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.
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......
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Out of Order at the Station Theatre Keeping You Warm on a Cold Winter’s Night - theHumm February 2019
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Director Lynda ......
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Dec 8 - 10 Christmas Craft & Art Show
Dec 9 - 10 MAG Christmas Show & Sale
Dec 10 Multicultural Meet & Greet
Dec 15 - 16 Ambre McLean Xmas Concert
Dec 16 Kintail Country Christmas
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- Celebrate the Written Word — Readers and Writers Connect!
- Ava-lunch, a Snowfall Fable Family Puppet Show at the Almonte Library
- Winter Market at Brooke Valley School
- Union Hall Crafts atAFM Christmas Market
- “No Gift Is Too Small”
- A Musical Celebration of Christmas
- A Delicious Holiday Open House
- Holiday Wishes from Climate Network Lanark
- Folkus — Give the Gift of Music!