The Merry Hat Maker

It all began when a friend said, "How can anyone take you seriously in that hat?” It was a knitted multi colored snow hat I had made in high school, over 40 years before. I thought I needed a new hat. With the arthritis in my hands it makes many things painful to do. So I saw a round knitting loom called the Knifty Knitter and decided to learn to use it.

After making hats and some scarves for all my family and friends that would take one, I thought I should try making the baby size hat and see if anyone would want them.

So in February 2005 I went to the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton with a few newborn hats. They were not the conventional baby colors of blue, pink, white, and green. I played around with variegated yarn and they were really different, but cute. The Pediatric Clinic sent me up to Labor and Delivery, they loved them. I have gone there with my hats almost every Friday morning since.

The Labor and Delivery staff has become like friends and tell me the families love all the crazy and wild colors I have done. The dads especially like the camouflage and team sports colors. When a baby is moved from Labor and Delivery to the Nursery, they make an announcement over the PA system throughout the hospital. It is just like when a high ranking officer is coming on board a ship, (a bell rings twice) followed by "female Marine arriving or male sailor arriving".

Last Christmas, I knitted a garland and tied 15 little miniature hat ornaments on it. The staff hung it in the nursery area of Labor and Delivery. One of the doctors told me they will be able to use them afterwards for the preemies.
It is my mission to let the military families know there are those who really do care. Many times the husband is deployed and family members can’t be there when the baby comes. The hat is to start the baby off with a warm head and a keepsake for the family to treasure.

As of now I have knitted over 4,150 newborn hats for the military families at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. I have made many others and given them to expectant moms that I meet different places. I always have my knitting with me. When our three year old granddaughter was born in Kentucky she was a preemie, 3lb. 12oz. I sent a dozen hats to the neo-natal unit as a thank you for giving her such great care.

I have begun volunteer teaching the round loom knitter at our new senior center. It is fun and the ladies (and one man) are busy creating hats and many new things. I have even ventured beyond making hats and scarves myself. But, my goal each week is to knit at least a dozen hats for the babies. I would love to meet Vanna and have her come to the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton; it would be wonderful boost to the military and their families. Thank you for considering my work.

My main question is: Do you know of a simple fingerless glove patterns I could teach the senior ladies? I made up a pair using the small round blue loom. Just made a long hat with brim as a cuff, then crocheted it off and secured the edges for a thumb hole. They turned out real cute, and rather wild, purple and off white in vertical stripes.

Thanks for your help....

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