YORK, Maine — It's not something you see every day -- needles and yarn as fingers swiftly crochet an afghan on the beach.
Lois Griswold or "love Lois" as she's known online, is working on her 206th afghan. She picked up crocheting almost three decades ago after she suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and was wheelchair-bound for two years. Lois gets around fine nowadays but she is still looping yarn for others, she donates or gives away all her blankets.
The 76-year-old who lives in Ohio comes to York every summer and has since she was six. But this vacation, just before she left, a dear friend passed away. Lois was heartbroken but the social personality thought of something that might help.
Lois took to social media and posted a plea on York Beach's closed group with roughly 20,000 members. A Where's Waldo approach to finding Lois and a chance for her to make new friends. The premise was simple, Lois wants beach-goers to try and find her as she crochets on Short Sands Beach every morning and afternoon. If they come and say hello, she will treat them to ice cream.
Lois sits in a blue beach chair next to her shy husband Gary and moves her crocheting needles with the ease of someone who has been doing it for decades. On Thursday, when I went to visit her two beach-goers stopped to visit including Mike Herlihy who runs the York Beach's Facebook page.
"When Lois applied to be on our group she said how she liked coming to the beach "Love Lois" and she signs every post, every comment "love Lois." It's very endearing," says Herlihy.
For Lois it's simple. "I love people and people love me." She wants to better her community no matter where it is by getting to know people and crocheting.
So far Lois says she has talked to a lot of people, many who are intrigued by her crocheting needles, but none have taken her up on her offer for ice cream. Lois will be at Short Sands Beach until Saturday and is hoping to treat someone before she heads home.