Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Exeter Alum Makes Hats

It something she never imagined doing, but Agnes Loukota is crocheting like crazy.

This 1957 graduate of Exeter High School recently celebrated her 55th High school reunion, but don’t think this great-grandmother is slowing down.

In 2006 she launched on a new project.  She noticed that the Exeter G.F.W.C. Woman’s Club had put an ad in the Exeter Care Center newsletter looking for people to crochet hats for a project they were working on. “I went online, found the pattern and started making them,” explained Loukota.

Even after the Woman’s club completed their project Loukota continued to crochet the hats, which the American Cancer Society calls Head Huggers on their website where they offer the pattern.

“I always considered crocheting an old lady’s occupation, I guess I have reached that point now,” said Loukota while laughing.

With over 500 hats crocheted Loukota isn’t slowing down at all.  In fact, she has recruited more help in Exeter to crochet the hats. Exeter resident and Librarian Nina Bartu is also helping Loukota.  

Bartu mentioned to Loukota that she loved to crochet but didn’t have any purpose or projects in mind, “Agnes came over with an incredible amount of yarn stuffed in a bag along with the pattern.  I’ve used all that yarn and she has delivered another bag,” said Bartu.

Loukota finds yarn anywhere she can,  “About 70 percent of the yarn is donated.  I find it at auctions and sales.  A lot of times people donate the yarn that is leftover from a project they have done.  The only color I don’t use is yellow as the American Cancer Society discourages that color because it washes out the cancer patient’s complexion.”

Currently she delivers the hats to oncology offices where they are snatched up like hotcakes,  “When I dropped the hats off I asked the office if they still wanted them and they told me they can’t keep them there they go that quickly.”

They go so fast because these aren’t your grandmother’s crocheted hats.  The hats are created from soft yarns and the ladies always put some sort of decoration on the hat to give it a fashionable twist. Loukota and Bartu have accumulated a stack of hats again and this time they will be selling their uniquely decorated hats at the Relay for Life event in Geneva on Saturday July 28th.  “All the money from selling the hats at the event will be going to the American Cancer Society.”

Loukota is enjoying her hobby but it’s a far cry from her days at Exeter High.  “Back in those days there wasn’t much for the girls to participate in but glee club and pep club.”

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