By Eric Jankiewicz
These aren’t your typical baseball fans.
Fans from Glendale are weaving their love of crochet, knitting and baseball games together this summer to watch a Mets game at Citi Field while yarning away.
“It’s kind of like a yarn-a-holics anonymous group. We’re a support group with no intention of kicking our habit,” said Michelle Cook-Lopez, a Glendale resident who runs an arts-and-crafts store in the neighborhood and serves as the group’s home field.
The group, Glendale Knits & Crochets, plan on going to Citi Field Aug. 16. The event is part of a national program called Stitch N’ Pitch. This August will be the ninth annual game where spectators on the left field landing are given a special discount to crochet while watching the game. Participants are encouraged to knit a patch of cloth while watching the game. The cloth is then used to create blankets for various charity groups that provide blankets to people.
The group has been attending baseball games since the event first started nine years ago. They will often attend several games throughout the year.
But throughout the year the handful of yarn lovers also go to bars, parks and other places where they sew away. Whether the group is drinking or watching a live baseball game, their final pursuit is in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, and rope-making.
Cook-Lopez has led the group into various clothing forays for the last nine years and she also teaches the trade to people at her shop on 80-09 Myrtle Ave. Cook-Lopez’s grandmother first opened the store in the 1970s. As a child, Cook-Lopez learned the trade from her grandmother. For her, crocheting is a family tradition the way joining the army is a tradition for some families. Her father owns the shop on Myrtle Avenue and she will one day inherit the business, as well as the legacy, and one day she will pass it on to future generations.
“People bring projects they are working on and we sit, talk and help each other.” Cook-Lopez said. Much of the clothing and apparel that the group makes are donated to charities. During the Citifield games they make patches that are then turned into blankets.
Cook’s Arts & Crafts organizes and sponsors different events as well as sells craft supplies and teaches classes for beginners to learn. 80-09 Myrtle Ave., Glendale, NY 11385
Reach reporter Eric Jankiewicz by e-mail at ejank