Alberni knitters invited to make newborns caps

A Port Alberni knitting group is participating in a project to knit caps for newborns at B.C. hospitals.

Jennie O’Connor

Jennie O’Connor

It is lunchtime on a Wednesday, and the tables at Let’s Knit in Port Alberni have been pushed together, the tea brewed, and each chair occupied with a knitter wanting to get in a little bit of craft work and some chatting before the day resumes. Today, in addition to boxes of herbal teas, the table is littered with small purple hats.

The Wednesday knitting group has taken on a project to provide purple roll top caps for newborns at B.C. hospitals.

The cap knitting campaign aims to raise awareness about the “period of purple crying”, which educates parents and other caregivers about the normalcy of increased crying in early infancy. Increased infant crying is a key trigger to shaking and abuse; the Period of Purple Crying promotes infant/ parent bonding, coping strategies and other parenting skills.

“One of the members brought the information in and talked to me about it,” Let’s Knit owner Jennie O’Connor said. “I talked to the group about it. Then one of my customers came in and said she’d like to do it,” she said.

Already, the small knitting group has produced about two dozen hats and O’Connor hopes to collect more by Oct. 15 so they can be shipped away.

The Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC program at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver hopes to collect more than 2,000 of these hats to be distributed to new parents in birthing hospitals across B.C. along with the Purple DVD and booklet. This will be done on Nov. 22 to celebrate National Child Day, which is Nov. 20.

The program has caught on across the province, with knitters in places like Elkford, Vernon, Gibsons and the Lower Mainland gathering to make the tiny hats. There are blogs about the knitted caps campaign and Facebook pages too.

Any knitters wishing to join the Purple Crying campaign can pick up a ball of purple wool and a pattern at Let’s Knit on Argyle Street (at Third Avenue). Those handing in hats by Oct. 15 will receive a refund on their wool if they bring in their receipt along with the hat.

“This is a good karma yarn store,” O’Connor said. “Everywhere I can, I want to help.” For more info, please call O’Connor at 778-421-2878 or e-mail her at yarn@letsknit.ca.

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