PEI

How this P.E.I. woman tackled pandemic boredom by making more than 100 tiny hats

Monique Gauthier is intellectually challenged and has knit more than 100 hats during the pandemic.

'The babies and the mothers will enjoy it'

Monique Gauthier creates a hat. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Monique Gauthier is surrounded by a large pile of baby hats she has made with a lap-sized loom, weaving yarn in and out to create them. 

Knitting is a new hobby she took on during the COVID-19 pandemic that began in March, to help pass the time. 

Gauthier is intellectually challenged and before the pandemic she worked at a couple of part-time jobs and stayed busy doing various sports with Special Olympics P.E.I., but when all that stopped, she decided to put her energy into making hats.

So far, she has made about 106 hats for newborns. 

"I love doing it," said Gauthier. "I had nothing else to do, so why wouldn't I make them for the babies?"

Gauthier sits with her loom beside baskets filled with the baby hats she made. (Laura Meader/CBC)
 

"They're different colours, different shapes, some of them have big rims." 

Gauthier has even created several Christmas hats in a deep red with a white brim. 

It takes her about a day to make a baby hat, and a couple of days to make a regular sized hat.

'I'm so proud of her'

Monique's mother Paula Gauthier says when her daughter finishes a hat, she expresses her happiness at the feeling of accomplishment. 

Monique's Mom Paula Gauthier says the baby hats were a perfect project, since they used less wool and took less time to make than a regular-size hat. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"She delights in it, she really looks at it and says 'Isn't that nice?'" said Paula Gauthier. "I think it's remarkable that she's actually able to do it." 

"I'm so proud of her." 

Her mom said the hobby helps them both pass the time during the pandemic as they are spending so much more time at home.

Paula helps to finish the hats once the loom work is done, and said it's fun to think of the hats ending up little newborns' heads. 

Feels good to donate them

Monique has already dropped off two large baskets filled with baby hats to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, and said it feels good to donate them. 

Gauthier stands with two nurses from the maternity ward to donate hats at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. (submitted by Health P.E.I. )

"The babies and the mothers will enjoy it," she said. 

She has now moved on to making hats for cancer patients who may need to keep their heads warm after hair loss. 

The mother and daughter said the new new hobby was a life saver and they expect to keep making hats for years to come. 

Monique and Paula show off some of the hats. (Laura Meader/CBC)

More from CBC P.E.I.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura Meader is a video journalist for CBC P.E.I.

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