Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters members, from left, Nancy Nash, Pam Barnet, Jan Gillanders, Lise Solvang, Susan Stewart and Shirley McMahon are seen in Solvang’s shop Fiber and Clay in Quilcene on Thursday morning. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters members, from left, Nancy Nash, Pam Barnet, Jan Gillanders, Lise Solvang, Susan Stewart and Shirley McMahon are seen in Solvang’s shop Fiber and Clay in Quilcene on Thursday morning. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Brinnon and Quilcene knitters give back to the community

Group makes 61 caps for first responders

QUILCENE — Knitting to help others has become the heart of a new group in Quilcene and Brinnon.

The Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters knitted 61 caps for first responders who work at the Brinnon Fire Department, Quilcene Fire Rescue and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

“I haven’t seen anything like it, how amazing they are,” said Lise Solvang, founder of the Community Knitters. “They’re real superheroes.”

Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters founder and Fiber and Clay owner Lise Solvang stands next to one of the shelves displaying knitted and clay creations at the store Thursday morning. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)                                Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters founder and Fiber and Clay owner Lise Solvang stands next to one of the shelves displaying knitted and clay creations at the store Thursday morning. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters founder and Fiber and Clay owner Lise Solvang stands next to one of the shelves displaying knitted and clay creations at the store Thursday morning. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News) Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters founder and Fiber and Clay owner Lise Solvang stands next to one of the shelves displaying knitted and clay creations at the store Thursday morning. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

The group of 16 women knitted 20 caps each for the two fire departments and 21 caps for the sheriff’s office, Solvang said.

The caps were delivered Monday. The group was founded in October, and this was its first community project, Solvang said.

Solvang moved to Quilcene from California, where she started other community knitting groups. She opened “Fiber and Clay” with her husband, Scot Olson, across the street from the Quilcene Community Center, where she sells handmade knitted and ceramic pieces.

The store also has a couch and seats where members of the Community Knitters are known to stop by and chat during the week.

Solvang wanted to bring the experience she had from prior community knitting groups to the Quilcene/Brinnon area.

“It’s always been a wonderful positive thing for the community that I wanted to start over here,” Solvang said. “It’s always good to give back to your community.”

The group is sponsored by the Brinnon Parks and Recreation Department and Trish Frieberg of Two Rivers Movement Studio in Quilcene, who donates space to the group once a month for meetings. The group receives donations of yarn and needles from community members, as all the projects go back into the community, Solvang said.

“We have a great community behind us,” Solvang said. “It takes a village — the yarn donations, the knitters, the spaces we get to meet …

“We’re pretty amazed at the response and the amount of knitters we were able to get.”

Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters members Pam Barnet, Nancy Nash, Cindy Germaine, Belinda Graham and Lise Solvang stand behind a table covered with hand-knit caps to be given to first responders at the Brinnon Community Center. (Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters)

Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters members Pam Barnet, Nancy Nash, Cindy Germaine, Belinda Graham and Lise Solvang stand behind a table covered with hand-knit caps to be given to first responders at the Brinnon Community Center. (Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters)

The group’s next big project for winter and spring is knitting caps and crocheting octopus toys for babies in area newborn intensive care units (NICU). The idea came to the group because one of the member’s daughter works as a nurse in a NICU.

The group started after Solvang reached out through Facebook groups to garner interest, and in the short time it has existed, the group has grown into a family that shares stories while knitting together, Solvang said.

“It creates a warm, tight-knit group,” Solvang said. “There’s love happening in the room and love going out to the community.”

Members appreciate the group that Solvang has organized and the opportunity to give back to the community.

“[Solvang] is a very welcoming person, everyone feels comfortable with her,” said Pam Barnet, a member of the group and of the Brinnon Parks and Recreation Department. “I think there’s just a lot of sharing …We just support each other … It’s really nice.”

The group has given some members who are new to the community a sense of belonging.

“I needed to feel like I belong,” said member Nancy Nash, who moved to the county two years ago. “Now I have a family.”

Member Susan Stewart, who moved to the county from California, echoed Nash’s sentiments.

“I think it’s great,” Stewart said. “I don’t know many people so it’s fun to get together with the group.”

Stewart saw the ad Solvang put on Facebook and “I knew how to knit, so I came.”

Quilcene Fire Rescue firefighters Nick Singleton, left, and Zak Torres stand with Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters founder Lise Solvang while wearing knit caps that the knitters made and donated to first responders. (Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters)

Quilcene Fire Rescue firefighters Nick Singleton, left, and Zak Torres stand with Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters founder Lise Solvang while wearing knit caps that the knitters made and donated to first responders. (Brinnon and Quilcene Community Knitters)

The group isn’t just for experienced knitters or women, although it is currently made up of just women. Solvang encourages anyone of any experience or gender to come learn to knit and crochet, even if they don’t stay long term to help with the projects.

“We want to welcome everybody,” Solvang said.

The group meets from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month at Two Rivers Movement Studios at 294773 U.S. Highway 101 in Quilcene, and the second Sunday of each month at the Brinnon Community Center at 52 Church Drive.

Materials and instruction are provided at the meetings.

________

Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]

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