Lezlie Sterling/ lsterling@sacbee.com

Marian Thompson sits in her floral armchair, gently tugging on a spool of yarn. Her purple needles work in harmony, stitching a fluffy white baby cap with green Christmas trees and red stripes. At 96, her hands ache with arthritis, but she rarely stops to rest them, knitting more baby caps than any member of the Kiddie Kaps knitting group at Eskaton Village in Carmichael. Over a two-month period, most members average 15-20 baby caps, but Thompson brings 88 hats with her to the December meeting. Her personal count is 4,226 caps since she joined the Eskaton knitters in 2006. Beverly Burns, the group’s leader, says they’ve donated more than 20,000 baby caps since 2004, bringing comfort to area newborns at Sutter General and Mercy Hospital in Sacramento. “A lot of times, I say a little prayer when I’m knitting the cap,” says Thompson. ““(I’m) thinking ‘I hope this cap blesses a baby and keeps its little head warm.’”

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