HATS. What a surprise for a topic. We usually talk about comfort scarves. Well, consider these comfort hats, not for the abused women who come to the shelters but for their kids.
In January, when Sister Anne spoke to us about how her shelter (The Good Shepherd) helps women and their children recover from the trauma of the abuse they experienced before they arrived at the shelter, she emphasized to us that abuse is LEARNED, and therefore can be UNLEARNED. At The Good Shepherd, the program focuses as much on the kids as on the women. We were very impressed by this program, and asked what we could do to help the kids (the way our comfort scarves help their mothers) and she answered that we could knit for the kids too.
We polled all our shelters about how many kids they had and what handmade items we could provide to help them get over the trauma of the abused they witnessed and/or experienced. The shelters responded enthusiastically, suggesting a long list of handmade items they thought their kids would like. All agreed making things for the kids would be very beneficial to their programs. We felt we would be best at supplying them with hats. We questioned them about colors; after all, we don't want to provide anything that might be in "gang colors." Most said all colors were great. As far as sizes, we settled on child size small to fit at child 6-8 years old and child size medium, geared toward a 10 year old. Hats for older kids and teens should be the same as for adults.
I contacted several of our volunteers who were hat makers when they first started with Handmade, but switched to scarves once they realized that was our main mission. I asked them if they would make hats again, not stopping, of course, making scarves. Almost all of them have come through with a good selection of hats (and scarves). If you have a pattern you love to make, please share it with us. Send us your hats. We will love to receive them and share them with our shelters.
I have been experimenting making hats as well. I tried many patterns. What I wanted was a hat that was as easy to make as our comfort scarf. I found a ribbed hat pattern that filled the bill. It is so easy, with no complicated crown shaping at the end. You can knit it on size 13 circular needles (9-inch wire) or 13 inch double-pointed needles. I have made it all different ways: one color, striped, even with scraps. When I didn't have yarn that would work well on size 13 needles, I made it by combining lighter weight yarns. Making hats is another good way (after our wonderful horizontal scrap scarf pattern) to use up the mountains of scraps we generate making our magic ball kits. If you would like the pattern for this easy, easy ribbed hat, please send me an email at: handmade.leslye@gmail. com. I will be happy to share it with you.
Making hats for the children in shelters is a serious responsibility. Sister Anne reports The Good Shepherd Shelter has 12 mothers and 45 children currently in residence. Using that shelter as representative of all shelters means we need to make 2,700 hats for the children who arrive at shelters with their mothers. We have about 150 right now. Of course, just starting out, we do not have to supply every shelter with hats for the kids at the same time, as we do with comfort scarves for their mothers. But you can see the big job we have ahead.
We understand that making hats for the kids is IN ADDITION to making comfort scarves for their moms. If you have extra time for hat making, we want your hats. But please, please don’t stop making comfort scarves in order to make hats. What can I say? We need both. We want to help the mothers and we want to help their children.
Of course, thanks in advance for everything you contribute!