Project Knitwell is teaching knitting as a wellness tool
Washington, D.C. — When the pandemic hit, Project Knitwell (PK) had to stop its in-person knitting instruction in its dozen-plus partner sites around the Washington, D.C. region. For more than 10 years, Project Knitwell has successfully offered knitting instruction as a wellness tool for people in the DC area going through stressful situations.
“Just when people needed us most for stress relief, we could not teach in person,” said Carol Caparosa, Project Knitwell Executive Director and Founder. “We had to get creative to figure out a way to fulfill our mission.”
“Knitting is very meditative,” explains Bettina, a cancer survivor. She participates in Project Knitwell’s Knitwell in the Cloud program, through one of its partner sites, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. “The comforting rhythmic and repetitive motions of knitting bring a sense of calm and mindful awareness. The contentment of watching fabric form is magical. I thank Project Knitwell for bringing the love of knitting into my life at the time I needed it. I definitely plan to keep on knitting.”
PK program participant Bettina models the cowl she knitted
Helping the community
Project Knitwell offers its Knitwell in the Cloud program to all its partner sites. Through this innovative program, volunteer instructors are now teaching knitting one-on-one, using the popular Zoom platform. “During the pandemic, we are delighted that many of the knitting students are nurses, and that we are able to help them reduce the stress resulting from their extraordinarily difficult work,” said Executive Director Carol Caparosa. In addition to the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Project Knitwell’s partner sites include hospital and community settings where stress is a major barrier to wellness.
Healthcare settings, including:
- Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC)
- Inova Schar Cancer Institute
- MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (MGUH)
- Virginia Hospital Center
Project Knitwell also conducts programs for adults and children at community and school sites, including:
- Bread for the City
- Correctional Treatment Facility, DC Dept. of Corrections
- Friends of Guest House
- John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents (JLG-RICA)
- N Street Village
- Ronald McDonald House of Greater Washington D.C.
- Smith Center for Healing and the Arts
- Young Women’s Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, a new partner in the Pittsburgh, PA area
Any Washington, D.C. area healthcare or community site is welcome to contact Project Knitwell to explore partnership opportunities at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knitting on the Couch (Virtually)
At the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington D.C, Project Knitwell has run a knitting program since 2014 that helps people affected by cancer. Called “Knitting in the Nook,” this in-person group has fostered wellness, comfort, and community among participants.
During the pandemic, however, the program has gone a step further. In March 2020 it evolved into the virtual “Knitting on the Couch” program, conducted over the Zoom platform and hosted by Project Knitwell instructors. The program provides participants with important social support during their recovery and particularly through these stressful times.
About Project Knitwell
Project Knitwell is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization operating in the Washington, DC area, offering knitting as a wellness tool to help people cope with stressful situations at more than a dozen hospital and community settings. Founded in 2010, Project Knitwell is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. With minimal paid staff, over the last 10 years, Project Knitwell has proudly served more than 5,000 participants with more than 30 volunteers.
About Smith Center for Healing and the Arts
Smith Center is a nonprofit health, education, and arts organization in Washington D.C. Its mission is to develop and promote healing practices that explore physical, emotional, and mental resources that lead to life-affirming changes for people affected by cancer.
Executive Director and Founder
Smith Center for Healing and the Arts
Cancer Support Program Director