Alberta crochet Facebook group spreads joy to families with babies in NICUs

A group of Alberta crocheters that banded together at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is using their skills to bring families in NICUs joy over holiday seasons.

The NICU Crocheters Facebook group now has hundreds of members, after it was initially started by a small group of nurses in 2020.

The members crochet blankets, hats, and even full themed outfits for babies spending time in eight different hospitals in Alberta.

“We all actively participate in supporting each other, making sets of blankets, hats, little octopuses for these babies who sometimes need a little extra something to help them with their recovery,” said Talayna Ekelund, one of the members of the NICU Crocheters group,

A baby wearing a crochet outfit in the NICU. Credit / Covenant Health

Ekelund joined the group about eight months ago as a way to give back.

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“I have a connection personally to this group, because I, myself, in 2018 spent five-and-a-half weeks in the PICU — which is the pediatric version of the NICU.

“Two-and-a-half of those weeks was spent on life support… and I know how hard everybody contributes and works,” Ekelund said.

“This is my way to being able to pay back, or being able to support everything that the workers of these hospitals do for children and for babies who need a little extra help in life.”

Talayna Ekelund, 20, is one of the members of the NICU Crocheters Facebook group.
Talayna Ekelund, 20, is one of the members of the NICU Crocheters Facebook group. Global News

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While the latest holiday that the group made outfits for was the Christmas season, the project is a year-round endeavour.

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“I specialize more in the blankets and the hat sets, versus the outfit set some people also make. I’ve made four sets so far, and I’ve done Halloween, Christmas, and I am currently working on some Valentine’s Day ones,” Ekelund said.

The outfits and blankets are washed and quarantined before they’re distributed around hospitals in Alberta.

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The group is always ready to add new members, Ekelund said.

“We are not exclusive, so if you’re (a) 12-year-old who loves to crochet wants to join, or you’re sitting in a nursing home at 100 years old and you’re able to crochet — it’s a welcoming group.

“We’re a big community, we love to support each other.”

Babies wearing crochet outfits made by the NICU Crocheters. Credit / Covenant Health
The NICU Crocheters make hats, blankets, and other outfits for families with babies going through intensive care. Credit / Covenant Health

Those interested in joining can find the group on Facebook at this link.

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Click to play video: 'Edmonton health matters: Halloween costumes for babies in NICU' Edmonton health matters: Halloween costumes for babies in NICU

Edmonton health matters: Halloween costumes for babies in NICU – Oct 30, 2018

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