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Passion for knitting inspired Tolin to open a shop

March 7, 2011
By Paige Lavender and Tara Mayle

(Editor's note: This is the fifth in a six-part series by students from the P.I. Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University. The students traveled to Elkins in January as part of their West Virginia Uncovered Immersion Weekend project.)

Article Photos

STRETCHING THE YARN — Sandra Tolin spends her free time knitting at Yarn & Companty on the Airport/Country Club Road. Tolin says knitting is a meditative experience, and it calms her down. (Photos by Paige Lavender and Tara Mayle)

Fact Box

What is the

West Virginia Uncovered Project?

The "West Virginia Uncovered" project was created to cultivate online innovation and storytelling among the Mountain State's community newspapers.

Since 2008, students from the West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism have crisscrossed the back roads and small towns of West Virginia, working with about a dozen weekly newspapers and looking for untold stories. In addition, the participating newspapers receive training in online and multimedia journalism at WVU. The West Virginia Uncovered project is supported by grants from the McCormick Foundation, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

Each year, organizers choose a different small town as a setting for their stories. Elkins was selected for the January project.

Elkins native Mary Kay McFarland is the project coordinator. For the Elkins visit, she was assisted by coaches Bob Lynn, a former photo editor at The Virginia Pilot; Doug Mitchell, an adjunct professor at City University of New York who also has worked for NPR; and Sara Magee, PhD, who teaches in the broadcast sequence at WVU.

To learn more about the program and view other projects, visit



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