At Hook & Needle in Maryville, women share stories and laughter while their hands stay busy crocheting caps and blankets.
"One hook. Then your yarn. And away you go," Lora Galluzzi said.
Crochet is something she has enjoyed for decades.
"I'm always intrigued with all the beautiful fibers that you see throughout the stores. I could stay in a yarn store for hours upon hours," she said.
Cristi Blankemeyer owns Hook & Needle. She said, "We're always fun. Every day is fun."
When she opened Hook & Needle in Maryville back in October she knew she would welcome groups like Lora's to her store.
"They can come here, they can make friends, they can create. That part is most important for me is to watch that creation, watch that community building," Cristi said.
The woman at her store are a community called Pink Stitches with Love, part of Crochet for Cancer.
"My sister was diagnosed with cancer back in February. And I started going what can I do to help her and help others," Lora explained.
She noticed crocheted caps at the hospital where her sister was being treated.
"Ah ha. I know what my purpose is."
The new chapter of Crochet for Cancer is part of a national organization. Lora went through an application process. In just a few months she has recruited dozens of people who crochet as well as donors who pay for crochet supplies.
The caps and blankets keep cancer patients warm.
"We want them to feel pretty. We're not making just an ordinary beanie that you would put on. We've got shell stitches. We've got caps with scarves around them where they hang down. We're making them fashionistas," she said.
One fashionista is her sister who is still going through treatment.
"She has lost her hair. And she loves my caps that I crochet."
What's not to love?
Lora recalled, "This lady comes up and says do you have your caps with you? She said I've got a neighbor who just lost her hair and needs some caps. Yes. I do. You just pick. And she was thrilled.. I get a lot of thank yous but it is just the satisfaction of knowing that I am making someone happy keeping their heads warm."
And warming their hearts knowing some women in Maryville crochet with love.
In the next month or so, they plan to include a chemo care package with each cap and blanket they donate.
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