Good evening, dear knitters.

Something mysterious happened to my blog two months ago. An old post from 2012 about knitted teddy bears and comfort dolls for the IWK Health Centre received about 16700 views. Most of the traffic was referred by Facebook but I don’t know who shared it. As a result, many knitters got involved in making knitted and crocheted teddy bears and about 50 new people signed up for the email updates on the blog.

The comments under the post turned into great discussions  — people were teaming up to share yarn, stitch up the knitted bears, and bring them to Halifax from the Annapolis Valley. Soon enough I received an email from the IWK Volunteer Resources manager Kylene Mellor who was thanking the knitters for the outpouring support.

This kindness and generosity of the knitting community is the reason this blog exists. And it is very important for me to make sure that your time, creativity, and yarn are shared with those people who really-really need them. As you will see from the message below, you have met this particular need. Bravo!

The IWK has enough teddy bears at this point, and they would like to ask for the finger puppets instead. I am very grateful for the clear line of communication with the Health Centre and I am eager to share their message with you.

“Good morning IWK Supporters!

I would like to take a moment to thank you so much for your generous donations for our patients and families! When items such as comfort bears, finger puppets and quilts are donated to the Health Centre, there are really no words to express the positive impact these gifts can make to a patient’s visit.

Recently, an old post about our need for comfort bears has resurfaced – and while we can always use comfort bears/dolls, we do not have a current, urgent need for them.

What we could use more of are finger puppets as we can go through upwards of 1,000 in any given month.  We distribute finger puppets to many areas of the hospital – for children having procedures, blood work, siblings waiting for their loved ones etc… so they are well used! And we often hear that our patients keep them for years afterwards. 

Items can be dropped off at Volunteer Resources Monday-Friday 8am-4pm. 

Thank you again so much for your support of our patients and families – you truly make a difference with your contributions.”

Kylene Mellor

Manager, Volunteer Resources

See? There are bears, frogs, dinosaurs, and monsters waiting to be cuddled by children. Some of the knitters said in the comments that they made 36 bears, 15 bears… and who knows how many more bears are in the making now and will be delivered soon? I bet you, a lot. I am going to update the old post too and ask the knitters to channel their endless creative energy elsewhere.

knitted teddy bears

If you would like to make some finger puppets, the IWK website has this basic finger puppet pattern and this one is for the duck and the bunny puppets but you can use any knitted or crocheted pattern you wish. I have published a few patterns, they are somewhat fussy but they have photo tutorials for each puppet.

These are some puppets that the Health Centre received in the past.


There is also an amazing knitter named Dorothy who wrote the very first guest post on this blog about knitting finger puppets for the IWK. (She was featured in the local newspaper as well.) I recommend to look at the pictures just to see how a pile of 3500 finger puppets looks like!

I can tell you honestly that I won’t be making thousands of puppets myself. But if each of us will use some scrap yarn and a bit of imagination to make just a few, the result will be spectacular. Don’t you think?

The Kingdom of Lost Mittens

Dear knitters, I am writing this post from The Kingdom of Lost Mittens. I was invited to this magical place after graduating from the local college and getting my Early Childhood Education diploma. Now my days are filled with all kinds of lovely things — curiosity, discoveries, inquiries, jokes, hugs, art, good books, songs, and outings in the beautiful park with a team of three-year-old explorers.

This fall and summer, I was just a preschool teacher but as the winter approaches, my title changed to “The Mitten Hunter”. Young children are not particularly committed to keeping their mittens on their hands, and they often leave them… everywhere. These are just a few photos that I took in the last two days. None of those mittens were lost but you get the picture.

lost mittens


lost mittens



lost mittens




Since we are going out twice a day (and the days get colder), we will need to have a healthy supply of “daycare mittens” to replace those that were lost on the playground, forgotten in a parent’s car, or got soaking wet in the puddles. I have donated a pair of knitted mittens that my son wore last winter to keep those little hands warm. These mittens are used everyday.

If you are looking for a small project this winter, maybe you could make a pair of mittens for a child care centre? Here are some patterns for children: Basic Baby and Toddler mittens, Lady Bug Mittens, Traditional Honeycomb Newfie mittens and 2 hour mittens from Ravelry.

Please email me at halifaxknitter@gmail.com if you wish to donate mittens to my centre (we have 7 classrooms) or just find the closest one in your neighbourhood. I am sure both children and teachers will appreciate them.

In the meantime, stay warm and keep knitting!

If you are local to Nova Scotia, you are probably tired of jokes about the weather these days. Honestly, the only reason for my post today is to replace the picture of icy trees and the grey skies on my blog with something else. (Almost made a joke about pictures of rain instead). 

Now, I totally see how this cold and wet weather doesn’t inspire anyone to knit more warm mittens and hats. For example, I am knitting a sweater for my daughter that I hope she will wear one day with no jacket over it. (Almost suggested that such day might never come).

So today I would like to entertain you with some gifts that I recently made for my teachers and my classmates (I am graduating soon). The three knitted bracelets were gifted before I took pictures of them. Each had a “hidden meaning” (like a symbolic colour or pattern) that was revealed to their owners. I was debating whether I should publish the written notes for the other two gifts but decided to leave them out because the metaphors were based on our shared knowledge and experiences. I will still tell you what they meant in general.


This heart is the metaphor for “the bleeding heart” (values and strong beliefs) that is simultaneously “the heart of gold” (compassion towards others). The deeper meaning is about feeling compassionate towards people whose beliefs are very different from ours, about seeing human beings through the lens of their experiences and struggles, about not making people feel “wrong” when we passionately articulate why we are “right”.


The second gift symbolizes something that seems simple, just like a ball, but there are many different parts intricately woven together. Sometimes the part is visible, sometimes it’s not, but it’s still there.  And often it’s not easy to put it together but then it holds in one piece, seamlessly. At times it seems almost impossible, unless you are a knitter… or (insert your own word). If at loss, try “a mother”.

Knitted ball

I loved working on these projects. Looking through patterns and knitting was fun but I also enjoyed thinking about the connections and carefully choosing my words to make those gifts meaningful.

As we are waiting for the sun to finally show up (yep, still talking about the weather), maybe you could also warm up someone’s heart with a small unexpected hand-made gift? I bet it will make you feel warmer, too.

p.s. In case you wonder, the heart pattern is here, and the knitted ball pattern is here.


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