Karen Sturges was knitting five baby sweaters, one for each grandchild's future baby, when she was suddenly diagnosed with lymphoma. She worked on the sweaters until four days before she died in 2021, leaving two unfinished. Neither daughter Annie Gatewood, 53, or her sister knew how to knit. Then Gatewood was matched with a "finisher" through a group called Loose Ends. Sarah deDoes, 86, a lifetime knitter, finished knitting the two tiny sweaters. Loose Ends was started by friends and avid knitters Masey Kaplan and Jen Simonic, who know what it's like to have friends reach out about finishing a handmade item left behind by deceased loved ones. Volunteer finishers, in 23 countries and counting, represent a wide range of ages, religions, nationalities and political affiliations."It's a hurting and divided world," said Kaplan, "and this is a tiny way to start to mend it."

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