Introducing a local charitable knitting and crochet effort to provide warm, hand-knit hats for anyone who needs one in the Olympia area.
We will be distributing donated hand-made hats to the community through our “hat library” located at the front of our retail store in Olympia, Washington. You can drop off finished hats (preferably wool-blend) in the store or directly into the Hat Library at:
801 7th Ave SE
Lacey, WA 98503
Any size, gauge, or style. Mitts or mittens are welcome, too. No store-bought items please. The idea is to assist the community with our craft.
Here’s the Story
This project was inspired when our retail shop was visited by a person in need of a hat.
Our store is a busy workshop, and our staff have many tasks to do. One day a woman entered the shop and proceeded to fondle and examine all the hats in the shop. This is not unusual, we have some pretty cool hats we display as samples and lots of people have asked if they could purchase them! We don’t hover, particularly since we are set up for social distancing. Suddenly our visitor left with one of our beautiful hat samples without asking if she could have it.
Serious conversations ensued at Jorstad about what could be changed to prevent further loss, and whether to rearrange the displays. Then it occurred to us that maybe this woman just needed a hat – she didn’t take anything else, although there were plenty of valuables that could have gone with her, just one hat.
We started to talk about whether there was a need in the community we could help fill, and what we could do to open up to this need instead of react negatively. Our store windows face Plum Street, and we see many people in need walk by on their way to the Salvation Army down the street. It feels at times like we have a window on a world of human need but at the same time we are separated from it. This incident brought awareness of the need into our store.
One of the Jorstad Staff shared that in Iceland you will find hats and gloves casually draped on a bush for anyone to use. This simple act of sharing is without the need for thanks, gratitude, or acknowledgement. It is sending care and loving handwork out into the community without an expectation from the recipient. Offer free hats, without shame, or obligation, to those who need one. Inspired, we changed our hearts and decided to embrace this Icelandic practice. Our only dilemma, our wet climate doesn’t lend itself to draping things on bushes without the items getting seriously weather worn.
Local artist and tiny house builder Dee Williams to the rescue! Dee designed and built our hat library to shelter our free hats so that at any time, day or night, hats can be left off, or obtained without asking. At the entrance of the store you will see this little micro-house greeting everyone coming in or just passing by. We want to fill up our hat library with free hand-made hats and mitts or mittens for all who find themselves out in the cold without adequate gear against the elements.
Will you help us? Call the Jorstad Studio at 360-915-9258 for questions.