|Charity Feature - The Preemie Project
By: Lion Brand
and crocheters are wonderfully generous people. To honor
the work that yarncrafters around the world are doing, each month, we
feature a charity that is helping people through knitting and crochet.
This month, we feature the Preemie Project, an organization reaching
out to the families of preemies and many other parents.
Photo courtesy of the Preemie
founder Laura Aker was taking a break from college and
knitting up a storm. She wanted to give back, so she went online to see
if she could gather some knitters together to do some charity projects.
Right away, she had recruited 5 other knitters to make items for
preemies. She was amazed at the generous nature of yarncrafters.
Nowadays, the Preemie Project has received items from over 300 crafters totaling over 4,000 Hat and Booties Sets, 3,000 blankets, and 500 bereavement packages, as well as many 900 yards of fabric, 400 skeins of yarn, 575 clothing items (onesies, pants, shirts, socks, etc). The organization makes quarterly donations to the University of Iowa Children's hospital of between 200 and 250 blankets, and just as many booty and hat sets.
The organization has grown from serving the UIHC neonatal
care unit (NICU) to also providing bereavement clothing and items of
remembrance to grieving families who have suffered a loss, as well as
supporting the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and also providing
baby clothing, toiletries, and other personal items to families of
newborns with financial challenges.
"One thing we try to do as an organization is to get people of
ages involved," Laura said. To that end, the organization is holding
its first annual Craft-A-Thon on February 5th from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at
the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Pappajohn Pavillion
Lobby. Knitting lessons will be given out throughout the day, and local
girl scout troups are participating. There will be a special Crafting
for Preemies contest that crafters can enter (even if they will not be
at the event). Visit the Preemie Project's website for more details.
Entrants are encouraged to donate their items.
After all, giving to those in need is what it's all about. "It
enriches your life more than you can imagine," Laura said.
To get involved with the Preemie Project, visit the website
Popular items to make include hats and booties, as well as sleeper
sacks (a pattern Laura recommends) and baptismal gowns. The most
requested colors are pastel blue and pastel pink, but any color is
acceptable for donations. Patterns can be found by clicking here.
Yarns should be extremely soft, because preemies' skin is
delicate, and also acrylic because it's easy-care and machine-washable. Some yarns
recommended by the Preemie Project are Babysoft, Microspun, and
Another great yarn for baby items is Vanna's
Free baby item patterns on our website include:
Authored by Lion Brand