Nfld. & Labrador

Knitters want to give refugees Some Warm Welcome

Two well-known Newfoundland knitters are asking local crafters to help them with Some Warm Welcome, an initiative aimed at knitting winter hats for arriving Syrian refugees.

Local knitter inspired by Quebec campaign for toques

Some Warm Welcome is calling on the province's knitting network to make toques for Syrian refugees coming to the province. (EVknits/Facebook)

Two well-known Newfoundland knitters are asking local crafters to help them with Some Warm Welcome, an initiative aimed at knitting winter hats for refugees arriving from Syria. 

Laurie LeGrow of Some Good Market says she got the idea after reading about a similar cross-country campaign. 

"I'm actually piggybacking off a woman in Quebec called Danielle. She started a movement last week called 25,000 Toques," she said. 

If a warm hat can put a smile on their face for two seconds, that's the least we can do.- Laurie LeGrow, Some Good Market 

LeGrow has knitted an impressive 300 hats this year but says at this rate, it would still take her 83 years to knit 25,000 toques. 

So, together with fellow-knitter Shirley "Shirl the Purl" Scott, LeGrow is reaching out to the province's network of knitters to ask them to contribute to the cause. 

"In the last few days, it's really gone cracked — to use the Newfoundland expression," LeGrow said in an interview with CBC Radio's Weekend AM

From rune knit to Arabic

Attached to each hat, the pair will include a tag welcoming the newcomer to Canada — in English, French and Arabic. 

LeGrows said she's trying to learn some of the language, but she's finding it difficult. 

"Arabic is like knitting charts, you go from right to left," LeGrow said. 

"She usually does rune-ic, this is Arabic," joked Scott. 

"Just that simple thing of trying to write a phrase in a really different language made me think, 'Think about these poor people that are coming that need to change their entire lifestyle,'" LeGrow said. 
The pair are attaching welcoming messages to the knitwear written in English, French and Arabic. (Some Good Market/Facebook)

"If a warm hat can put a smile on their face for two seconds, that's the least we can do I think."

The Association for New Canadians, she said, has offered to distribute the knitwear.

LeGrow and Scott are concentrating on hats but welcome scarves, socks and mittens as well.

"Whatever you can knit or crochet ... and then there's room as well for the knitter to make a little note as well."

LeGrow said she's hoping Girl Guides troops and other groups will contact Some Good Market about taking part. 

"Everything goes. I think there's a lot of us with good intentions that can somehow override some of the people that have negative intentions," LeGrow said. 

She said Newfoundlanders have a long-standing history of being migrant workers and, as such, people in the province should be welcoming. 

"They're doctors, they're computer techs, they're moms and dads, they're grandparents, they're kids. It's just like anybody in your community, they're just from a different place."

With files from Angela Antle


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