WHITING | A group of women from the Whiting, Hammond, Crown Point, Calumet City and Lansing communities have found a way to make a difference by making tiny hats and blankets used at area hospitals for premature babies who are too small to fit in infant-sized items.
After determining a need, the ladies held their first meeting Sept. 13, 2011 and discussed knitting and crocheting patterns for preemie hats and named the crafty group "Caps of Love."
The women meet monthly to exchange patterns for preemie items and help each other with types of stitches or patterns. They knit or crochet during the meeting and throughout the month.
They bring their finished hats to meetings to be labeled and packaged for delivery to area hospitals, including Methodist Hospitals in Gary and Merrillville, and Franciscan Alliance St. Margaret Health Dyer.
In a month's time, the members frequently finish more than 100 hats or hat and blanket sets. Since the group's inception, the ladies have made more than 1.200 items.
"The group is open to anyone who would like to support this charity. All you need to bring are needles and yarn," member Priscilla McCarty-Reed said. "The yarn must be soft - no wool - and not fuzzy. Many patterns are available to knit or crochet. There is no membership fee for the group."
Current members of the group are: Nancy Barany, Pat Wind, Catherine Lusebrink, Paula Timko, Betty Dixon, Gerry Peterson, Jackie Cenko, Lora Ward, Rose Lubek, Pat Zygowicz, Norma Florek, Ruth Barany, Karen Goodwin-Harper, Kathryn Brtko, Joan Cerajewski, Darlene Contreras, Hayley Edgcomb, Priscilla McCarty-Reed, Rachel DeLuna and Barbara Michniewicz.
"People who would like to knit or crochet preemie hats, but cannot make the meetings, can also participate. I would be glad to mail or deliver patterns and pick up finished hats to add to the collection," McCarty-Reed added.
The group would also appreciate donations of yarn for the preemie projects. Call McCarty-Reed at (219) 659-3282 to arrange a pick-up for donations.
Meetings are held from 1 to 3 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at Whiting United Methodist Church, 1920 Clark St., Whiting. The group does not meet in January, July or August.