I am absolutely thrilled to finally be able to tell you about something I (and many others) have been working on for the last few months: Lion Brand Yarn Heroes! And YOU can be a part of it!
So what are Yarn Heroes? Yarn Heroes are those who show their “moral fiber” by using their knitting/crocheting powers to make a real difference in this world - through charitable giving! Lion Brand has put together an amazing group of 15 "yarn heroes" who are helping to spread the word and encourage others to give their time and talents.
Included in this group are several of my favorite bloggers and designers, as well as some I'm excited to get to know: Mama in a Stitch, Delia Creates, Make & Do Crew, B.HookedCrochet, All About Ami, Shit That I Knit, One Dog Woof, A Crocheted Simplicity, Two of Wands, Twinkie Chan, Little Red Window, Underground Crafter, Sewrella, and Glass Posse!
What an amazing group! I'm so honored and humbled to be included. What brought us all together is Lion Brand Yarn, and their commitment to charitable giving with this new Yarn Heroes campaign! It might seem a little silly, all of us in our "superhero" costumes, but we each have our own reasons for participating...
My own story dates back over 11 years ago, when my middle child was born. He was delivered by emergency c-section in early September, and looked to be a healthy 10+ lb baby boy! I was exhausted, but all seemed fine for a few hours until a team of nurses and doctors burst into our room and told us that our son's EKG showed a severe congenital heart defect and he had to go to the NICU immediately, and would be flown to the Children's Hospital at the University of Iowa as soon as they could get him on the helicopter.
The next week was a whirlwind of insanity, tears, and terror. Traveling in the back of an ambulance to re-join my baby, his emergency surgery at one day old, not being able to feed him for days on end, fearing for his life while we learned as much as we could take in about his condition, and then the fun of jaundice - you know, just to add a little color and excitement.
Today, I am so happy to say he's a delightful, clever, and hilarious 11 year old. His heart troubles aren't over, but his day to day life looks much like any other 5th grader's. We go to the cardiologist a couple times a year, and hope for the best - and that the next surgery will be as far in the future as possible. In fact, it's a little bit due to this ordeal that Moogly even exists - I was determined to find a way to be able to stay home with my children, so I could be here no matter what the future brings, and this site was the result of that decision.
There are a lot of memories I have of that time in the hospital with my child. How giant he was next to all the tiny babies in the NICU. The cries of the other children - and their parents. How kind and thoughtful the nurses were. And I have a few souvenirs as well - his helicopter wings, his blanket, and the handmade hat they gave him.
It's that handmade hat that inspired me to pick the University of Iowa's Children's Hospital as my charity of choice. With thousands of babies being born at U of I every year, they always have a need for baby hats - more than 1500 hats are needed each year! Each hat is given because of the kindness of volunteers and donors. You can find more info on what they need here, and click here for a free crochet pattern and a free knit pattern to make to donate, or you can make your own.
Yet another item they are in need of (if baby hats aren't your thing) are comfort shawls, or prayer shawls! You can click here for more info on this as well. If you have the opportunity to crochet for charity, I hope you will consider U of I Children's Hospital - or a hospital near you! Be sure to check your hospital's donation's requirements before you give, and always make sure all donations are smoke and pet free.
In addition to the patterns provided by the University of Iowa, I've designed three patterns with this charity (and your own charity picks!) in mind: the Stripey Baby Beanie, Double Trouble Baby Beanie, and the Super Speedy Preemie Hat!
So what's next? You pick a charity that speaks to you, and get crocheting and knitting! And be sure to click on all the links above for more info direct from Lion Brand on the Yarn Heroes, as well as all the other yarn heroes' blogs! We'll all be sharing our stories, as well as free patterns to inspire all of you! And keep visiting - over the next couple of weeks there are going to be a LOT of giveaways...
And don't forget to share your project photos too! Use the hashtag #YarnHeroes on social media so we can all follow along. And I suppose you might be needing some yarn - go to LionBrand.com to order yarn to crochet or knit for charity with, and use the code YARNHEROES2016 for $5 off for every purchase at or above $20 until December 15th! And watch this blog tomorrow for TWO new free crochet patterns you can crochet for charity, both using Lion Brand Vanna's Choice!