evening purse that was large enough to hold her
cell phone, in addition to the standard lipstick
and compact. When she couldn't find what she
wanted, she knit one.
The purse she created was such a hit that she
started getting requests from would-be cus-
tomers, and "Bags by Bonnie" was born. Winkler
makes her one-of-a-kind purses in a variety of
sizes, using novelty yarns like fun fur and adding
distinctive details, such as beaded handles and
"They're fun to make, and people of all ages
love them," said Winkler, who sells her bags
through private parties and by appointment.
"They make great gifts.
Knitting For A Cause
The resurgence of knitting has spawned a new
type of community service project, the "'mitz-
vah." Groups and organizations throughout
metro Detroit have begun using their hobby to
bring warmth and comfort to cancer patients,
senior citizens and the homeless.
One of the youngest "knitz-vah makers" is
Lauren Mondry, 14, of Bloomfield Hills, who
decided to make caps for children who had lost
their hair from chemotherapy as her bat mitzvah
project last year.
Lauren, who learned to knit at age 9 from her
mother, Diane, chose this project in honor of her
maternal aunt, Marlene Bremen, who died of
cancer at age 15.
The project has snowballed and so far more
than 3,400 caps, made by local and out-of-state
knitters, have been given to Children's Hospital
of Michigan and the Karmanos Cancer Institute,
both in Detroit. KnitKnitKnit in West
Bloomfield and Right Off the Sheep in
Birmingham have helped by donating yarn and
serving as drop-off and pick-up centers.
"Lauren has really put the word out there, and
it's paid off," said Diane Mondry. "Caps are
coming in from Chicago, New York, California.
It really taken on a life of its own."
"I'm surprised and happy that so many people
have volunteered their time," said Lauren
Mondry. "I want to help as many kids as I can."
The whole family has pitched in, including
Lauren's father, Mitchell, and her brothers Jason
and Adam, who have spent time counting hats t
and putting up flyers in the neighborhood.
"This has taught Lauren so much," said Diane
Mondry. "She went down to Karmanos and met _-
the kids. It was so heartwarming to watch her. Lit
And she gets letters and e-mails from the chil
dren and their parents telling her how much the
hats have meant to them."
Another "knitz-vah" program is Laps and
Caps, sponsored by the Greater Detroit Chapter
of Hadassah. On the first Tuesday of every
month, 10 a.m.-noon, women gather at the
Hadassah House on Orchard Lake Road in West
Bloomfield to knit hats for young cancer patients
and lap pads for senior citizens.
Knitters who cannot make the Tuesday "knit
and schmooze" sessions are invited to make the
items at home. Patterns are available at Hadassah
House and yarn donations also are welcome.
The Friendship Circle, a social service agency,
recently held an event where participants knitted
individual squares that will be combined into a
wall hanging for the lobby of their new building
in the Ferber Kaufman Lifetown Center in West
Bloomfield. Staff members of KnitKnitKnit were
present to teach novice knitters the basics and
lend a hand to those with more experience.
Knitters are encouraged to continue contributing
squares until the project is completed.
"We call it 'knitting with a meaning'," said
Devorah Pinson, family coordinator for the
YARN IT! on page 28
m g Urge
' g The itnittin
Here are some of the knit shops in and around metro Detroit.
Many offer classes and-or private lessons. Call the individual shops for details.
6337 Orchard Lake
The Wool and the Floss
251 E. Merrill
Right Off the Sheep
359 S. Old Woodward
515 S. Lafayette
Bags by Bonnie
Bonnie Laker Winkler
Knit a Round Yarn Shop
306 S. Main
Yarn and knitting supplies also
can be found at Michaels and
at Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts
throughout metro Detroit.
Right• Knitting can get compli-