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Forest Park's knitting group donates to local hospitals

April 03, 2013

Baby Hats  
The wee creations

Colorful baby caps in a rainbow of pastels and bright hues covered an entire conference room table, the handiwork of the Stitch-n-Chat group at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park.

During their lunch hour one recent Tuesday, five staffers were knitting away, putting the final touches on their inaugural Spring Fling Baby giving project. The 150 finished hats for newborn babies were donated on March 28 to two local hospitals.

St. Mary’s Hospital nursery received the regular-sized ones while the smaller versions for premature infants were delivered to Cardinal Glennon Hospital.

"It was quite a success and a lot of fun," said Linda Basich, who is the administrative assistant in Business, Math and Technology division, and is an original member of the group, which began six years ago, when Carletta Kemp asked her to teach her how to knit.

"We started doing Giving Projects when Carletta saw this article about someone making hats and leaving them around the their city for anyone who needed one," Basich said.

"This inspired us to make hats and scarves -- we call it The Hats Project -- for the St. Patrick Center downtown. We have been making those for about four years now.  We usually start The Hats Project in August and run it until mid-November, when we make the delivery.  This past year, 2012, we had 38 scarves and 94 hats that were handmade and delivered," she said.

Employees Cindy Duncan, Jennifer Hefner, Angie James, Jackie Landau, Clara Vernon, Janet Woodworth, Sue Tolentino, Carol Foreman, Helen Miles and Linda Basich helped with The Hats Project.

Stitch-n-Chat meets every Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Business, Math and Technology division office. They usually take a break during the summer months, and start up at the end of August. Anyone can participate.

Jennifer Heffner, who works in Housekeeping, has belonged for about six months. She taught herself to knit. “I watched a lot of YouTube videos,” she said.

During the past six years, they have made baby blankets for the St. Mary’s Hospital nursery, teddy bears for The Mother Bear Project, http://www.motherbearproject.org/, but the biggest and longest running giving project has been The Hats Project.

The group also welcomes donations of worsted weight or chunky weight yarn of any color to add to the “Yarn Vault,” for their upcoming Fall/Winter Hats Giving Project. 

"We are always open to donations of yarn, and most of the hats and scarves are made with donated yarn, but some members are very generous and buy their own yarn to make their projects with," Basich said. 

"I think that we love doing this because we really enjoy the knitting, crocheting and getting together to share patterns, ideas for projects and we just love the whole community of it all," Basich said.  "We have fun, enjoy what we do, and also get to help other people with our handiwork!"Spring Fling Stitch-n-Chat

Shown here, from left, are Carol Foreman, Jacqui Landau, Janet Woodworth, Sue Tolentino and Linda Basich. Not shown, who contributed their handiwork to the semi-annual project, are Jennifer Heffner and retirees Cindy Duncan and Clara Vernon.