Marlborough senior knits hearts together
By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Judy Jewett, 71, has been teaching crochet at the Marlborough Senior Center for over 10 years. She also spearheads Hats for Our Friends, a project which was started in 2002 by the late Judy Borella intended to ensure that every child in Marlborough would be warm while waiting for the school bus in the morning.
Jewett began crocheting after her mother taught her the craft while she was pregnant with her first child. She knit outfits in every color there was, she said, and packed each in its own box. Jewett and her husband, Charlie, 77, have two children; Jodi, 49, and, Erik, 46.
Once Judy began knitting and crocheting she did not stop. She owned Country Crafts on Broad Street in Hudson from 1994 until 2001 and for years she sold her wares at craft shows with Charlie by her side.
“I love to knit and crochet and I enjoy making beautiful things,” Jewett said. “My favorite thing to make is doilies or runners out of thread. Working with thread is when I am the happiest. My love of working with my hands is what motivates me.”
From 2010 to 2013, Jewett served as president of the Friends of the Marlborough Seniors, after having served as vice president the two years prior. She brought her love for crocheting and knitting to the senior center where she, along with 11 other seniors (six knitters and five crocheters), continues Borella's hat project mission. The project has expanded far beyond providing hats for the children of Marlborough.
Hats for Our Friends has, at the suggestion of senior center knitting teacher Sheila Brecken, grown to include chemotherapy hats and hats for those in need. Shipments of hats have been sent to a battered women's shelter in North Carolina, a shelter in Alabama, the Hudson Food Pantry and the Methodist Church in Hudson to name a few. In addition, the group has made bears and blankets for both Boston Children's Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children. Lap robes and prayer shawls have also been made and are available simply by calling the senior center.
“It makes me feel wonderful when I can give something away that I made with my own hands – something that will keep someone warm and give them comfort,” Jewett said. “That is one of the most important things I can do in my life.”
For the past two years Charlie has joined in the efforts, knitting more than 500 hats on a loom. It is a way, he said, to keep his mind and hands busy. Jewett echoed the sentiment.
“I don's know how many I have crocheted,” she said, “but I cannot sit without my hands moving. I never watch television, but the minute I sit in a chair I am working on something with a crochet hook in my hand.”
Jewett's compassion and selfless acts reach far beyond the crochet hook. The 2010 senior center volunteer of the year has been raising money for the Friends of the Marlborough Seniors for many years. She has sold chocolates during the holidays and run a yearly craft show to benefit the seniors. And, every year she organizes a pasta dinner with the help of her husband, her children and her grandchildren – twins Charlie and Marissa – to raise money. The last dinner she organized was held April 12.
Anyone interested in receiving hats, prayer shawls, lap robes or blankets can call the Senior Center at 508-485-6492 or Jewett at 508-485-0785.
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