Stories from our readers: - Share Your Story
Go back to the intro




I first learned to knit about 30 yrs ago. 

Ever since I've knit most of my Christmas presents, and a few years ago I started knitting for charity. Lately I started knitting chemo hats for the local hospital. 

I've got about 20 done, and I hope to deliver them soon.
Betty Smith - 10/18/12



Finally! This is just what I was looking for.
Kourtney - 2/2/12



I heard about your story from All Crafts for Charity, an online group I belong to. I love your story and book. I want to get a copy to share with my granddaughters as they always see me crocheting hats.

I do not knit, but I crochet. I started making preemie hats last summer (after my daughter gave birth on 6/2/10 at 28 weeks to Braelynn and Arthur John Jr. (AJ). They received crocheted hats and I said "I can make those! Braelynn went to be with Jesus the day after she was born (The doctors have NO idea why) and I have crocheted over 250 preemie hats this year to donate in her memory.

Crocheting the hats help me with my grief in losing Braelynn and the "empty arms' feeling the loss of baby brings. This is my way of helping others and honoring my granddaughter. Late last summer my daughter found the yahoo group All Crafts for Charity and thought I might enjoy that. I joined and have crocheted other sized hats and baby items for the charities they support.

Thank you for sharing Kiki's story and such a wonderful book for children.
Maryann Van Dyke - 7/17/11



Our girl scout troop used a meeting to knit hats.

We have 3 baby hats and 6 kid hats to take to the hospital.

We read the story before we started knitting and thought about where we wanted the hats to go. Thanks!
Liese Carberry - 6/3/11



What a wonderful story! A friend just gave me your book which was so enjoyable.

I belong to a small group of knitters, and we were able to knit and give away over 500 hats last year. Your book expresses everything that we do. The joy is truly in the giving.

Thank you for putting the words and beautiful pictures to paper. I will read this story to my group when we meet next Monday.
Drenda Tomlinson - 3/14/11



My hat story began with Hurricane Katrina. My family in South Mississippi and their neighbors and friends were in a "fix" with no electricity, water, gas, open stores and all sorts of inconveniences due to damages from the 69 tornados that struck during the storm. Many homes had guests who had come the 90 or so miles from the coastal areas to escape the fury of the storm. I was able to keep contact with my family there through their one working cell phone and my cell. As soon as the main roads were open, my church (Holmes Street United Methodist in Huntsville, AL) packed up supplies of bread, water, canned goods, clothing, furniture, etc. and transported four runs of supplies to the residents of Johnson Community in Jones County some 240 miles away.

Months later some of the children in the church got looms and the adults taught them to make toboggans as a hobby. It turned out to be a fun project and the whole church got into making them. Now.... what to do with all those hats? They sent some to Huntsville as a thank you to give to the homeless and those who were waiting in the Salvation Army soup lines during the cold winter months. It caught on and hundreds of hats have come to Huntsville to be given out as gifts to those in need since 2005. Fairfield United Methodist Church members continue to make them. One member has trouble sleeping because of pain in his feet due to an industrial accident. When he is up at night unable to sleep.... he knits.

God has blessed them and the gift goes on....
Ann Turner - 1/3/11



This book has been donated to the Somerset & District Elementary School Library in memory of : Helen 'Mammie' Morse.

Helen 'Mammie' Morse donated many hats, mittens and slippers, that she knit by hand, to the students of Somerset School. The students of Somerset School held a special place in Mammie's heart due to her connection to the school through Heather Morse, her daughter-in-law, who has been the Principal at Somerset School for several years.

Through this donation, it is hoped that the moral of this story and the example that Mammie modelled, doing for others, will continue to be shared and inspire children. February 2010
Cyndi Palmer - 3/9/10



I THINK IN THE BOOK SHE WAS CAERING
LIZZY - 1/26/10



I know everyone has their story, but my grandma was much like Kiki.

She knitted thousands of newborn hats for hospitals every year. She also made lap robes for nursing homes, hat and mitten sets for impoverished people, afghans for loved ones and dish clothes galore. Of course she would never do anything but give them away, and with much love!

Reading about Kiki brought me such joy. I especially loved how she is still knitting away in heaven -my grandma is, too.
Jen Viel - 11/17/09



I work at a non-profit Montessori/Head Start preschool and childcare center. The majority of the families we serve are low-income/at-risk. We work hard to help the children ages 2-5 develop a sense of caring for one another and the community.

Every December we feature a book about caring/sharing/community. This year we are featuring Kiki's Hats and are giving each of our 75 children 2 hats-one to keep and one to give away. The hats are all handmade donations from the staff, staff member's family, people at our local senior center, and my co-workers from the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, as well as others.

We hope that having something to give away will impress on the children (and their families) that even if you have less than others, you still can share what you have and make a difference in the community.

We start sharing the book on December 1st and hand out the hats around the middle of the month. We also are planning on placing cards with the hats in hopes that the families will let us know how they shared their hats.

Thanks to you and Kiki for the wonderful sharing idea.
Debbie Robie - 11/12/09



There is a woman, Diane Holcomb, who works at the same hospital as I do. Each year, she makes well over a hundred hats for our newborn infants-all to give away. We live in northern Minnesota and she keeps all of our new babies warm. We recently gave her a copy of Kiki's Hats as a thank-you. The story just fit Diane.
Roberta Zimmerman - 8/31/09



Dear Warren,

I enjoyed your video very much.

I too knit hats, but small ones for babies, especially preemies. I joined Stitches from the Heart, a wonderfull organization. I was struck with breast cancer and found myself with a lot of time on my hands during recovery. I read about this organization in one of my knitting magazines and knew I had to join. I can't tell you how many hats I have knitted because who's counting. It gives me such a wonderful feeling. I also made hats for all the ladies in my support group.

Sincerely,
Holda Chissell Stitchesfromtheheart.org

P.S. Still knitting!
Holda Chissell - 3/31/09



I make scarfs for people who don't have any money to go out and buy them. I also make them for my family and friends just for a gift saying thanks for being a great friend hopefully you enjoy this scarf...that is my story.
 
Thanks so much I don't know if you remember me Warren Hanson but I am the girl who's grandparents came and had you sign the book for me. I thought that was wonderful. Thanks so much again. Right when I got this book I got in a chair and started reading it like crazy. It was an amazing book I told my mom.

Thanks again,annika kjar
annika kjar - 12/27/08



I found this little treasure of a book in a used bookstore in Belfast, Maine.  Someone must have made a mistake when they got rid of it. 

I just bought it yesterday and it is already on my list of all time favorites, right up there with Miss Rumphius and Blueberries for Sal!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for telling Kiki's story.

I have to go get started on a hat now!
Jennifer Harmon - 7/20/08



I had the opportunity to meet Kiki at a local yarn store one Sunday, and had to go find the book.

I've used it with my preschool class, and we've turned it into a whole "unit" about hats and giving. Children have made paper hats as they watch me make knitted hats to use in our classroom and to send to folks in need, and we've played games with hats. My students have loved talking about the creative uses for the hats and how Kiki's mountain of hats just kept growing!
Beth K - 3/30/08



The message of "doing for others" is not only important to impart to our children and contemporaries alike, but it is a wonderful tribute to the "Real Kiki."

I am very fortunate to have known her for over 10 years, first as a student and then a friend. It is wonderful to see that her incredible charity of spirit has been brought to life by this beautiful story.

May we all strive to live by this example.
B. Rosner - 3/6/08



After hearing Warren read Kiki's Hats, I knew just who needed hats - my students.  Some are living in foster or group home situations and have faced things in their lives that I can't imagine living through.    

I started knitting.

I've made 16 hats so far, with only 12 left to make so each one of my students in my freshman English class knows that goofy Mrs. Hermann cares about them.
Janelle Hermann - 2/8/08



So many friends and family encouraged and helped me in 2007 when I was in the hospital I think anything I do or have done for others is insignificant. However I was delighted to come across KIKI'S HATS at the Booksellers Convention and want to say a big thank you to Kiki and the author for their commitment to helping others by sharing their talents.

I enjoy knitting too, making wool hats from scraps of wool. They find their way to friends and those who for one reason or another need a warm colourful hat. I have a simply two needle pattern which I will be pleased to share with anyone who drops me a line/stitch.  Every good wish.
Sincerely Joyce Harlow   cestrian@charter.net
joyce harlow - 1/7/08



I just finished reading KIKI'S HATS and wanted to share my story with you.

About 10 years ago I had surgery and while recovering I needed something to keep myself busy. I am a knitter and searched the internet for project ideas. The site that I saw was called "newborns in need" and because my son died when he was 18 months old, I decided to do a project from that site. I called the NICU at St. Paul Children's Hospital and asked about making hats and small blankets for the NICU. At the time I had a wonderful contact person there and took the hats and blankets to her when I completed them. My mom was a sewer and she sewed small blankets for what they called "still kits". Those were kits to prepare the ones that left us too soon for their only photos and for burial. My mom received the mose beautiful 'thank you' note about a mother who saved the blanket so she could keep the scent of the child she lost. Fortunately (or unfortunately) there are always projects that can be done for the NICU. It is just a matter of calling them and asking what they need.

I hope to always be able to knit and if anyone has any projects they need help with, please e-mail me at dave.lindstrom@comcast.net. Thank you.
Susan Lindstrom - 11/25/07



At my school we teach in a slightly different way than most schools in this area and in most of the state.  All of the instruction is research based and we are in a partnership with the Downtown Business Alliance (of Des Moines).  We instruct multi-aged classes and our social studies and sciences are taught with the project approach learning.  We do various projects and this year our 5 and 6 year olds will learn about flowers and plants, trucks, restaurants, and community service.  For our community service we do projects designed to serve the community. 

That is where you come in.

At the very least I will introduce the concept of community service to my students by reading Kiki's Hats.  We will be starting our community service project in the first week of December.  I am a first year teacher and I don't know what procedures I need to take to secure this event.  Nonetheless I feel why not give it a shot.  If this doesn't work out this year we can work towards setting up a time to do this next year.  We have had authors here in the past and this would be a great opportunity to meet an author and to tie in to a community project. 

In closing, I just want to thank you for such a warm, wonderful, and yet bold book.  I like that it openly faces social issues that we all need to face.  There is no reason to hide these problems and it is time to face them.  We will be teaching our students how to serve others and that we can do that in many different ways. 
Jeff Kerns - 11/23/07



I started out 8 years ago seeing an ad that asked crocheters to help make blankets for Linus...I read more and decided to call the lady who posted it. She had a huge garbage bag full of yarn and asked if I could turn it into blankets for kids...YES, I told her. I got busy deciding which colors went with what and made 14 blankets that first time around. She came to pick them up and brought me another bag full. This went on for a year and then it was getting to be too much for her to collect the bags of yarn from the different crocheters and knitters so she stopped and so did I...with that.

I got into my email and decided to make blankets and hats for the homeless kids right here in my neighborhood and city. I asked for free yarn and some lady seen my request and brought me over $300 worth of ALL colors of yarn to make anything I wanted. SO I was making caps, shawls, hats, ear warmers and giving them to the local charity here. Then a gal answered my email and asked if I'd like to give away baby things for the low-income Moms here? I didn't know HOW to make a diaper bag. She gave me a pattern and now I make diaper bags and fill them with starting items for the new baby. I've been doing this now for a year. And I'm still making other things and giving them away.

The gals in my email have sent me boxes of yarn to help out. And I am continuing this as long as I can get yarn to keep me supplied. I hope my story makes it in your book. I am BusyHands4Charity and enjoying every minute of it. Thanks for letting me share my story with you.
Clara Fowler - 11/16/07