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Warming the Northland

A few years ago, Rita Schluneger, owner of Moose-cellaneous Gifts in Two Harbors, found a way to combine her love of knitting and passion for helping people.

She put out a call to her customers during the holiday season asking them to drop off yarn leftover from holiday projects. People dropped off odds and ends and some brought more substantial collections if they were downsizing or moving.

Thereafter, her little shop became a hub where experienced knitters could pick up the extra yarn, bring it home and return a couple of weeks later with a cozy creation like a pair of mittens or a knitted hat, which Schluneger distributed to local schools and hospitals. The exchange has been ongoing.

"We have a lot of generous people in town," Schluneger said.

By the Friday before Christmas, local knitters had already dropped off a few hats. There were some tiny ones, perfect for the birthing centers at the hospitals in Duluth and a matching purple scarf and hat that any little girl would love. There were some larger caps in neutral colors, too, some of which Schluneger said she will donate to a rehabilitation program in Duluth.

"Everyone is grateful for them," she said.

Last year, the program was a great success, collecting 300 items made with donated yarn. All were distributed to those in need. This year, folks can drop off their extra yarn any time after Christmas; Schluneger said she doesn't usually stop the program until spring. There will be a large basket by the door where knitters can leave their leftovers or pick some up to keep their hands busy for a good cause.

"We all have to contribute something," Schluneger said.

Moose-cellaneous is located at 603 Seventh Avenue in Two Harbors

LaReesa Sandretsky
LaReesa Sandretsky is a Two Harbors High School graduate and Duluth native who began working at the News-Chronicle in 2012 as a reporter. She took over as editor in 2014. She covers County Board, including the Lake County broadband project.
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