Crafting for a cause

Edith Stanwood wasn’t much for the spectacle of the surprise celebration in her honor at the Queen Anne Community Center earlier this month.

“I expected to come in here, and visit, and knit,” she said.

Surrounded by the fellow members of the “Crafty Ladies” — a group that meets weekly to knit or crochet hats, blankets, sweaters, and scarves to donate to homeless shelters and Children’s Hospital, among other entities — she was handed a plaque that marked a decade of “dedicated volunteer service to the Queen Anne community.”

With those gathered ready to take some photos of her with the newly-bestowed honor, she held the memento in front of her face for a moment, before relenting with a smile.

“It feels great,” she said. “I’m surprised, but it’s a good feeling.”

Carol Baxter-Clubine, a recreation specialist with Seattle Parks and Recreation, called Stanwood a “very solid, core volunteer.” Along with her penchant for the knitting needle, she’s also been a part of the “Monday Meals” group for nearly a decade, a program where volunteers cook and serve a lunch every week to seniors in the community.

“When Edith comes in, she just comes to get things done,” she said. “She’s all about getting the work done. She’s strong, she’s reliable, she’s always been here. And she never complains about it, this is like a second family to her here.”

Baxter-Clubine also praised the way that Stanwood has brought members of the group together. 

“Without her, I think some of the threads amongst them would be lost,” she said. “She’s always looking out for others, knows why someone’s not here, for what reason. It’s a strong group of ladies.”

While the group has gotten smaller in recent years, Baxter-Clubine said that there are about eight to 10 volunteers that come in and knit each week at the Community Center.

“This group definitely wants to encourage new crafters to come in and knit,” she said.

Among those that Stanwood volunteers with in both groups is Pat Barger, who has known Stanwood for about a decade through their efforts.

She praised Stanwood’s ability as a craftperson, and her willingness to help those around her no matter what. 

“She’s always right there when you need some help,” she said. “She’s very proficient.”

Barger also had two specific adjectives to describe her fellow longtime volunteer: dependable and reliable.

“If you need some help for something, you can count on her,” she said. “You can count on her to do it well.”

As for Stanwood, she said a recent move to north Seattle after living just several blocks away may make it a bit more difficult to get to the Community Center to volunteer.

“I don’t know how it’s going to be yet,” she said, “but I’ll try to get here as soon as I can.”

Ultimately, the distance isn’t going to stop her from getting there to help out in any way she can.

“It’s a fun place,” Stanwood said. “I’ve enjoyed it ever since I’ve been here.”

And judging by the warm reception she received, the feeling seems to be mutual.

For more information on the Queen Anne Community Center, visit To comment on this story, write to