Crafty Chelsea ladies crochet for charity

Published 3:46 pm Monday, January 24, 2011

Dana Polk, Chelsea city librarian, prepares scarves crocheted by local ladies for shipment to Special Olympics. (Contributed)

By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist

Chelsea City Librarian Dana Polk loved to crochet.

Concerned that crocheting appeared to be a dying art, she wanted young people to know how. So she decided to start a class where she could teach interested kids to crochet.
Some adults who heard about the class wanted to join, and when the six-week class ended they asked to keep it going.

That was four years ago, and it’s still going today. Each Friday morning at 10:00 a.m., a group of ladies meets at the library, located in City Hall, to work on their craft. Most crochet, but they are free to work on the craft that interests them. “One lady in the group knits,” Polk said.

“We work on our own projects sometimes,” she said. “But we try to do charity projects at least four times a year.”

Recent charities have included Warm Up America, Special Olympics and homeless vets in Birmingham.

Warm Up America Foundation is a non-profit organization which motivates, trains and coordinates volunteers “to knit and crochet afghans and clothing for people in need,” says the WUA website.

Volunteers crochet or knit blanket squares in seven inch by nine inch rectangles, which they either send to foundation headquarters to be joined to form coverlets, or stitch themselves in their local groups. The blankets, or afghans, are distributed to individuals and families in need through community service organizations and national organizations such as the American Red Cross.

The Chelsea group has been busy working on blanket squares for WUA, toboggans for vets, and scarves for the Special Olympic organization.

For the time being, they gather and work in the City Chamber space at City Hall. “Mayor Niven has been very generous letting us meet in the Chamber space,” Polk said, adding that when renovation of the new library building is complete, it will include a room for special small group meetings.

They hope to move into the new building this spring, she said.

People interested in joining the Friday morning group, or learning more about the charities to which it contributes, may talk with Dana Polk at the library, or call 678-8455.

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e-mail at