Woman finds purpose in knitting hats for hospitals



Nancy Taylor timed it once. It takes her 33 minutes to knit a baby hat.

“I have been known to knit 15 in one day,” she said. “Some days I might not even pick up my loom, though.”

Recently she sat on her mother’s couch talking as she wound pink yarn around the prongs of her circular knitting loom and used a hook to create stitches. Beside her, 100 little red and white Santa hats waited to be delivered to Trinity Hospital.

The hats will be distributed to babies born at the hospital in December. With their delivery, she will have knitted and donated 1,200 to the hospital since January.

She has committed to knitting 100 each month next year.

In 2009, Taylor had to medically retire from her job as a school nutrition assistant at Cross Creek High School because of back problems that include a noncancerous tumor in her spine.

She can’t stand or move around for long periods of time and has to sit in a chair just to cook.

It was hard watching her husband come home from a long day of mechanical work and have to vacuum, and Taylor’s lack of mobility was causing her to slip into depression.

“When you’re sitting around the house all the time not doing anything, you start feeling kind of useless,” she said. “This is my purpose. This makes me feel
like I am doing something right.”

Taylor chooses colors and patterns to follow a theme or a major holiday. For example, February’s hats were red; April’s hats were pastel Easter colors; and July’s were red, white and blue. Recently she made candy corn hats for October and pumpkin hats for November.

A commercial for knitting looms sparked her interest in the craft. She had tried knitting with needles and hated it, but armed with an instructional DVD and how-to videos on YouTube, she found using looms quite easy.

She keeps a small album with photos of items she has knitted, including scarves, cowls, baby bottle covers, baby caps and “snuggie sacks” for Cabbage Patch dolls.

Last year, she also made hats for newborns and chemotherapy patients at Doc­tors Hospital.

Trinity holds a special place in her heart because her children were born there and her father spent his last days there.

The babies hold a special place in her heart, too.

Taylor said when she committed to knitting 100 hats a month, it felt like an obligation. But over time she began thinking of the many
miscarriages within her family and the family member for whom a pregnancy could be fatal.

“So now I make them for the babies that won’t be – in honor of them,” she said.