Alice Barrera has always knitted, crocheted, and sewn, from the time when someone gifted her a naked doll as a child, and she knitted it an outfit through the countless times she stitched together clothes/costumes for her children. Barrera, a retired nurse, wife, mother of seven, and grandmother to eight, has always found a way to incorporate needle arts into her life.
Seven years ago, when Barrera and her husband Kenneth moved into Trillium Woods, a life plan community in Plymouth, she sought opportunities to incorporate her hobby into her new routine.
What started as the chance to make new friends and talk about their daily lives quickly turned into a group of crafters interested in making items for the greater good. “Stitch Wits,” as the club is known, is a Trillium Woods group dedicated to making knitted goods. “There were a number of us interested in this particular artwork style, so when we began talking about the idea of forming a club, everything came together naturally,” says Barrera.
Since its founding nearly seven years ago, the Stitch Wits crew has donated their time and skills for many service projects. Two of the most notable are knitting baby hats for infants in Tanzania born at the Dodoma Christian Medical Center and knitting prayer shawls for St. Barnabas Lutheran Church in Plymouth. “We got involved in these projects because residents of our community came to us, hoping we would be able to make something for them,” she explains. “Since then, it has become one of the group’s favorite aspects of the club.”
“We are grateful to the loving hearts and hands that create these prayer shawls, their time and dedication are felt throughout our entire congregation,” says Sally Kelby.
Stitch Wits is just one of many clubs offered at Trillium Woods. The community boasts its tremendous offerings, from the green-thumbed gardening club to ongoing language learning. Residents have the ability to form new clubs based on whatever their interest is.
Barrera was among the first group of residents who moved into Trillium Woods and loves the life she has created for herself there. “I was so thrilled that I could continue my passion and find friends with the same interest as me when I moved here. Trillium Woods enabled me to continue my favorite hobby and help within my local community.”