Knit with Love… - theHumm February 2019

Knit with Love… - theHumm February 2019

By Sarah Byrne

Mrs. Wilma Winton has spent her life quietly sharing her significant talent with others. From the warmth of her home at the end of a winding cottage road on Rideau Lake, Wilma has knit hundreds of items, giving them to people young and old during times of celebration and times when they could use some extra comfort. Wilma’s generosity is inspiring, and so too is the skill with which she knits. The intricately detailed, often personalized blankets she creates are obvious examples of her skill and creativity.

The blankets are not knit from purchased patterns — she designs each one, imaging scenes which she plots on knitting graph paper before making her first stitch. In fact, Wilma has knit a few complicated blanket scenes entirely from rough sketches, without even creating patterns first. As any knitter will tell you, it takes impressive skill to be able to do that! One such blanket depicts a girl picking apples with a wheelbarrow full of apples in the foreground, and a barn and pumpkin patch across the fields in the background. Wilma often accentuates certain details of her blankets by hand-stitching overtop of the knitting, which creates a sense of depth. She does not purchase yarn specifically for each project, but innovatively incorporates the yarn that she has on hand into her designs. Wilma credits family and friends with supporting her creativity by sourcing yarn at reasonable prices from local yard sales, and by sending her yarn they are no longer using.

Wilma was born 91 years ago and raised near Westport Ontario. She learned the basics of knitting from her mother. At the age of 17, while taking an advanced year of schooling in Toronto, she began to knit baby clothes for her sisters’ babies to pass the time while she was away from home. Returning to the area in 1948, Wilma took a job teaching at Elmgrove School on Rideau Lake Road. It was during this time that she met her future husband Ned. The couple were married and moved into a home on the Winton family property, where they would go on to farm, raise three sons, and rent out cottages. Wilma was busy, but found time to knit for her family and friends.

With her kind, open and welcoming demeanor, Wilma has helped to create a feeling of community amongst the neighbours and cottagers who share the shoreline near her home. Wilma has developed lasting relationships with the cottagers who have been visiting every summer for decades, and has knit sweaters for those cottagers and their friends who live as far away as Iqaluit and California.

It was after Ned’s death in 2007 that Wilma began to knit more seriously. She found that she had more time to volunteer and wanted to use it for good: “I enjoy doing things for other people — and I have a theory that you can’t worry and knit at the same time, or you’ll miss a stitch”. So with the connection of a neighbour who worked at Broadview Retirement Lodge & Nursing Centre in Smiths Falls, she began knitting lap blankets and shawls for residents living in the home. Wilma went on to knit over sixty lap blankets and over sixty shawls for the residents of Broadview, and has never stopped knitting. She has since knit for about nine other nursing homes located between Ottawa and Kingston. Wilma often incorporates natural scenes such as a spring meadow or sailboats on the water into the designs of these blankets. She has also knit teddy bears and baby blankets for children at Roger Neilson House in Ottawa, as well as shawls and winter accessories for the Lanark County Angel Tree for Seniors Program.

Every new baby in the family and neighbourhood receives a personalized baby blanket from Wilma, who has knit fifty such blankets over the past few years. Each is a beautiful keepsake for the child and their family with a design that incorporates the family’s lifestyle or heritage. One of these blankets was for the daughter of her son’s friends who had recently moved to Canada from China. The blanket depicts the little girl’s name and date of birth, important Chinese characters, a Panda eating bamboo, balloons, and the Canadian, French and Chinese flags stylized to look like blocks, to represent her heritage. Another is emblazoned with the logo of a family’s favourite soccer team (Manchester United). Wilma has knit custom blankets of all sizes to mark her loved one’s milestones, such as vacations and participation in athletics, hobbies and careers. One of these blankets depicts three air force planes flying in formation along with the name of the flying group the recipient belonged to.

Wilma’s approach to knitting shows her sense of wisdom. She doesn’t worry about making a mistake, saying “If I make a mistake I can always rip out the stitches and start over. That is something that you can’t always do in life. If you fix the mistake early it goes a lot better than if you wait… that goes for knitting and life in general.”

Wilma gives all of her creations freely, along with a hand-written tag fastened with ribbon which reads; “Knit with Love, Wilma. And God loves you too”. Wilma says: “I only write my first name, but I like to know that I have made a connection with the person, so that they will know someone cares.” Wilma holds a special place in the hearts of her loved ones and in her community, and is someone from whose example we can all learn.


And the Award Goes to… Don Wiles! - theHumm February 2019

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

theHumm is celebrating this awards season by commending Almonte’s beloved and esteemed Don Wiles for his interest in his community and the contributions he continues to make that enrich its cultural and intellectual life.

Journalists should never miss a chance to invite a nonagenarian to share their most treasured piece of advice. Soon to be 94, Dr. Wiles was momentarily surprised at my invitation, and then counseled, “Be interested.” He is a persuasive example of the wis......


Knit with Love… - theHumm February 2019

By Sarah Byrne

Mrs. Wilma Winton has spent her life quietly sharing her significant talent with others. From the warmth of her home at the end of a winding cottage road on Rideau Lake, Wilma has knit hundreds of items, giving them to people young and old during times of celebration and times when they could use some extra comfort. Wilma’s generosity is inspiring, and so too is the skill with which she knits. The intricately detailed, often personalized blankets she creates are obvious examples of her skill and......


The Mississippi Mudds Youth Theatre Presents
The Lion King Jr.
- theHumm February 2019

Once again, the Mississippi Mudds Youth Theatre group is in the final stages of rehearsals for another wonderful show — this time its production of The Lion King Junior. With seven shows scheduled at the Town Hall in Carleton Place (from February 22 through to March 3), this delightful story brings the African savannah to life on stage.

Join this unforgettable young cast of characters while the plot builds as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back agai......


Alone Together Again — A Crowded Empty Nest! - theHumm February 2019

By Dana Ruprecht

A very wise and witty play is coming to Studio Theatre Perth this month.

Alone Again Together, by playwright Lawrence Roman, is the honest and funny story of an empty-nester couple whose nest refuses to stay empty, leaving them in a chronic state of parenthood.

Helena and George Butler’s adult sons have finally moved out, and husband and wife are both looking forward to the next phase of their lives together. Anticipating leisure and privacy, Helena has set new professional goals for h......


Out of Order at the Station Theatre
Keeping You Warm on a Cold Winter’s Night
- theHumm February 2019

If you aren’t a winter person, February can be the dreariest of months. The snow, cold and bitter wind seems to be have been here forever, feeling like it will never be done. You need a pick-me-up! A time to forget about it all and just submerse yourself in a whole lot of nonsense for an evening or afternoon. That’s where the Station Theatre comes in. Their traditional British farce — Out of Order — by the master of farce, Ray Cooney, is sure to brighten any February drearies!

Director Lynda ......


Fifty Flippin’ Years
Fulton’s Pancake House Celebrates the Big 5-0!
- theHumm February 2019

Fulton’s Pancake House & Sugar Bush is very excited to be celebrating Fifty Flippin’ Years in the Pancake House! The family has been in maple syrup production for more than 150 years. Fourth- and fifth-generation owners are busy at the helm and sixth-generation grandchildren are making a contribution to production, customer service and quality control. Fulton’s is open for ten weeks from Family Day weekend through Easter weekend.

Fulton’s invites current and forme......


Fall in Love with Local Art! - theHumm February 2019

By Miss Cellaneous

FIGURE in Almonte

From February 8 to March 24, Almonte’s Sivarulrasa Gallery presents FIGURE, a trio show featuring figurative paintings, drawings and sculpt......


“Here We Go, Up A Row” - theHumm February 2019

By Glenda Jones

When I was six I took piano lessons from a stern no-nonsense teacher. She wore her hair in a bun, and sat in a straight-back chair next to the piano in reach of my little hands that quivered over......


Claire Hunter Returns with Something to Give - theHumm February 2019

Singer/songwriter Claire Hunter now lives in Toronto, but she grew up and went to school in Almonte, where she developed her musical skills playing at coffeehouses and appearing in such ADHS prod......


Paper Birch
aka Canoe Birch, White Birch, Betula papyrifera, Wiigwaas (Anishinaabe)
- theHumm February 2019

By Susie Osler

On New Year’s Day I went for a bush walk on the farm with some friends. Along the way I passed a mid-sized, dying birch that had a mushroom growing on its trunk. I had never noticed a mushroom li......


Libraries Love Babies
(And Babies Love Libraries!)
- theHumm February 2019

By Karen Schecter, Librarian

One of my favourite sounds to hear in the library is the laughing or babbling of babies enjoying Baby Time. Some people may wonder why you would take your baby to the public library. After all, t......


A Musical Interruption in the Winter Season
Kanata Choral Society’s Show
- theHumm February 2019

Although it has not been that long since we all either listened to or sang our hearts out to Christmas carols, it is already time for some more music!

For the past several years, during this ......


Eat LocalSupport a CSA!
- theHumm February 2019

Do the grey winter days have you dreaming about the greens of spring and summer? Why not ensure a steady supply of those greens (as well as lots of other delicious produce) by investing in a loca......


Putting the Outside Inside Kids - theHumm February 2019

Need a break from winter and everyday life? Then come on a canoe trip into Algonquin Park wilderness with Bill Kennedy and his five-year-old daughter Suzanne. Described as “a charming read” by au......


Almonte Resident Wins Library Award - theHumm February 2019

On February 2, Mary Lou Souter, Chair of the Mississippi Mills Public Library Board, will be in Toronto to accept the Ontario Library Association’s (OLA) President’s Award for Exceptional Ac......


Local Green Party of Canada Fundraiser - theHumm February 2019

Come out for a great Green brunch at the Maberly Hall on Sunday, February 17! For only $10 you’ll learn lots, eat some terrific food and have an opportunity to support the Green Party. Child......


Febeery — A Draft Article - theHumm February 2019

By Sebastian Weetabix

In the course of his perambulations around Humm territory, Weetabix has repeatedly encountered the phenomenon and products of “Craft Breweries”. Weetabix is not a serious beer drinker, but beer i......


Family, Films, Folk… and a Loppet! - theHumm February 2019

By John Pigeau

I feel like a kind, gentle way to begin this month’s column would be to remind all of you that Monday, February 18 is Family Day, a provincial statutory holiday. There. Now doesn’t that feel......


Family Day & MidWinter Milling - theHumm February 2019

By Miss Mills

February 18 is Family Day in Ontario, and there are many affordable (and free!) activities to enjoy close to home. In Almonte, Pakenham and area, you can enjoy free public skating, explore l......


A Tribute toDeputy Mayor John Levi - theHumm February 2019

By Christa Lowry, Mayor, Mississippi Mills

Deputy Mayor John Levi passed away on Sunday, January 13, in Florida with his beloved wife Helen by his side. So many of us were shocked and saddened by John’s untimely passing.

John has......


9th Annual Snow Angel Making Party - theHumm February 2019

By Susan Cressy

I am thrilled to say that we are celebrating the 9th Annual Snow Angel Making Party at Highlands Gate (4381 Wolf Grove Road, Lanark Highlands, Ontario) on Sunday February 17 from 1–4pm, and ......


Celebrating Black History Month in a Unique Way - theHumm February 2019

By Catherine WrightCadieux

Just over two years ago when Almonte-based photographer Monique Renaud left for Senegal to do some volunteer work with Women’s Global Engagement (FEM – Femmes engagement mondial), she had no idea......


February Evensong - theHumm February 2019

By Hilary Barrett

Everyone is invited to attend Evensong at St. James the Apostle Anglican Church in Perth on Sunday February 17 at 4pm. There will be a prelude at 3:45pm by guest organist Damien Macedo, who ......


Adaptive Snowsports Programs AreSeeking Volunteers! - theHumm February 2019

Mount Pakenham Adaptive Ski Program

Serving the west end of Ottawa and Lanark County, the Adaptive Ski Program at Mount Pakenham provides the opportunity for children,......


Seedy Saturdays (and Sundays) - theHumm February 2019

By David Hinks

Our relationship with plants is a complicated one.

On the one hand we are hugely concerned about the negative health effects of certain plants such as wild parsnip. Like giant hogweed and oth......


Stained Glass Show Highlights Art Nouveau - theHumm February 2019

Looking to bring extra light into your winter? The Elgin Art Gallery invites everyone to the show opening of Otty Lake stained glass artist Gregori Robinson on February 9 from 2–5pm.



Historical Society Presents Annual Heritage Dinner - theHumm February 2019

The Carleton Place and Beckwith Historical Society is getting ready to host their 7th annual fundraising Heritage Dinner. To kick off the Carleton Place 200th celebrations in style, they are pres......