Although she’s known to many as their former music teacher, Margaret Pirie – aka Mrs. Dill – now keeps her hands busy knitting hats for babies.
The 93-year-old Debert woman can knit while watching television, having a conversation, or even reading a book, and she often has a big grey tabby called Gadget resting his head on her lap while she works.
“I knit preemie hats,” she said. “It makes me feel good to know I’m helping keep babies warm, and knitting is relaxing.”
She manages to whip up four or five on an average day, and when she attends the monthly IODE meeting she hands them over to be delivered to the IWK Children’s Hospital in Halifax.
Pirie has been an IODE member since 1963 and it was at one of the meetings that she heard of the need for hats. Being an experienced knitter she was happy to help.
She can’t remember when she first learned to knit, but knows she was quite young.
“I think the housekeeper taught me,” she said. “It certainly wasn’t my mom. I tried to teach her to knit and couldn’t teach her at all.”
Having taught for 33 years, Pirie often has former students recognize her when she’s in town.
Some of them may even have children and grandchildren who’ve been given one of her hats.