady sitting in her rocking chair, knitting while a fuzzy cat sleeps at her feet, is the stereotypical image conjured when thinking about seniors.

While this may not represent all seniors, ask any Senior Services professional, and they will tell you that seniors love to knit! The Southlake Senior Activity Center began its Knitting Connection program five years ago as an opportunity for senior members to socialize and express their creativity with peers. Since then, this program evolved from a club to a genuine connection that is as tightly woven into the fabric of our senior community as the yarn around their needles.

Knitting clubs are a staple of many senior centers in the area, but in Southlake, we’ve experienced a beautiful bonding phenomenon that goes beyond the social and creative aspects of the club. The Southlake Senior Activity Center’s Knitting Connection is a fantastic program for senior members aged 55 years and better to get together, knit, and have fun. Every Friday, Knitting Connection meets in the Senior Center lounge to work on current projects, share instructions, advice, and camaraderie. Often, members bring projects that require outside help and get past these obstacles with the assistance of their friends.

Our objective at the Southlake Senior Activity Center has always been for seniors to make connections with each other. However, once philanthropy and social responsibility became a part of the program, it elevated its mission to something greater. When members complete projects, the Knitting Connection compiles them into easily transportable bags and boxes and donates them to a non-profit organization in need—from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to Warm Up America and the Craft Yarn Council. Donating their finished projects gives this group a greater purpose, a chance to feel needed, and the opportunity to give back to the community.

When the program began five years ago, it had four consistent members. These members spun the initial threads and turned this program into a crowd-favorite at the Senior Center. Participation at Knitting Connection has since tripled and currently has 10-12 participants of all backgrounds and ethnicities! This is due to the kindness and creativity of our seniors. Southlake Senior Center members hail from all over the widely diverse DFW metroplex, and many of them don’t speak the same language. When they join Knitting Connection, they are welcomed into the group and embraced with compassion regardless of their differences. This club demonstrates that creativity, a willingness to learn and teach, and the reward of giving back knows no borders. Truly living up to their name, Knitting Connection is constantly unraveling the barriers of culture and language and weaving together a community bound by their common humanity.

Senior citizens undeniably love to knit. Our members show us every year that despite differences in backgrounds, age, ethnicity, or language, seniors value socializing, teaching, learning new skills, and most of all connecting. The Southlake Senior Activity Center Knitting Connection is not just a bunch of little old ladies knitting in their rocking chairs. It is a sisterhood of experienced shakers and movers with the wisdom to know that the greatest impacts are made while sitting still—steadily and incrementally inching closer to a better world.