NEW ULM - Lloyd Sabatka never had a hobby during his 20-year career as a boiler operator and maintenance worker at Martin Luther College.
That's all different now.
After retiring a few years ago, he bought a knitting ring and began making stocking caps for his family members.
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Lloyd Sabatka of New Ulm displays some of the stocking caps he knit for the needy. His caps can be found at the New Ulm Area Emergency Food Shelf, Brown County Family Services, Oak Hills Living Center, Jefferson Elementary School, and silent auctions for the needy.
"They really seemed to like them," Sabatka said. "The kids really got excited about finding them in their favorite colors. People told me I should keep making them so I did."
Last year, thanks to donated yarn thanks to help from a friend, he made about 300 stocking caps.
Sabatka makes about three caps a day if we continues working on them most of the day and arthritis doesn't bother him.
"My doctor told me to take a break from it for a while if I get too stiff in the shoulders," Sabatka added. "That happens once in a while."
The caps are all given away.
Recipients included the New Ulm Area Emergency Food Shelf, Brown County Family Services, Jefferson Elementary School, Oak Hills Living Center and at silent auctions to benefit the needy.
His stocking caps have been sold at silent auctions as far away as Apple Valley.
He makes single and double-knit caps.
"Nursing home residents enjoy wearing my lighter, single-knit caps at night to keep their heads from getting cold," Sabatka said.
He gets lots of help making stocking caps from his friend Don Brand of New Ulm.
"Don has brought me lots of yarn donated from local churches," Sabatka said. "It gives me something to do instead of just sitting around. Yarn is becoming more and more expensive, but as long as it's donated, I can make plenty more caps."
"It keeps him out of trouble," Sabatka's wife Maxine said.
Sabatka makes stocking caps in a rainbow of colors. No two are alike.
Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at email@example.com.