Nicole, Phoebe, Ethan and Chris Wiseman of Franklin showed their appreciation to "Hilly" for the hats she made them with this photograph. -- SUBMITTED
Nicole, Phoebe, Ethan and Chris Wiseman of Franklin showed their appreciation to "Hilly" for the hats she made them with this photograph. -- SUBMITTED

Archived Story

Boykins woman knits warmth

Published 11:51am Friday, March 8, 2013
Gladys “Hilly” Stevens of Boykins works on a pattern she’s making for a hat. The 90-year-old said she can usually make three in a day. -- Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News
Gladys “Hilly” Stevens of Boykins works on a pattern she’s making for a hat. The 90-year-old said she can usually make three in a day. — Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News

BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Playback58@gmail.com

BOYKINS—There’s at least a dozen homeless people in Franklin today who are a little warmer thanks to the recent contribution of a Boykins woman.

On Thursday, the Salvation Army in Franklin gave out hats made by Gladys “Hilly” Stevens.

“They seemed to be really appreciative,” said Jane Darden, who made the delivery for her mother. She added that more hats would be made for the homeless.

At 90, Stevens occupies much of her time crocheting hats. Using soft yarn in a wide spectrum of colors and a broad range of patterns, she gets to work.

“I can make three in a day sitting in a chair. Whatever inspires me,” said Hill y, as she likes to be called. Her nickname, she explained, comes from when she was a nursing student back in the 1940s; she retired in 1985.

Formerly of Milton, Del., Hilly moved in last year with her daughter and son-in-law, Jane and John Darden of Boykins.

The first teacher of the craft was her mother, Enna Hill. A rug she made of rags is found on the kitchen floor.

“She was pretty good, and then I taught myself,” said Hilly, who also does needlepoint.

“She’s been crocheting for as long as I can remember,” said Jane, herself a nurse who has retired from Obici Hospital. “We’re just a support group.”

Hilly is a dialysis patient and is regularly treated at Southampton Dialysis Center on Armory Drive in Franklin. One day she made 17 hats for the staff and delivered them at Christmas. They’re among the 170 made since last Thanksgiving.

“I give them away,” said Hilly.

“It’s her nature to be so giving,” said Jane, who attributed the quality in part to her mother’s career as a nurse.

That generosity has also extended to Nicole Wiseman of Franklin. She and Jane once worked together as nurses. Through her, Nicole met Hilly.

“Hilly is a wonderful friend of mine. She taught me to crochet and also made hats for the family about three weeks ago,” said Nicole.

She rates her own skill now as “pretty good,” but with two small children to watch over, “I pick it up whenever I can.”

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