As the needle twirls through the yarn, another stitch is completed and another baby cap is one step closer to being finished
Dee Reid and a group of about 15 women sit around a series of tables, knitting and crocheting once a month. The results help keep newborn babies warm and toasty.
Known as the Baby Cap Club, the women, mostly retired, arrive ready to create baby caps, booties and other items to help patients at Integris Canadian Valley Hospital.
Each month, on the second Thursday of the month, the group gathers in one of the hospital’s conference rooms for two hours of eating, socializing and maybe a little gossiping. But more importantly, they break out their knitting needles and get to work.
On this Thursday, they had a guest. Valeria Perez, an 18-year-old Yukon High School graduate.
Perez is home on winter break from Nova Southeastern University, a private college in Broward County, Florida.
Perez said she has been participating in the group since her sophomore year in high school.
Her mother, who works at the hospital, urged her to participate.
“She thought it would be fun for me to start knitting for the babies. I like that I can get the yarn and knit for someone, instead of random projects. It has a purpose,” Perez said.
She said knitting caps for babies gives her something to do while she is home.
Reid said every baby born at the Yukon hospital receives a gift of a hand-knitted cap and booties or socks.
The group makes about 80 sets each month. They also make blankets for children who are in the hospital, as well has monitor bags for heart patients.
A typical cap and bootie set takes a few hours to make.
Most of the volunteers who work on the project have done it for years, and it’s not something they do only when they are together.
Reid said she works on projects whenever she gets the chance. Others are constantly working on a knitting or crocheting project for the hospital.
The Yukon hospital opened its maternity services in 2001, according to Integris officials.
The Baby Cap Club has been a part of the organization almost from its inception.
Margaret Albecht, who was busy knitting on Thursday, said she enjoys the process.
She said two of her great-grandbabies have hats that were knitted at by the members of the Baby Cap Club.
“It is enjoyable to know that you are doing something for someone else,” she said.
Reid has been involved for at least 13 years at the local hospital. She also volunteered time with the Oklahoma Quilter’s Guild for several years.
That group created quilts that were donated to the Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center.
“I’ve been doing it ever since,” Reid said.
According to Reid, it takes about four to five hours to complete a typical project.
And the need is there. Last week, there were 25 babies born at the Yukon hospital.
Reid said the group tries to donate about 80 caps a month.
The thrill, she said, is seeing the newborns leaving the hospital wearing one of their handmade caps.
“About two weeks ago, I got to see a baby boy go out with one of our hats. … He looked so cute,” Reid said.