Oletta Burnett has never been one to be idle, and when she moved to Brownwood a couple of years ago, the silver-haired lady thought there was a small danger such a thing could happen.
But a box of yarn a relative had stored and came across saved her hands from going idle and got Burnett busy doing the thing she enjoys most in life — doing something nice for others.
“I had always known how to crochet, though I never had very much,” Burnett said.
She began crocheting the colorful yarns into striped afghans. On Tuesday, the 87-year-old brought a stack of afghans to Cross Country Health Care Center. It’s Burnett’s third such delivery and she estimates she’s crocheted about 30 of the lap-size afghans for Cross Country residents.
Now, she’s about out of yarn, or she would be if members of her church, New Life Assembly of God on 1910 Indian Creek Rd., hadn’t made a contribution to help. Burnett’s not out of energy, or desire to keep busy however.
“People at the church have given me money to help with my project, and every penny of it goes to buy more yarn,” Burnett said.
And now, Cross Country is having a sort of “yarn drive” so Burnett can continue to crochet, and more residents can continue to receive their own handmade lap covers. Skeins of yarn, one or a dozen, can be dropped off at Cross Country, 1514 Indian Creek Dr.
Burnett uses 4-ply acrylic yarns — Red Heart brand is her favorite — and can make almost any color work with another color.
“I make all of the afghans with stripes,” she said. “That seems to make the yarn go farther, and I think they’re just brighter and prettier.”
Burnett said if she would work hard, then corrected herself to say steady (because “crocheting is not hard,” she explained), she could finish an afghan in two weeks time. But she allows for interruptions, because sitting too long will make her stiff.
“It normally takes me a little longer because I have to get out and work in my flowers,” she said.
And Burnett makes the lap covers wider than they are long, “so they will fit around people’s legs and tuck in nicely,” she said. “When they reach from my chin to my toes, I figure they’re the right length.”
Tuesday’s delivery date coincided with National Nursing Home week, and Burnett said it would be “nice” for nursing homes to get recognition for the services they provide.
“I think I need to do all I can for as long as I can,” Burnett said. “I enjoy making the afghans, and it makes me glad they can be used by others who can also enjoy them.”