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Former township official shares thoughts on knitting

March 07, 2012 - By Corrina Huang

Review Intern

Orion resident Jill Bastian is a woman who has worn many hats.

A former teacher who has taught French, English, and reading, a community activist in the late 1970s who led to safety paves that connects Polly Ann to Paint Creek Trail, a stay-at-home-mom, an organic gardner, and a former township public office - a position she held for 12 years. Now, since retireing, knitting has been her passion on and off for nearly 50 years.

In fact, two of her knitting patterns have been published in a 2012 knitting calendar featuring all new designs: A Carillon: Rainbow Cloche, and a Well-Suited Shoulder Shawl. The Carillon is a hat that can be worn by the young or old and when not worn, simply sitting on a shelf resembles a bell. The Well-Suited Shoulder Shawl is designed using only a single ball of fiber. A simple, lacy "mini" shawl that can be worn casually or paired with a tailored suit.

"In 2004 and 2005 I started knitting again and I find It calms me down," said Bastian. "I use it a lot for relaxation."

As a cancer survivor, Bastian also lends her time to the Lake Orion Senior Center which meets two times a week from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. On Mondays and Thursdays for the Knitters, Krocheter Klub. The group knits scarves and hats for the needy and according to Bastian, "this is mostly about having fun and helping people."

In the past, Bastian has also been involved in teaching knitting at the Orion Township Library but is now heavily involved with a new needle arts club known as Needle Arts Circles, which meets at the Orion Township Library on Tuesdays from 1 .m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Those interested can join other needle artists to work on various projects such as sewing, needle point, cross stitch, knitting, tatting, and crocheting.

When it comes to knitting Bastian says she is not a real technical person, but despite this she throughly enjoys it, when she was younger she would follow the patterns but now tries to create new ideas, but can't knit nearly as fast as she used to.

"Now I find ways to knit in one piece and at the same time learn ways to save a lot of time," said Bastian. "I only have so much time and I don't know if its my age, or limitations. It's just easier to simplify my life."

Bastian suggests those interested in learning how to crochet should visit the senior center or Heritage Spinning and Weaving at 47 E. Flint Street in downtown Lake Orion.

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