By ERIC SCHELKOPF
Is your cap feeling a little snug?
If so, Neil Edmondson has the perfect hat for you. It is bound to
cover your whole head - and most of your body.
Edmondson and his wife, Lesley, own Wool and Co./Simple Gifts in
Geneva. The couple on Wednesday gave area knitters the chance to work on
what they billed as "the biggest hat in Illinois" as part of Swedish
"It's at least 60 inches around," Neil Edmondson said. "We need to
find a head to fit in it."
The store started the hat last year, and it still is not done.
"Eventually, it is going to be huge," Edmondson said.
Wednesday's Knit Out had been planned for the front lawn of the Kane
County Courthouse but was moved to the Geneva History Center because of
Showing that knitting is not just for grandmothers, Annie
Blankenship, 13, of St. Charles, was among those taking a crack at the
"I like it as a hobby," Annie said of knitting.
Sitting next to her was the person who taught her how to knit,
Bell-Graham fifth-grade teacher Janet Hornbostel.
"Our whole class knits," Hornbostel said. "Their creative juices
begin to flow, and it teaches them social skills."
The students use their knitting skills to give back to the community.
They make scarves and afghans for Alzheimer's patients and various
Last year, they sold their wares and raised $1,400 to support Sudden
Infant Death Syndrome research.
During the Knit Out, Angela Smith of Streamwood captured the
fastest-knitter title. Smith was the first of four contestants to finish
four rows of knitting.
"I love yarn and seeing what comes out of it as it grows," Smith
said. "I do a lot of prayer shawls. It's very meditative."
Edmondson said he was impressed by Smith's quickness.
"Her fingers were blazing," he said. "We didn't time it, but she was
For capturing the title, the store gave her an afghan kit and a shawl
"That will keep me busy for a couple of weeks," Smith said, laughing.