Look What This Nut Has Done …

Meet “Newbie,” the squirrel that
“hangs out” in front of my work space

Those darn Needle Nuts at work … can’t ever keep them quiet. Wait. What am I blabbing about?! I am one of those Needle nuts.

To date, I now have two and a half boxes full of hats. I am completely overwhelmed by the response we’ve gotten. We’ve knitted and crocheted so many unique and beautiful hats that I couldn’t keep them hidden inside the boxes. So instead of doing work yesterday (hey, like I can focus the day before I leave for a week’s vacation), a few co-workers and I had fun dressing up our plush toys. And what a fashion show they’ve put on!

It all started by
dressing “Elmo”

Last weekend I stopped by my local yarn shop to pick up some more yarn and needles. (Like I need an excuse to go in and “touchy-feely” the cool fibers they’ve got there. But I digress …)

“May the Force
be with You”

I ended up talking with Bridget, the owner of the shop. She, along with another yarn shop owner, had started a group that knits (or creates other fiber arts) for local cancer charities. Anyway, I ended up telling her about the project we were doing at work and my personal reasons for specifically making preemie hats. She was so touched by the story of my nephew, that she donated quite a few balls of scrap yarn (and a couple skeins) for us to make more hats. Again, I am overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity.

And now, to top it off … a fellow co-worker managed to “re-teach” me to crochet (my grandmother taught me many moons ago, but I forgot). So now I get to whip out even more preemie hats and chemo caps! Oh my, even more of an excuse to hit the yarn shops again!

This isn’t even a third of what we have created!

Needle Nut

I have been a little busy lately. Probably a good thing, as I do need to keep myself busy otherwise I will start to overanalyze things like I typically do. And then, well … that just gets me in trouble. (I swear, there is something to be said about thinking “too much.”) However, this time around, I’m keeping myself busy is for a good cause.

My Newest “Nephew” Jakobi

Last year, a co-worker and I read an article in our work newsletter that talked about a couple of other employees in another one of our offices who knitted and crocheted quite a few baby hats and donated them to a local hospital’s Neonatal and Special Care Nursery units. Since the two of us knit, we thought that the following year we would try and do the same thing.

And over the course of the year, we did forget about it. It wasn’t until the most recent events concerning my nephew, Liam, that I once again remembered our plan. Since we had quite a few knitters and crocheters in our office, we decided to include them in our plans as well. We also thought that instead of limiting our project to premie and newborn hats, we would extend it to chemo caps for those kids in the Pediatric Oncology floors.

Since presenting this idea to our other co-workers a few weeks ago, we have received an overwhelmingly warm response. We had such a great response that we’ve even designated our lunch time on Mondays to work on our projects and to get tips or exchange patterns for different designs. (We’re a pretty big group in our cafeteria that our group has been given the nickname “Needle Nuts.”) And as of this past week, we have well over 20 knitted or crocheted premie hats and chemo caps in a variety of different colors and styles. It’s been like Christmas for me every day, as there is always a new item added to the box next to my desk.

“The Therapeutic Blanket Project”

Doing this project has become therapeutic for me… especially given the fact that I’m actually knitting hats for babies that won’t ever be my own. I always thought it was ironic that I was a knitter. After all, there’s a common misnomer that knitters were either grandmothers or mothers who would knit things for babies or young children. And here I was, the childless wonder.

I started knitting a few years ago simply as a diversion. And when I found out that my SIL was pregnant, I knew that I was going to knit a blanket and hat & booties for this child, even though I knew it would just about kill me. But I finished that project (unofficially known as the “therapeutic blanket project”), and I felt really good about doing it too. (It’s just too bad that Liam never got to use them.) After that, I went on to knit a newborn hat this summer for my cousin in Calgary who was due in September.

And now … I’m heading up our holiday needle craft project at work. To be doing that is a big step for me. For so long I felt so down on myself (and there are still quite a few days that I do) and quite honestly, clinically depressed. Every literature I ever read about trying to snap out of depression was to do something for others; the theory being that if you helped others less fortunate, you wouldn’t feel so down on yourself. And it’s a really good theory. However, try telling that to someone who could barely take care of herself, let alone help someone else out. Nearly next to impossible, I tell you.

But now that I have a little more energy, I do feel that I am able to help others out a little more. And that’s a good thing … for this Needle Nut.

The Box of Hats Thus Far