Eighty. That’s how many healing shawls the knitting group Westport resident Ellen Lane organized has donated to Norwalk Hospital’s Smilow Family Breast Health Center for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I've been knitting shawls for a number of years. People would see me doing that and would ask me what it was,” said Lane, a small-time commercial baker in her spare time. “I just got the idea if you could make it easy for people to get the materials and stuff that they would want to participate.”
Lane was right, and she has sold more than 150 knitting kits, which include yarn, needles, directions and a gift of Lane’s own baked goods, Nelly’s Nibbles Magic Bars.
“It takes about 10 to 14 hours to knit a shawl, roughly. And it’s a really basic shawl kit. It's a really easy project, especially for beginners. And it helps people,” Lane said. “I think people are into that, it makes them feel good and it has a purpose.”
After a shawl is completed, Lane picks it up and delivers it to the hospital. At the suggestion of Smilow breast health specialist Mary Heery, Lane has started a knitting group of breast cancer survivors, those affected by breast cancer and other interested knitters. The group, for those who choose to knit in a more social setting, has been meeting at Smilow since late winter.
“I've been donating shawls for a number of years. I just thought it should be available to as many people as possible,” Lane said. “It's been expanding. They've been very supportive of the group.”
To get involved, call Lane at 203-454-2277 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.