Spinning a Yarn


Mary Lorrie Skahen works on knitting a scarf in the Great Room at Shaker Pointe

One Stitch at a Time

Lorrie’s passion for knitting began when she was just 11 years old.  Her blind neighbor took it upon herself to teach her the art and she took to it right away.  Later in life she started making clothes for her children and from there, her hobby grew.  Eleven year old Lorrie probably didn’t know at the time that her newly learned skill would end up impacting the lives of so many.  Two years ago in 2013 she started stitching hats.  Her hats grew into a project to provide warmth and style to patients undergoing chemo therapy.  In a little over a year, she crafted 150 hats for the project, single handedly.  For Lorrie, the project was personal, having just lost her husband after his battle with cancer.  Always smiling, you can tell she was glad to work on each stitch knowing the end product might make someone’s day a little brighter.  150 hats seems like quite a lot, but for Lorrie, that was just the beginning of her passion for helping others who need it most.  In 2014 she tackled an even bigger and seemingly daunting project, knitting 350 hats for the homeless outside of Boston.  When asked how that was even possible, she remains humble and shrugs,”My son is involved in an organization that helps serve a homeless population of over 400 people just outside Boston, I was happy to help him.”  In wondering how long this project took, she admits to knitting a hat a day to finish within a years time.  Currently, Lorrie is working on an afghan for her grandson in the seminary.  She has also begun a project knitting scarves.  Who the lucky future owners may be is unknown, but certainly Lorrie has an idea in mind.   She even finds time to pass on her skill to future generations.  She has taught all of her grandchildren to knit, including her 14 year old grandson who has just gotten started.



Lorrie and other residents gather to knit and catch up in the Activities Studio

New Patterns 

Just recently, residents at Shaker Pointe have begun meeting each Thursday at 11:00 a.m. to knit as a  group.  Lorrie played a large part in organizing the initial meet.  She stated, “Its community and the interaction between residents that I enjoy.  The ladies gather each Thursday to share ideas and talk, not necessarily about knitting.  Lorrie said, ”  We talk and get to know each other.  It’s a great way to meet new residents.”  One lady is working on crocheting a beautiful baby blanket, others knit scarves.  Walking by the Activities Studio, its hard to miss the sounds of their laughter and conversation.

When not knitting, Lorrie stays very busy.  Her daughter Molly lives in Latham and she spends a lot of time visiting her and her grandchildren.  At Shaker Pointe, Lorrie describes her typical day as grabbing a meal in the resident dining room with neighbors or catching up at birthday parties and the monthly wine and cheese gathering.  She says, “Everyone here is very caring.”  In making the move to Shaker Pointe, Lorrie sites her daughter Molly as the key reason for making her decision.  Prior to living at Shaker Pointe, Lorrie was living in Syracuse.  Being in the senior living industry, her daughter Molly knew a lot about Lorrie’s choices in the area and made the decision that Shaker Pointe was the fit for her.  Two years later she acknowledges that it’s sill a transition, but that she’s had a lot of help from her neighbors.  She mentions that she has become good friends with two Sisters of Saint Joseph who live near her apartment saying, “They always call to say hello if they haven’t seen me in a few days-they look out for me.”


A group of residents gather to chat and knit in the Great Room

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