For our latest publication, Project Knitwell Presents: The Comfort of Knitting, we partnered with Project Knitwell, an organization dedicated to bringing comfort and therapy to people facing stressful situations through the joy of knitting. Here, three new moms share how knitting helped them in their first days of motherhood.
Abbi – When my daughter was in the NICU for six months, I felt completely helpless in caring for her and protecting her, especially for the first month when I could not even hold her. All I could do was watch the doctors and nurses take care of my child and try to understand her condition. I decided to join the knitting group for NICU moms, where I learned how to knit and had the chance to talk to other moms who were going through the same difficult process. Even if I could not heal my daughter’s medical problems, I felt I could actually do something for her to show her my love. I started with a hat, and then spent my free time at home working on a sweater while I was waiting for news from the NICU. By the time she was released, the sweater fit her perfectly. I also developed a support network with other preemie parents who helped me through the entire experience up to today. Abbi’s daughter is now a healthy 5 year old.
Kesha – After five long months of healing and growing my son at Georgetown University Hospital’s NICU, we brought home three gifts for which I will be forever grateful: my tenacious and truly amazing micro-preemie, Elliott Scott; a tremendous respect and appreciation for the NICU team of nurses, neonatologist, therapist, social workers, and family-life specialist that creatively coordinate care to solve huge problems in such tiny lives; and, most unexpectedly, a love of knitting.
I am not a “craftsy” person. In fact, I am a typical, type-A, D.C. lawyer attempting to balance my career expanding family and other personal and professional obligations. I recall stating with complete certainty during my first knitting lesson with Project Knitwell founder, Carol Caparosa that, “it was highly unlikely that I would be able to learn to knit because I didn’t have a creative bone in my body.” What I didn’t understand then, but fully appreciate now, is that knitting has an uncanny way of calming one’s soul – slowly bringing you back to the present with each row and gently allowing you to release the worry, tension, and stress accumulated in ever fiber of your being.
Project Knitwell was my lifeline during the hardest period of my life. As a mother, it was initially debilitating to sit for hours at a time next to Elliott’s isolette… I was consumed with fear, worry and guilt until knitting provided a much needed release. I simply held my son in his infant carrier and knitted. I slowly released the fear, my worries were replaced with hope, and the guilt diminished. And Elliott healed. Fourteen months later, Elliott is thriving and I’m still knitting. My current project, autumn hats for other micro-preemies and hopefully passing on the wonderful gift of knitting to other loved ones facing uncertain times. I’m not sure why knitting helps, but it just does.
Jamie – I had knit for about 10 years. When my twin girls were born a couple of years ago, I began knitting while I pumped. It kept me calm and helped me to feel like I was doing something for me while so much of my time was for them.
Project Knitwell Presents: The Comfort of Knitting, is a unique book that focuses on how to alleviate stress and offer comfort to families and caregivers facing difficult situations. More on Project Knitwell’s mission, as well as 7 new patterns are included in this publication. All proceeds from Lion Brand’s sale of this book go directly to Project Knitwell and the Alzheimer’s Association.