the tough thing about knitting is, sometimes you just don't need another dang knitted thing in your life, you know? so your hobby sort of sits on the back burner until you either lose a mitten, feel like watching the six hour version of pride and prejudice + need something to do with your hands, or else you just get really, really bored and have nothing else to do. but today i have for you TWO projects! yes, two! as a long-time knitter, i can assure you. this is a very exciting time to be alive. we're useful! let's be useful! dust off ya knitting needles, grannies, we're doing it!
first: you may have heard about the call for knitted jumpers for all the little penguins who've been caught in oil spills. naturally, huck + i are all over this. come on. let's help these little dudes.
the pattern is found HERE.
you can send the finished jumpers to:
KNITS FOR NATURE
phillips island nature park
replay paid 97
huck and i are so excited to get started on this once i'm able to clear some room for it in the schedule. he'll be on yarn color duty. (thank you to everyone who has emailed me with the link! i could kiss you all.)
but wait, there's more.
second, and more important, is this: my sweet friend robyn devine, author of the upcoming book she makes hats (available april 29) is currently collecting knitted hats for the university of iowa's pediatric oncology center who are desperately in need, and i say we pitch in.
here's the story: robyn's friend casie's son, eli, was there for treatment in 2012 for a rare form of retinoblastoma. he was diagnosed with it just before christmas. he was two. after six months of chemo and radiation therapy at the UI oncology center, i am so excited to say he was declared cancer free! he's been cancer free for six months now. casie + eli received such loving care and support from the staff and families at the center, and consider everyone there family. it's truly the happiest ending possible for such a scary time. on their last trip to the center for eli's routine testing, casie noticed that the "grab a hat" bin was empty. these knit beanies are so essential in these centers. due both to the hair so loss common with chemo as well as the side effects of the treatments, these kids need all the warmth they can get. she asked about it and learned that these bins are nearly always empty hospital-wide. no amount of donations can ever keep up with the flood of kids that come through those doors. so! it's a knit drive, kids! robyn is on collection duty. she needs as many knit beanies as possible by APRIL 28th--and casie is on transport duty. she will be driving the beanies to the oncology center in may, when eli is there next for his routine tests. i'm so excited to help spread the word on this, number one because, how wonderful is this! and number two because i always need a good craft project that i don't have to find a place for once it's finished. ;) you in? let's positively drown these ladies in beanies!
some important info about these beanies we're knitting:
-- hats for older kids tend to go quickest, so casie and robyn are focusing on hats for ages 10-18. most kids these age are wearing adult size hats, so robyn says "if it fits you, it'll fit them!"
-- the hospital says that the older teens usually love the neutral colors and slouchy shapes (think: black, navy, grey, and the like). while knitters may find knitting with these colors less exciting, these hats are always grabbed up the fastest. (of course, please use whatever yarns you may have on hand if you're looking for a stash buster!)
-- the hospital requests that you please use acrylic yarn, the softer the better--remember these are touching bare skin, skin that is often very sensitive due to treatments. these hats MUST also be able to be machine washed and dried. you can find soft acrylic yarns at most big box stores at pretty low prices.
and here's some information about the UI pediatric oncology center:
-- the center is a 150-bed "hospital within a hospital" on the UI health care campus, with 170 physicians + surgeons, 500 specially trained pediatric nurses + more than 40 pediatric specialties.
-- last year the center cared for 55,866 patients, from every county in iowa, every state in the united states, plus at least eight foreign countries. people come from all over the world to be treated at this center, in fact, casie was among the lucky ones, with only four hours of travel time to get to the center from their home. unlike most families there, they didn't need to pick up and move all or part of the family for the duration of eli's stay.
-- because the center is treating some pretty hard core cases, the center is able to receive a lot of grants for their work, which allows them to do cutting-edge treatments that no one else is doing.
please mail your completed hats to:
p.o. box 6093
omaha, nebraska 68106
in case you need some help getting started, there are some great knitted beanie patterns online. here are a few: HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. if crochet is more your jam, here's some of those: HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE! whew.
(in case you're looking to learn how to knit or crochet, this site is a pretty great resource. youtube videos are also really helpful for more visual learners. good luck!)
on behalf of the team--robyn + eli + casie + all the kids + staff at the UI pediatric oncology center--thank you in advance for your help! now go find those needles, i'm sure they're somewhere!