EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

December 13, 2012

Meet Haverhill's hat lady

Elderly woman has knitted 285 caps for military -- and counting

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Poole began her project of knitting and giving three years ago as a member of a knitting group at St. John the Baptist Church. A woman in her group brought the hats to Hanscom Air Force base, where they were sent to members of the military. When the church knitting group dissolved, Poole joined the group at the Citizens Center. She continues to knit hats and gives them to the same woman who brings them to Hanscom.

”I make a lot of hats, including for underprivileged kids,” she said.

Other members of the knitting group use their talents in similar ways, including making lap blankets for veterans in hospitals and baby blankets and sweaters for the Pregnancy Care Center, which support single mothers.

”I just gave 60 hats to Somebody Cares (the Somebody Cares New England organization), and 60 hats for children at the Crowell School, where my children attended years ago,” she said. “My daughter works for the court system and she gives them to a social worker who hands them out at a Christmas party to children who are victims of abuse.”

”I hear from the Crowell every year,” she said. “They send me a nice letter thanking me for the hats and I’ve kept every one of them.”

Poole guesses she’s knitted hundreds of hats for children at Crowell.

I do a girl’s hat, a boy’s hat and a troop (soldier’s) cap, which are worn under their helmets,” she said.

There are rules — Poole can only use dark green, dark brown or black yarn when knitting caps for the military.

”When I started this at the church, I was given instructions because they wear them under the helmets,” she said.

But for kids, she gets more colorful.

”I like to make girls (hats) with a little pizzazz, a little design and in a variety of bright colors,” Poole said. “For the boys, the most popular are red white and blue, the colors of the New England Patriots. My daughter says the boys go crazy over those.”

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