I didn’t expect to be so taken. I didn’t expect to have such a deep response. I didn’t expect much of anything, really.
See, I volunteered recently to help make yarn wigs for kids at — what was previously named — The Children’s Hospital. These particular kids who will get the yarn wigs are kids with brain tumors, receiving chemotherapy. The program is called Hair Flair for Hope-and the flair yarn wigs made are pretty wild. Personally, I was curious about the hair-flair wigs because I am going to Burning Man this year, and I know lots of gals where them there. One of the world’s best hair-flair/hair-fall makers (Sherri Sosslau) is in DC, is a friend and was asking for yarn/cash/people donations to help her make 50 wigs to give to children at the hospital. So, being curious about how the wigs were made, I volunteered to help. And, what the heck, I’d learn a bit, help someone out and it’d all be good.
It was labor-intensive. Really labor-intensive. Each wig took about 4+ hours to make. The amount — and variety — of yarn per wig is nothing to sneeze at. And the skill Sherri demonstrated by concurrently teaching us and leading each of us in our creative hair-fall creation was nothing short of stellar. It was a sweet time. Sitting in a small room with a dozen or so others, all bent over our wigs, a pile in the center of us containing dozens of carefully organized skeins of yarns. Visually, physically, it was quite an experience.
And still. And all. I didn’t expect to be so taken. Especially given my start …
I arrived after everyone had picked their starter cap. I was handed a small cap, the smallest, and white. My task was to start weaving in white yarn and a bit of ever-s0-slightly pink yarn. Wow. (sarcarsm) Others had black. Or burgundy. Rich browns. Warm blondes. Their color schemes were leaning to rich blues, or hot pinks. One person even pulled off a green/blonde wig. Another a purple/black wig. Me? I had white and baby pink. Whoopeedoo.
But Sherri is a master of her art, and the wig had my heart and soul in each strand of yarn I added. It developed. It emerged. Sherri offered me other skeins to use. I chose the ones I wanted and wove them in. Mixing. Blending. Following her instructions to create a good core, a base. Saving the special and more exotic yarns for the finishing touches. As I wrapped up the project, adding the final touches and placed my wig on a model/head, I was taken. Touched. Absolutely excited and honored to have created for a young girl a beautiful and glamorous hair fall for her to wear in glory of her strides, strife and life.
I took pictures. I tweeted about it. I posted Facebook status updates with links to the picture. I showed friend after friend, for several days, the picture of the wig. I changed my iPhone “home screen” to show the hair-flair photo I’d taken. I even — swear it’s true — changed my Facebook profile picture, which I haven’t changed in almost two years, to be a pic of the hair-fall wig.
This Christmas, I was planning on making a donation to the Heifer International. Maybe I’d buy a portion of a pig. Or a beehive. Or a flock of chickens. Instead, I’ve decided to make a holiday cash donation to the Hair Flair for Hope project. I’m not asking or expecting others to do the same. But, please, if you know knitters, Sherri is always looking for yarn donations to make more wigs, especially small bits of exotic yarns and any quantity of human-hair-colored yarn. She can use most any colors, really, and can make it work through blending and transitions of colors. She’s quite an artist. And her art, now directed to The Children’s National Medical Center, I’m happy to support with my cash and time and by highlighting her good work inside my social network.