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.”
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.
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?