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Crafters Turn Out With Hooks, Needles and a Lot of Heart to Create Caps for Babies

Della Steward recalls learning to knit from her grandmother one summer as she sat in a wheelchair recovering from an illness. She says knitting brings her warm memories of her grandmother.

The 56-year-old Allentown woman shared her feelings, time and talent during a Knit-In on Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg’s campus this past Saturday. Steward was among dozens of crafters – including colleagues and community members – who turned out for the event sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg Auxiliary.

Laughter and light chatter punctuated the air as hands moved fast to create colorful caps for Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg’s Family Birth and Newborn Center, which opens summer 2017. While most were there to create caps for our smallest patients, others chose to make caps for patients receiving chemotherapy.

“Our goal is to knit 1,200 baby hats by July,” says auxiliary President Grace Ritter, who has led the volunteer group for more than 20 years. “So far we have 300 caps. I think we will exceed our goal.”

Participants took evident pride in their handiwork. They also were committed to the cause. Bernie Frantz, a member of the auxiliary since 1959, says she enjoys helping out. Consignment shop owner Deb Coscia said she read about the Knit-In event on Facebook and decided to attend.

“When we found out the new pavilion was being built, we knew we wanted to do something for patients,” Ritter says. “What we could do for them was knit. Our auxiliary is dedicated and does everything from the heart.”

As the event came to a close and the enthusiastic crafters prepared to leave, a familiar question could be heard over and over again. “When’s the next Knit-In?”

“Probably in the spring,” Ritter says. “Stay tuned for details.”