I would like to dedicate this article to several donations that are ongoing and dear to my heart. I urge anyone who is able to donate their time, energy, and money to help others as much as possible.
Today I read the Go Fund Me for Elena Nodel and am in shock by the devastating news of returned cancer. I feel that I am one of the lucky people in this world to have direct contact with Elena, and spoke with her on the phone not two months past. She had mentioned that she was recovering from an illness, but I had no idea it was this serious. I encourage anyone to donate today to help this loving family continue through such a difficult time.
For those who are less familiar with Elena's design work, please allow me to introduce one of my favorite knitwear designers. She has an amazing eye for all clothing articles, all ages, and both men and women. Her daughter is usually seen modeling the girl's patterns, and her husband usually models the men's patterns, too. She has published stunning children's patterns ranging from simple colorwork stripes to full fair-isle in Niños: Malabrigo Book 9, which are shown below. (left to right: Beautiful Dreamer, Stylish Lines, Raindrops Hat & Scarf. Noah shown below)
Elena describes her designs as "easy to wear and to knit, [and] most designs are seamless and well explained...I am a very creative person and like exploring various techniques and stitches while creating my garments. Thus you will always find a bit of a challenge in my patterns that will keep you interested and engaged."
While Yarn Loop does not have the full range of her patterns, we would like to help Elena and her family by donating 15% of all of Elena's kit sales as well as 100% of her pattern sales directly to her. She is dear to our hearts and our needles. Please click any link below to go directly to kits that Yarn Loop has available. More coming soon!
(Elena is in the far right picture with her daughter.)
To see even more of Elena's work and see updates about her health status, please visit her website at http://anadiomenadesigns.blogspot.ca/ or patterns available at Ravelry here. Elena also has her own yarn line called Color Adventures. The shop is currently suspended in light of the ongoing situation, but it may continue at a later date.
CNN released this article on February 27th and sparked extreme interest in the crochet world. Suddenly, it became apparent that we can use our skills to help the tiniest humans and thousands have flocked to help. Hospitals in Europe are actually posting that they have a year's supply and do not require anymore donations. However, here in the United States, the movement is still in its infancy, and I am happy to share information for Octopus for a Preemie - US.
As mentioned in the CNN article, octopus friends have been noted to calm and soothe the NICU babies. Poole Hospital in the UK was quoted in the article, stating that "with the octopi, some babies in the NICU experienced better breathing and more regular heartbeats, leading to higher levels of oxygen in their blood." These tiny octopi have tentacles that the tiny babies can grab with their hands, similar to grabbing their umbilical cord in the womb, increasing their motor function (and keeping their fingers off of monitors and cables).
If you are a seasoned crocheter and can handle a really tight gauge, this project is just for you. Please subscribe to Octopus for a Preemie group on Facebook and read the rather extensive requirements for these little octopi. Because these tiny babies are in fact struggling to survive, it is of utmost importance that their safety comes first. You must use the recommended materials and gauges to keep the little guys safe. Some things to consider:
Some industrious crochet enthusiasts have made well over 20 octopi for US hospitals. Hurry and join the movement so that you can make a difference one stitch at a time.
If you have a giving heart and would like to become even more involved, ambassadors are being recruited to take the finished octopi to NICU's in your area. Please read through all of the files at the facebook page to find out more.
Please look to the Instagram feed to see how my first octopus turns out! I will be starting a "practi-pus" this week for a specific mommy close to my heart who delivered at 7 months.
For those who cannot maintain the tight gauge required for the octopi, other items can be donated to the NICU's and hospitals as well. Please check your local hospital to see what they need.
On a personal note, my son spent his first week of life in the NICU. A loving and generous soul donated a bed cover to the NICU that my son laid on for that entire week. Because the NICU cannot risk spreading germs among the babies, the bed cover was sent home with him. I have kept this wonderful treasure in his baby box to remind me of the sweet gesture, and how much it meant to me that a stranger was thinking of my baby and the hardships that NICU parents go through. While it is the safest and most loving environment for the babies and the parents, it isn't home. Anything we can do to make it like home is appreciated and loved. Some people knit blankets, hats, and booties while others donate rocking chairs and time. Everything we can do to help will always be appreciated.
Yarn Loop is not affiliated with Octopus for a Preemie. Yarn Loop does not profit from this charity either. Yarn Loop is only interested in raising awareness for the movement.
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