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Hooked on Stitching

Students of a crochet class, at the Clayton County Headquarters Library, patiently awaited their instructor, on Tuesday morning.

The crochet instructor, Morrow resident, Caroline "Cookie" Blankenship, 75, affectionately known as "Ms. Cookie", entered the room, and immediately showed off her new creation: a multi-colored, crochet sweater.

"It's like Joesph's coat of many colors...it's a sweater of many colors," Blankenship told the group of three.

"Usually we have about five or six students," said Jonesboro resident, Dot Dorsey, 62, who is Blankenship's first crochet class graduate.

Sieda White, 89, of Jonesboro, has been crocheting for about 50 years, she said. White said she has made a tablecloth, and a bedspread with very fine thread.

"My mother taught me," she said. "I don't read patterns...I just look at it, and do it."

Fellow student Dot Dorsey chimed in with laughter, "She [White] is putting us to shame."

The class meets every Tuesday, at the Headquarters library, located at 865 Battle Creek Road, in Jonesboro, from 10 a.m., until 11 a.m.

The class participants said, however, they often lose track of time.

"We never watch the clock," Blankenship added.

The participants who were present on Tuesday are all graduates who have mastered the five basic stitches of crocheting: chain stitch, slip stitch, single stitch, half double stitch, and the double stitch, according to instructor Blakenship.

The students said they have been creating items such as scarves, blankets, and clothing. They said they continue to come to class, to learn new techniques and patterns, and chat about life and family.

"It is so much fun," Dorsey said. She added that the graduates would like to have new students join the class. "It's free, which is the best incentive of all," said Dorsey.

The class instructor, Blankenship, said she has been crocheting for about 15, to 20 years, and has been teaching the free class since 2009.

"I used to knit, but crocheting is a lot faster...not as many stitches to keep up with," she said. "Crocheting is a dying art, and I want to bring it back to life," Blankenship added.

Riverdale resident, Judy Whitehurst, 63, admitted that at first she struggled with learning the stitches, because she is left-handed, and most instructions are written for right-handed people.

"When I first started, I didn't know how to do a chain stitch," Whitehurst said.

"But she never gave up...she was very persistent," Dot Dorsey said regarding Whitehurst. "We have a very supportive team."