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Her love for knitting weaves a pattern of giving

Federal Way resident Mona Donahue is currently working on her 12th sweater for the Knit for Kids program, which donates sweaters to needy children around the world. - Kyra Low, The Mirror
Federal Way resident Mona Donahue is currently working on her 12th sweater for the Knit for Kids program, which donates sweaters to needy children around the world.
— image credit: Kyra Low, The Mirror

Mona Donahue, 73, hasn’t let a diagnosis of Parkinson’s dementia five years ago stop her from knitting and helping others.

Earlier this year, Donahue ran across an article in Guidepost magazine titled “Knit with Love” about the Knit for Kids program that donates homemade knitted sweaters for needy children all around the world.

In June, Donahue started knitting, and she hasn’t stopped yet.

She is currently working on her 12th sweater, a small dark gray sweater that she will send to New York along with the last three she has made.

“It gives me a sense of accomplishment,” Donahue said.

Although she has had to give up sewing with the advancement of Parkinson’s, Donahue said knitting is no more difficult for her.

“A lot of people just sit,” said her husband, Curt Donahue. “I don’t think they realize they could still do a lot of their activities.”

Mona Donahue has been knitting for her family since she was a little girl, and is making these sweaters out of yarn she has stored up over the years.

“I didn’t know how much yarn I had stashed away through the years,” she said. “I haven’t bought any, I bought all this years ago.”

Each day she knits for two to three hours, sometimes more when she can’t sleep at night. Mona figures she has enough yarn for about two more sweaters. Then she has a new plan.

“When she no longer has enough yarn for sweaters, she is going to switch to making beanies for soldiers to wear under their helmets,” Curt said.

Knit for Kids is a program that started just over 10 years ago. Since its formation in 1996, the program has donated more than 400,000 sweaters.

The Web site www.knitforkids.org has the patterns available to download for anyone interested in knitting or crocheting a sweater, which is where Mona Donahue got her patterns from.

“I think it’s great,” Curt said. “I am really proud of her wanting to do something. She knits things for love.”

Contact writer: klow@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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