A story about how wool gave comfort to a little girl called Amanda, her parents and then every prematurely born baby in Norway and their parents.
In the midst of summer 2010, Bjørg and Bjørn gave birth to a girl they named Amanda. Unfortunately, Amanda wasn't a healthy baby, she had severe problems with her heart and lungs, and were immediately put in intensive care. And while it looked like she would pull through, her short life ended just ten days after it began.
As a bystander it is easy to feel helpless. When Amanda's grandmother asked if there was anything she could do, maybe knit something, the nurse replied with a big yes, and asked if she could make a bag full. While Amanda only needed one set of socks, mittens, a hat and a blanket, the hospital ward was full of small babies needing the same things, so that the small bodies would focus on growing and getting well instead of keeping warm. Made by pure wool, without any chemicals or unnatural ingredients to upset sensitive baby skin. So granny started knitting, more people joined in, and soon bags of tiny clothes were collected and donated to the hospital.
It was supposed to be a one time donation. A big thank you to the hospital that did everything they could to try and save little Amanda's life. It turned out they couldn't stop. Because every day babies are born prematurely or with different illnesses, that keep them in hospital for days, weeks and months. Their families get to keep the tiny pieces of clothing made by people all over Norway, a small reminder of a tough time. Also, they couldn't stop, as they kept on getting knitted baby hats and blankets from people all across the land over who had read about their story.
What started as a thank you to one hospital, have now grown to include every newborn intensive care unit in Norway. All over the country, young and old are knitting in the purest wool to make sure our newborns get all the warmth and comfort they so desperately need. Those who want to help are asked to look at knitting patterns for dolls. Small socks, mittens, hats and blankets the size of a paper sheet, preferably in all the colors of the rainbow, to stand out from all the hospital white.
Not only the babies benefit from this. Bjørg and Bjørn write on their web page: In addition to keep the babies warm, we get daily feedback from parents, who also have experienced the warmth of wool on a different level. The wool their children get are seen as kindness from total strangers. The wool warms the adults heart in a difficult and tough time. This is simply wool that warms more than once!
You can see pictures of what people are making at their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/132608506781390/