Knitting love

Click for Babies an awareness campaign for parents.

Wanda Keene and other Alberni Valley knitters are keeping newborns warm and warning parents about the purple period of crying.

More than 60 newborns in B.C. will feel the love from a group of Alberni Valley knitters this year.

CLICK for Babies, now in its sixth year, brings the conversation around shaken baby syndrome beyond new and expectant parents and into the broader community. It complements the Period of Purple Crying Program delivered in public health units and maternity wards, which teaches parents to understand normal crying patterns.

The campaign seeks volunteers throughout the province to knit purple caps that are then provided to newborns across BC during the colder months of November and December.

More than 7,500 caps had been donated by October.

Wanda Keene, who works at 93.3 PEAK FM, is by far the most prolific knitter for the Click for Babies program in Port Alberni.

In October she contributed 50 purple hats to the project, and has a goal of knitting 52 in 2016—one per week.

Keene was inspired by a project that Jennie O’Connor started in 2011 when her Let’s Knit yarn store was open in Port Alberni.

“Jennie was the one that did get me started on it. She was donating the yarn as long as you made a hat out of it and brought it back,” Keene said.

O’Connor still owns Let’s Knit in Qualicum Beach, which opened in 2012. Although she is no longer knitting for Click for Babies she supports other charitable knitting programs in Qualicum.

There are knitting groups in Port Alberni that meet Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. at Steampunk Café on Third Avenue uptown and Saturdays from 1–3 p.m. at the public library in Echo Centre, 4245 Wallace St.

For more info on the program, www.clickforbabies.org.

editor@albernivalleynews.com