By ALIZA GRAY, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILFORD — "What will we do without Gloria?" exclaimed Jean Gray during her longtime friend Gloria Dublin's last knitting session and going-away party. Other nodded and agreed, discussing how much they'd miss her and how much they've appreciated spending Friday afternoons with Dublin. After giving back to the community for over 40 years, specifically through her weekly knitting group called the "Knit Wits," Dublin is leaving Gilford for Alaska to be with her daughter. After decades of donating her time and bringing people together across the Lakes Region, those closest to her felt Dublin should be celebrated before leaving for "The Last Frontier."
Since 2006, Gloria has invited anyone with an interest in knitting to join her at the Gilford Public Library on Friday afternoons to not only knit hats or sweaters, but to socialize and "knit friendships." Dublin has always welcomed anyone to come to the meetings; regardless of age or level of experience, everyone was welcomed with a smile. Every meeting is a chance for members to come together and catch up, and it's all thanks to Dublin.
"She's the reason we're all here, she made it happen and because of her everyone gets together on Fridays," said friend and fellow Knit Wit Kathy Salanitro.
Between all the socializing, a lot of work gets done at every session. Once novice knitters become accomplished, and those who once found themselves unable to finish projects now have stacks of sweaters at home.
"Because of Gloria and these Friday afternoons, everything got completed and we had a ball doing it." said one member.
Because of her unique "on the round" method, knitting became much easier and every member was able to create finished products they were proud of. Creations ranged from everything from hats and mittens to sweaters and blankets. Additionally, those that attend the meetings are not the only ones who benefit; the Knit Wits have always been giving back to the community since their beginnings. None of the items created ever went to waste and Dublin often donated items to those in need. Some favorite causes include the Special Olympics, homeless shelters, hospitals and schools with underprivileged children.
During the past decade, Dublin said she's had a lot of fun not only teaching people to become better knitters, but giving everyone a reason to come together. During her surprise going-away party, Dublin was presented with a plaque that all the group's members had pitched in for. The plaque featured Dublin smiling from ear to ear posing with her knitting. Below was the phrase "Knitting hearts and friendships," which is the perfect description for all that Dublin has done. Gilford and the greater Lakes Region area will miss her warmth and positivity, but will always treasure the sense of community she brought to the area.
Gloria Dublin admires a cake given to her by her sister Knit Wits. The cake pictured both the New Hampshire and Alaskan state flags. (Aliza Gray/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 347