100-year-old Seattleite knits baby sweaters and, boy, is she good

Virginia Carmichael of West Seattle started with just one sweater for a needy baby, and then she just … kept … going.

“Good, it makes me feel good,” laughs Virginia Carmichael when asked how it makes her feel knowing how many babies she’s helped.

“It makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.”

Now 100 years old, Carmichael, who lives at The Kenney in West Seattle, has been knitting for almost 75 years.

She has volunteered at various things her whole life, but since she became a little less mobile, she started knitting baby sweaters for newborns in need.

She donates her sweaters to WestSide Baby in West Seattle.

“Volunteers are needed in an awful lot of different ways,” she says. “I feel like it’s very much appreciated, and I feel like I’m not sitting around, doing nothing.”

She has been knitting the sweaters and donating them to WestSide Baby for 2½ years. On average, she knits about one sweater a week.

“At one time, I thought I should keep track, then I thought, oh, why bother?” she said. “I’m not doing it for the number — it’s for my benefit, too. It’s not just only for the babies, because it benefits me an awful lot.”

Recently Carmichael got a tour at WestSide Baby to see how her sweaters would be distributed after she donated them.

“I was flabbergasted at the operation, and to think that I could be a part of it. And to think it just started with knitting one baby sweater and wondering what I was going to do with it,” she said, again laughing.

For the first time, Carmichael was able recently to meet one of the babies she had knitted a sweater for — 3-month-old Connor.

All she could say was, “I’ve been knitting these sweaters for a while now, and this is the first time I’ve seen one on a baby. I realize now that they do fit. Cause I’ve always wondered. This is very gratifying.”

She smiled at Connor, one of the latest lucky recipients of her generosity…

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