Welcome to the first blog post on our new website! The truth is our website isn't that new (we switched over all of our systems last July) but we just hadn't gotten around to starting our blog back up yet. We realized there is actually a lot of information we would love to relay to you via our website, so... we're back! And we can't think of a better way to return than with a meaningful project.
Is it baby season? Is that a thing? We are seeing more and more of you making baby things lately, whether for little ones one the way, new grandchildren, nieces and nephews... babies are being born all around us. The timing is perfect to launch a little something special we've been working on.
One of our customers and long-time knitters, Michelle Valiukenas, is the co-founder (along with her husband) of The Colette Louise Tisdahl Foundation. Their first child, Colette, died at nine days old, after extended hospitalization due to preeclampsia at 21 weeks pregnant, a premature birth and NICU stay. After these experiences, Michelle and her husband wanted to help others who had gone through similar experiences.
The foundation's mission is to improve outcomes of pregnancy, childbirth, prematurity and infancy, as well as aid in the grieving process through financial assistance, education and advocacy. Their flagship program is financial assistance to families in crisis due to high risk or complicated pregnancies, NICU stays, or loss. Since launching in late 2018, they have helped over 600 families in 39 states and given away more than $600,000 in assistance. They educate the general public and medical staff about topics such as working with bereaved parents, maternal and infant health, parenting, NICU stays, difficult pregnancies and loss. They also advocate for institutional and systemic changes like paid family leave, paid childcare, and maternal and infant health.
Michelle says this is her way of parenting Colette, of having a constructive way to deal with her grief, and of using her experience and lessons learned to help others. To apply for assistance, learn more about their work, or make a donation, please visit their website at www.colettelouise.com. You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook.
We were touched when Michelle reached out to us and told us her story, and we immediately began discussions about how to get involved. The first decision we made is to host a Baby Blanket Make-Along. This MAL is for all knitters and crocheters who would like to make a baby blanket for someone they love. Michelle will be a part of the group! We know that some of you may have had similar experiences and we welcome you to ask her questions and share your stories while we stitch together as a community. This MAL will take place on Saturdays from 1pm-2pm on May 1st, 8th and 15th. To join, simply let us know at [email protected] and we will send you the Zoom link.
See below for some of our favorites, though you can choose any pattern you like. We are happy to help you choose one or choose colors for one you've already picked! All of our patterns shown below our free with your yarn purchase. If you purchase online, just let us know in your comments which pattern you would like.
Shown above is Bulky Baby Blocks. For this pattern, you'll need 5 skeins of Movers & Makers Bucktown Bulky and a size 10.5 US 24" or 32" circular needle. The top blanket uses the colors (from top to bottom) margies, armitage, dibs on hoyne, churchill and club lucky. The bottom blanket uses the colors (from outside to inside) holstein park, charleston, dibs on hoyne, hideout and dannys. One full skein of each color is used, with half skeins making up the thinner blocks (we just worked half the number of rows on each end and reduced the middle section by about 25%).
Shown above is Baby Blocks. For this pattern, you'll need 7 skeins of Ikigai Fibers Chibi Paka Chunky and a size 10.5 US 24" or 32" circular needle. We used the colors (from top to bottom) rose twist, matcha latte, iron twist, rose, matcha latte twist, iron, and another skein of rose twist to match the other end.
Shown above is the Big Bad Blend Baby Blanket. For this pattern, you'll need 8 skeins of Big Bad Wool Weepaca and a size 7 US 24" and 40" circular needle, and size 7 DPNs. This blanket used (working outwards) 2 skeins of great lakes, 3 skeins of raw white, 2 skeins of nest and 1 skein of canoe.
Shown above is Hive 35. For this pattern, you'll need 6 skeins of Katia Concept Cotton Cashmere and a size F crochet hook. This blanket used (working outwards) 2 skeins of caramel and 4 skeins of medium beige.
You can make a baby blanket on your own or you can join our Make-Along! From now through May 15th, 10% of all sales from the following yarns will be donated to The Colette Louise Tisdahl Foundation. Participation isn't required, nor does your project have to be a baby blanket. Any purchase of any of these yarns will contribute to the donation: