Knitting in Hospitals
Project Knitwell volunteers teach patients and family members to knit, individually or in a group. We work in various units throughout hospitals and provide knitting instruction for oncology, transplant, and dialysis patients, families with children in the Pediatric Intensive Care and Neo-Natal Intensive Care units, and pregnant moms on bedrest, among others. We provide participants with a complimentary beginner’s kit, which includes yarn, needles, and a Knitting Resource Guide. We offer ongoing instruction, and once knitters are comfortable with basic skills, we give them knitting kits and additional material to make simple projects like hats, scarves, baby booties,
We also serve hospital staff and have offered learn-to-knit classes for a variety of staff members and new graduate nurses at
“I am so proud of myself. I learned something new. Knitting keeps me from worrying about my daughter because I have to focus so hard on doing it correctly.”
Community Knitting Programs
We serve adolescents, seniors, cancer patients and others at various school and community sites. Currently, groups and classes meet at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, the Cancer Resource Center at Virginia Hospital Center, N Street Village, So Others Might Eat (SOME), and other sites. We have offered after-school programs for at-risk youth through The Alternative House in Vienna, Virginia; for adolescents with severe emotional disabilities at The John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents in Rockville, Maryland; and at Camp Friendship and Camp Fantastic, two summer camps for children/young adults with cancer.
For persons unable to attend a class, contact us to discuss a home visit.
Virtual Knitting Programs
In an effort to continue providing programs during the pandemic, Project Knitwell launched two virtual initiatives in 2020: Knitwell in the Cloud and K2Tog.
Through Knitwell in the Cloud, Project Knitwell instructors teach knitting — one-on-one — to individuals who are affiliated with our program sites (e.g., hospitals & community settings). In this way, we are able to continue our mission of teaching knitting to those in stressful situations, via the Zoom platform. We are teaching patients, program participants, staff, and families. To join Knitwell in the Cloud, send an email to email@example.com.
K2Tog is a bimonthly social knitting group for knitters of all abilities, hosted on the Zoom platform. While not an instructional program, Project Knitwell instructors host and participate in the sessions and can answer questions and share tips and ideas. It is a great place for all knitters and serves as a wonderful next program for students who “graduate” from Knitwell in the Cloud. Through K2Tog, we’re able to replicate the collegial in-person knitting groups that we hosted prior to the pandemic. To join a K2Tog session, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knitwell’s Program Sites
*Indicates a current location
*Medstar Georgetown University Hospital Hospital-wide – including pediatric oncology unit, transplant unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Sessions for staff
Inova Alexandria Hospital – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Inova Mt. Vernon Hospital – Patients and family members
*Children’s National Medical Center – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Hematology/Oncology, Cardiac Intensive Care, Dialysis, Ronald McDonald Room, Classes for NICU staff
*Virginia Hospital Center – Antepartum patients, NICU families, In-patient oncology, ongoing and special programs through Cancer Resource Center, Classes for staff
HSC Pediatric Center, (formerly Hospital for Sick Children) – Regular group with parents
- *Smith Center for Healing and the Arts – A Vibrant weekly group for those affected by cancer
- *N Street Village – For women affected by housing insecurity, mental health challenges.
- *SOME (So Others Might Eat)* – Kuehner Place for Abused & Neglected Elderly Group with marginalized seniors and their caregivers
- Street Sense – Weekly knitting circle for vendors of Street Sense newspaper who are affected by housing insecurity.
- *Bread for the City – For women affected by poverty, addiction, and other challenges
- *Friends of Guest House – Weekly group at a residential facility for formerly incarcerated women
- Borromeo Housing – Residential facility for teen moms
- *Ronald McDonald House DC – For families with children at area hospitals
- DC DMV Pail – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network – For parents grieving the loss of their babies
- *RICA – John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children & Adolescents – A residential facility in Rockville for children and teenagers with emotional challenges.
- Mount Vernon High School – A program for teens with emotional challenges
- *Cedar Lane High School – A program at an alternative high school for students with emotional challenges
- Camp Friendship and Camp Fantastic – Camps for youth with cancer
- The Alternative House – An after-school programs for at-risk youth