Ashwood Waldorf School recently donated three colorful hand-knit blankets to New Hope for Women. Students, parents, faculty and friends of Ashwood had knitted and stitched together wool blankets for their “Knit–A–Thon” school fundraiser .

Over the course of 10 weeks, Ashwood knitters created as many 8-inch squares as possible; sponsors pledged donations for each square knitted. A screening of the documentary film “Handmade Nation” at the school helped to raise awareness of the benefits of knitting, and other types of handwork, for brain development and creativity. The knitted squares were stitched together into five blankets at a Cast-Off Party, which culminated the knitting marathon. The donated funds will go toward the school’s operating expenses.

The three blankets donated to New Hope for Women will be given to children of their clients. “New Hope for Women greatly appreciates our partnership with the Ashwood Waldorf School. These wonderful blankets will add color and warmth for the families we serve who are making healthy transitions,” said Richard Ailes, New Hope for Women development director, in a news release.

New Hope for Women celebrates its 30th birthday this year. The agency provides services to all persons affected by domestic and dating violence in Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties. These services include a 24-hour crisis response hotline, legal information and referrals, support groups, court and systems advocacy, prevention groups and outreach programs in schools, and community education and response trainings. New Hope maintains a safe-home network and operates six units of transitional housing. It also runs Time for Change, a certified batterer intervention program. New Hope’s main office is in Rockland, with outreach offices in Belfast, Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor.