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At 92, Evelyn Edge cranks out blankets

POSTED: April 17, 2011 1:30 a.m.
SARA GUEVARA/The Times

Evelyn Edge, 92, crochets a square Wednesday that will be part of a lap blanket. Edge, who has been crocheting since she was a teenager, makes one lap blanket every week. She has donated over 200 of her blankets to local assisted living homes.

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Although some people may argue that at 92 years old Evelyn Edge should be sitting back and relaxing, she can't seem to keep her hands still.

About four years ago, she picked up her crochet needle and hasn't put it down since.

"They had festivals around in White County and different parts, and I made things and would sell them," said Edge, a Hall County resident.

"One day I had a yard sale here, and a man came by and wanted to know if I had any (lap) blankets. I said, ‘No.'

"He told me his mother was in a nursing home and she had one and loved it so good, but someone stole it. He said if I had one, he'd buy it.

"And that started me to making blankets this size. I said, well, if he ever comes around again, I'll have one."

The man never came back, but that didn't stop Edge.

"I make about a blanket a week," she said.

"Doing this helps keep my hands loose so my arthritis doesn't bother me so bad. And it relaxes me."

Shelia Edge, unrelated to Evelyn, would see Edge regularly through her Meals on Wheels route. Shelia noticed Edge kept producing more and more blankets.

"She would have all of these blankets. The stacks got bigger and bigger," said Shelia Edge, who is also a member of Evelyn's Dewberry Baptist Church.

"I could leave her some yarn and she's like Rumpelstiltskin, when I come back it's turned into something beautiful."

More than 200 lap blankets later and she's still going.

Seeing the ever-growing piles gave Shelia Edge an idea.

"Our church goes to Morningside Assisted Living on Limestone Parkway and so we decided let's take them down there at Christmastime," Shelia Edge said.

"She gave out 80 that time."

That was in 2009. They were so well received, the ladies did it again last Christmas."When the time rolled around again, she had 80 more to give out at Morningside," Shelia Edge said.

"Last month, she had 60 ready to go to Gateway Nursing Home in Cleveland. They're so colorful, when the people see them, they just go crazy for them."

Although she appreciates the recipients' enthusiasm, Evelyn Edge says she doesn't quite understand it.

"They have fits over them," she said.

Besides the rainbow of colors adding cheery accents to any room, the blankets are also very practical.

"They're big enough to wrap around you good," Evelyn said.

She has also taken to knitting hats for cancer patients.

In addition to putting a smile on 220 faces with her blankets, Edge's talents have sparked a wildfire of interest among the women at Dewberry Baptist.

"After me telling the ladies all what she was doing, the church ladies got busy making hats too," Shelia Edge said.

Many of the Dewberry crocheters, including Evelyn, have begun making baby hats to be shipped to Africa for the Save the Children program, which helps children and families in impoverished areas.

"All of that got started because of Mrs. Edge," Shelia Edge said.

"By sitting right here, she's inspired a lot of people."

Her crafting may be an inspiration now, but in the beginning, it was little more than a happy diversion.

"I don't watch TV much. It ain't much on that I care for anymore, and it gets boring looking at these four walls," Evelyn Edge said with a laugh.

So if you're wanting to discuss the latest episode of your favorite reality show, you probably shouldn't stop for a visit at Edge's home, where she has been living since 1940.

However, visitors with yarn are always welcome.



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