'Purls' of wisdom

Kerrie Thompson
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After 100 years, it's not surprising the knitting needles don't clack quite as deftly as they used to.

But Hesther Linkletter, 100, and Yvonne Heer, 99, have recently hauled out their balls of yarn again.

From left, Hesther Linkletter, Fedora Arsenault and Yvonne Heer relax in the sunroom of Andrew's Lodge and enjoy working with their needles and wool.

Summerside - After 100 years, it's not surprising the knitting needles don't clack quite as deftly as they used to.

But Hesther Linkletter, 100, and Yvonne Heer, 99, have recently hauled out their balls of yarn again.

Both are residents at Andrew's Lodge in Summerside and have spent a lot of time enjoying knitting. As the years passed, both women began to feel they weren't producing good work. They stopped trying.

"They both used to knit and thought they couldn't anymore," said Andrew's Lodge activity co-ordinator Cathy Perry.

A relatively younger Fedora Arsenault, who is in her eighties, has inspired and encouraged Linkletter and Heer to pick up their needles once again, said Perry.

Arsenault asserts, "You don't have to be young to get the hands working and the brain going."

When Linkletter and Heer are almost finished, Arsenault will help them with the final touches.

The three women sit in the sunroom and knit together, they had to bring in some fold-out chairs because more residents noticed their knitting and joyous talks and wanted to join in, said Perry.

"At this age, they deserve this."

But knitting is more than a hobby for the women.

The threesome knits clothes to be given to those less fortunate for the cold winter nights. The centenarian knitters and Arsenault currently have 30 pairs of mittens, 12 tuques and a number of scarves completed.

St. Paul's Parish in Summerside collects the articles from the women and gives the clothing to those who need them.

Many of the residents at Andrew's Lodge have been working on pallets for a large quilt they will be donating to the Prince County Hospital.

Arsenault said they all love what they do while they're knitting and she feels proud when she sees the other two at work.

"They're happy."

newsroom@journalpioneer.com




What's in a name?

How Fedora Arsenault was christened
Fedora Arsenault, who's helping with an initiative to get knitted items from Andrews Lodge residents to those who need the clothing, says clothing has been a major part of her life since before she was born.
Her mother worked in a clothing store and one day a box fell in front of her. Arsenault's mother opened the box and saw "Fedora Felts," a once popular hat, Arsenault said.
"She said, 'If I have a girl, I'll name her Fedora.' And that's me!"

Organizations: Prince County Hospital

Geographic location: Summerside, St. Paul

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  • staceybeck01
    December 18, 2013 - 13:13

    This is adorable! I want to get my circular knitting needles and join them!!

  • snookie
    June 21, 2010 - 19:04

    Keep up the great work Ladies God Bless you all!!!!

  • Don
    June 21, 2010 - 19:04

    Thank you for your interesting Purls of Wisdom article in today's Journal Pioneer. I am Hester Linkletter's youngest son and am always delighted to hear about Mom's latest accomplishment. She remains in relatively good health both mentally and physically and is still the focal point of our family's love and concern. My brothers and I are all so proud of her. Thanks again for publishing such a heart warming human interest story.