A charitable yarn

Amy EdgettCommunity Editor
Kelly Hechinger weaves competitively, loves to knit socks because they are "great little projects you can take anywhere." She is giving back to the community with knitted donations.

There is a local yarn to spin that involves charity, knitting and the woman who does both.Kelly Hechinger learned to knit as a little girl. Fifteen years ago, she started knitting again with a friend. ThenI saw a lady with a spinning wheel at a Truckee Regional Park craft fair, and knew I needed to know how to do that, too, said Hechinger, owner of Lake Tahoe Yarn Company in Truckee, which opened in October 2008. I love to knit socks and to weave kitchen towels. Her weaving won first place at the Reno, Nev. State Fair last year. She has a bit of a competitive streak.On the flip side, the 40-year local explains knitting as a nurturing activity, an instinct to keep the children and family warm. Its always cold up here, we need warm things, said Hechinger. I was always putting another blanket on the children. Her nurturing goes beyond the home to Tahoe Forest Hospital, where she knew newbies might need infant beanies, socks and mittens. The Incline Village Knitters Guild has donated many such items. Some babies go home without as much as they should, said Hechinger. They could use a little help, and the hospital can pull from the supply.Hechinger is determined to produce 100 sets for the hospital, and is offering a discount on skeins for knitters who would like to donate their time and a knitted set to the charitable cause sending newborns in need home with a cozy, silky set. There are 30 to 40 skeins being knit right now, from Truckee to Texas to Virginia. Only 60 to go.One skein of yarn makes the set the discounted cost is $5.06. Hechinger uses a silk and cotton blend by Frog Tree/T andamp; C Imports, whose mission is to supply meaningful and continuous work to various artisans and non-profit groups. Intermediate knitters might take a few days or a week of evening knitting to finish.Beginner knitters, theres a charitable cause for you, too. Make the cats comfy at the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe. Knit a fluffy cat bed to pad the wire cages. Hechinger says this is a great beginner project because all you do is knit just plain knit. And, the cats dont care what color it is, if it has boo-boos, or what type of yarn you use. Its a good use of stash yarn, the stuff thats been collecting around the house.Dont know how to knit? Dont have yarn? Stop by the Lake Tahoe Yarn Company (in the Riverstone shop at 10250 Donner Pass in Downtown Truckee). Its a pleasant atmosphere, where you can relax and learn, commented Hechinger. Customer service is number one priority. Have a cup of tea while youre there.There is a set of husband chairs so the men may sit and read magazines while the ladies shop. Of course, the younger gents might beat you to that must have skein.Lake Tahoe Yarn Company isnt just gathering wool. Find knitting bags, needles and patterns by longtime local Diane Soucy. Hechinger does her own dyeing and has a line of colors inspired by the Greek gods. For those on the way a pink and white blend for baby girls, a blue variation for boys and a mixed skein of lavender, sage, white and yellow for we dont know whos coming. Then there are silks, cottons, cashmere, wools and mohair.Hechinger stated once you start knitting you begin to look at anything as potential yarn. She knows of a woman in Reno who spins from angora bunnies. Hechinger once worked with the undercoat of a malamute, and it radiated heat. How does she feel about knitting? Its a connection to the earth, a renewable resource, its a never ending story, its a blast.

Who: Lake Tahoe Yarn CompanyWhat: Knit for charity, Tahoe Forest Hospital andamp; Humane Society of Truckee-TahoeUpcoming: April, bring in food for Project MANA, receive a discount. The more generous you are, the deeper the discountClasses: Look for childrens knitting instruction come summer, drop in for Friday evening knit togethers from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and a 10 percent discount. Visit or call 587-1060

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