Warm welcome worn by her students

3 mins read
University of Maine at Farmington student
University of Maine at Farmington student Brittany Vachon loves her new wool hat knitted by her professor, Cathy Wimett.

FARMINGTON – A University of Maine at Farmington professor offered a warm welcome on the first day of class this semester.

In the K-3 level reading, language arts and children’s literature class back in the dark bitter cold of January, Professor Cathy Wimett offered each student a freshly knitted wool hat once they introduced themselves.

“After we introduced ourselves, she just said, ‘go take a hat,'” said student Christy Farr, wearing a pretty little blue and green striped hat. She was thrilled with the unexpected gift.

Wimett has been knitting since she was 5. While a fourth-grade teacher at a school in Roxbury, Mass., she knitted scarves for all of her students one Christmas. While she continued knitting, her career in education took her to many varied teaching posts until she landed 17 years ago at UMF to teach future teachers. Somewhere along the line in her 44 years of teaching, she transitioned into making wool hats.

Five years ago she started giving all of her students her hand-knitted hats. Her stock of hats to begin 2014 stood at 37. She gave out 27 in woolly blues, greens, reds and purples; some solid, some striped-all perfectly made. Some faculty members were lucky enough to get one, too.

Farr’s mother Vicki Farr of Norway, was so impressed with Wimett’s skill and generosity that she sent a giant skien of yarn she had spun herself to the professor. The hatmaker smiled and said the gift of yarn is truly beautiful and might be made into something besides a hat.

In class today, her students wore their hats, each one unique, each one chosen by its new owner and each made with love by their teacher.

“I like to knit,” Wimett said with a grin.

Wearing their hats made by Cathy Wimett are:
Students wearing their hats made by their professor, Cathy Wimett are in front, from left: Christy Farr, Katie Emmons, Brittany Vachon, Jordan Holman, Wimett, and Chelsea Collins; back row, from left to right: Jude Leaver, Amy Hughes, Janie McKay, Maggie Thomas, Jessica Meservey, Rachel Glynn, and Maks Pulsifer.
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