Running a business is a challenging task. Spending time in a hospital is a challenging task. In Western New York, these two challenges intersect at the point of a needle…actually, two needles and bottomless baskets of yarn.
Embraceable Ewe is a yarn shop located on the Main Street fringe of Hamburg’s downtown shopping area. The charming business operates out of a vintage home that serves as both a storefront and a residence for Embraceable Ewe Owner Erin Kosich, her husband, Tony, and their children, Sophie and Emmett.
Erin is a personable young woman who has evolved her yarn shop into a thriving business as well as an arts and craft learning center, a community meeting place and a mission for charitable works, which is where the hospital enters the story.
Patients and visitors to Buffalo’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute traditionally survive the endless wait for treatments and diagnoses by reading through an array of magazines and medical brochures. However these days, thanks to the generosity of Erin, her extended family and her Embraceable Ewe staff and clients, baskets of yarn and knitting needles are now strategically placed throughout RPCI waiting areas.
The purpose of the yarn baskets is twofold. First, knitting is proven to initiate a “relaxation response.” So whether the knitter is novice or experienced, the process provides an invaluably calming distraction in hospital waiting and treatment situations. Second, in addition to needles and yarn, each basket contains instructions for the creation of a 9 inch by 9 inch knitted square of wool. The instructions end with a directive to deliver the completed square to either Embraceable Ewe or Roswell.
When enough wool squares are collected, Erin and her crew of volunteers assemble the knitted handiwork into blankets. The warm and fuzzy coverlets are then returned to Roswell as comforting patient gifts.
The Embraceable Ewe website chronicles their community outreach under the title of, “Knit It Forward,” highlighted by a photo of a recent Roswell delivery of 80 such special blankets. What is equally remarkable is that this is just one of a number of charitable knitting endeavors that Erin encourages, and that her Embraceable Ewe staff and customers support.
The yarn shop website details knitting groups for American troops, battered women’s shelters, refugee organizations and newborn baby bootie/hat projects.
And at the core of this special outreach is a woman with a vision of a yarn shop where customers feel at home and knit together into a family. A pretty outstanding example of how we should all embrace life and its challenges.
For more information about Embraceable Ewe and their charity knitting projects check out their website http://www.embraceableewe.com or call 646-6674.