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Published July 20, 2009, 12:00 AM

Call to duty goes out to all knitters across the region

NORWAY LAKE — This call to duty goes out to all who love to knit.

By: Tom Cherveny, West Central Tribune

NORWAY LAKE — This call to duty goes out to all who love to knit.

It comes from Marlys Anderson, whose summer home is on Norway Lake. Since last winter, she has been busy recruiting knitters and helping knit wool caps to send to U.S. troops serving overseas.

Soldiers who have received the wool caps prefer them to their government-issued helmet liners.

The handmade caps are also a small morale booster. The knitters attach a small, personal note of appreciation to the soldiers.

“It’s very rewarding,’’ said Anderson of the assignment she took on while spending her winter in Apache Junction, Ariz.

It started when she knitted a cap for her grandson, Justin Reed, and sent it to him for Christmas while he serves with the U.S. Army in Korea.

“I need 35 more,’’ he wrote back.

Anderson put out the word that she needed knitters and donations for the wool and postage. Friends and neighbors in Arizona took up their needles to help out and soon so did many others.

Thanks to a rapidly growing e-mail network, she is also receiving caps and support from knitters scattered from California to New York, and a few in Canada too.

There’s lots of knitting still to be done. Anderson and her knitters sent 50 crocheted skull caps to soldiers from Antigo, Wis., serving in Afghanistan.

She also led an effort early this year to assemble 361 caps for the troops with the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery based in the Appleton area as they prepared for their deployment to Iraq. Now, she’s hoping to get another 127 caps together for the troops based in the Madison area who are part of the same deployment.

There’s a small army of knitters who have already answered the call to duty. Knitters with the Swift Weavers in Benson have been getting together to knit. Mary Johnson at Uniquely Knit in New London has also rallied the local knitters in northern Kandiyohi County. She has also helped find a very good price on the skeins of wool yarn they need.

Those wishing to help out can get copies of the pattern needed at either Uniquely Knit in New London or Bugs and Flowers in Benson.

To donate or help out with the knitting, contact Anderson at omanderson@tds.net

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