There is a program at the Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington for patients to make something to leave behind as a sort of legacy. Children there have time on their hands. The Seattle Weavers Guild provide trained volunteers to teach them to weave.
Children’s Hospital has a recreational playroom. It’s the only place in the hospital that patients can go that doctors and nurses are not allowed unless they have to be, so they know that it’s a fun place, nothing painful is going to happen to them there. Between 10 and noon and 2 and 4 every day they have projects there.
Having tried inkle and other looms the guild found that Easy Weavers work the very best, because in a two hour period, a child or an adult can weave a 3 yard scarf. They really are easy. The kids love it, and it isn’t just patients. Sometimes siblings come. It’s really tough for siblings because they’re not sick, but they have to be at the hospital because they’re too young to be left at home. They’ve got all this energy. It’s boring to sit up in the patient’s room!
Sometimes they don’t have anybody come in the whole two hour period, so they take an inkle loom or something to do during those two hours. But there’s usually two of them, so if nobody comes they sit and talk weaving, knit or weave on an inkle loom or something. But usually they have between two and six people come.
Sometimes they have parents. They are so stressed out and have a half hour free and just want to do something that is totally different. They sit down to weave, and the repetition of it is so calming. You can see them change in half an hour!
The volunteers have changed, but the project has been going for 12 years.
The name of the project leader: Dianne McAuliffe of the Seattle Weavers Guild.
For a full transcript or download of the interview go to WeaveCast.