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Knitting hats for less fortunate folks
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It’s a labor of love for Linda Barnhizer making knit hats from baby sizes to children, teens and adults for the less fortunate in a Mexico community. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Linda Barnhizer was determined she was going to make knit hats for children and adults in Mexico despite past surgeries to her hands.

Known to many as having worked in Doctor Kevin Andrews’ medical office on North Grant Avenue, she now spends her days using different sized hand-held looms to create her multi-colored hats as well as lap blankets.

The use of the looms became necessary because of her inability to use crochet and knitting needles any longer.

Barnhizer meets weekly with a group of women at the Crossroads Community Church on Moffat Boulevard meeting from 9:30 to 11:30 Wednesdays are all part of her knitting group – The Prayer Shawl Ministry.

Last year Barnhizer initially turned out five lap blankets and four scarves and 89 hats.

“This year, I’ve made 150 hats, baby size, infant and adult sizes. So I just make hats all day long when her husband Larry is watching something on TV I don’t like, I just go to town,” she chuckled.

She said she enjoys doing it and sees it as her “labor of love.”

A friend of hers, Donna Hunter, a past physician’s assistant in the doctor’s office encouraged her to join, she said, and got her started.

 “We still all hang out together – all of us girls,” she said of the medical staff that spent 13 years together.

She explained that knitting is out because of her eight hand surgeries. The office receptionist Bertha Golding started her out on the looms that she would be able to handle in creating the hats.

Barnhizer said she started out making scarves. She said it is important to have the yarn wrapped in balls rather than finding a knot in a line of yarn coming out of a bag before a project is completed.

The circle looms she uses range from a diameter of about seven inches to nearly 14 inches for adults. Working the looms in her living room chair, she watched nostalgic TV shows like Little House on the Prairie and Gunsmoke among other past family shows to keep the boredom in check.

She said of her group of knitters, some are making diapers and others are making receiving blankets – adding that newborns in Mexico are often wrapped in newspapers. The volunteers in the church group also make prayer shawls, she said.

As for next year, Linda Barnhizer said she will be making whatever they need.