Frankford library seeking mystery stocking seamstress


Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Led by Phyllis Donaway and Susan Molnar (front, left and right), the ladies of Hooks & Needles discovered more than 100 incomplete stockings and then completed them to donate to the Stockings for Soldiers program.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Led by Phyllis Donaway and Susan Molnar (front, left and right), the ladies of Hooks & Needles discovered more than 100 incomplete stockings and then completed them to donate to the Stockings for Soldiers program.Someone sewed more than 100 Christmas stockings that happen to be the perfect size to donate to Stockings for Soldiers. And several ladies in Frankford are trying to figure out who.

Phyllis Donaway was organizing donations at Frankford Presbyterian Church thrift shop when she discovered two trash bags full of unfinished stockings. Not wanting them to go to waste, she and Susan Molnar hauled the fabric to the Frankford Public Library. Perhaps the children could decorate them at craft time, they thought.

But when someone discovered that these stockings were the same size as Stockings for Soldiers requests for its program, everything changed. The nonprofit sends holiday snacks and gifts to soldiers overseas, all in a large stocking.

“The project just landed at our feet, and we decided to see what we could do with it,” said Librarian Cindy Givens.

They usually knit and crochet, but members of the library Hooks & Needles group divvied up the project, with several women taking home the unfinished stockings and attaching festive cuffs to the top of each. Donaway and Molnar each sewed about 30 of them.

With dozens of patterns, the stockings themselves offer a range of appeal.

“They’re just all different kinds,” Donaway said.

Soldiers will be able to choose from stripes, floral, fish, nautical anchors, Western rodeo and even a few Christmas patterns.

“It’s just fascinating that someone would make all these and donate them. It’s a mystery to us,” Molnar said.

The library had collected soldier gifts earlier this fall. But it just happened that when the size of the found stockings was noticed, a rare visitor (Ruth Ann Marvel) was attending Hooks & Needles. She contacted her friend at Stockings for Soldiers, which had already gotten enough of everything for this year’s program — everything except stockings, that is.

“It’s a lot of coincidences,” Donaway said.

The Frankford Public Library got an extension to finish sewing the stockings for the program, and the stocking count hovered at 120 in late October.

“We would love to find out who made them, give him or her the credit,” Givens said.

“We would love to honor the person who made them, particularly if the person is deceased,” Molnar added.

Even if the mystery seamstress or seamstresses) simply got tired of the project, they dedicated hours of work to the cause, the two noted. Although only 30 cuffs had been attached, someone still cut out, sewed and attached ribbons to more than 100 stockings. The Frankford ladies lost count of their own hours at the sewing machine.

“I don’t know — it wouldn’t matter,” Molnar said. “We enjoy doing this, and we’re so happy it’s going to a good cause.”

Hooks & Needles typically meets on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. It and other sewing groups are free and open to anyone.

Anyone with leads on the stocking mystery can contact Cindy at the Frankford Public Library by calling (302) 732-9351.