Month: November 2019

Yarn Heals

Knitted socks by JuJu Knits

From the Desk of…

Julie Hatch Fairley

Cancer Care Services’ Donor & Founder of JuJu Knits


My 54-year-old seemingly healthy mom who never smoked a day in her life died of cancer of undiagnosed origin in only 18 weeks. I was only 30 years old, and I was broken.

Mom used to say “Pick yourself up by your bra straps, JulieSue.”

So I did, and I tried to move on.

I bought a house.

I advanced my career.

Over time, life got better, and I was living the dream once again.

So why did my heart feel so very heavy?

A counselor soon asked – “What did I use to do as a child that brought me joy?”

The answer was easy – “Dig in the dirt and play with yarn.”

On the spot, I received a written “prescription” to garden or knit one hour a day. I took my homework seriously and jumped in with both feet with a lofty goal to immediately make socks. Now for knitters, that’s not necessarily a starter project – hence the pointy toes pictured here.

Knitted socks by Julie
Knitted socks by Julie

I began to knit … and knit … and knit … and slowly I began to heal.

After miles and miles of yarn, my soul began to breathe.

Today, I am fortunate to be able to share the healing power of yarn with others.

In January, we began “Healing Hands” at Cancer Care Services – a monthly meet-up where cancer patients, clients, and caregivers can join me & other fiber friends for fellowship (and free instruction as needed) over yarn. Our group has varied in size each month, but one thing remains constant: when picking up yarn, people put down their phones … and their guard.

Patients set aside their treatment side effects.

Survivors feel hopeful.

Caregivers slowly unwind.

We all begin to think of something other than cancer for a few sacred hours.

It is now my honor to welcome this community to JuJu Knits, a new, local yarn store located at 552 Lipscomb, just a few blocks northeast of Cancer Care Services’ location on Henderson near Pennsylvania.

Every Wednesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. JuJu Knits hosts a fiber fellowship. While the first Wednesday of each month is designated especially for Cancer Care clients and their friends or family, any Cancer Care client is always welcome to join me for fiber fun. We keep at the ready an ongoing stash of donated yarn, needles, hooks, and other supplies for those who wish to learn knitting or crochet but may not have the materials to get started.

The binding community of JuJu Knits is also raising funds for the Cancer Care Services Holiday Gas Card Drive through the sale of handmade ornaments & our yarn winding station.

I believe down to the toes of my pointy socks that yarn really can help one heal.

Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to share my love of yarn with Cancer Care.

With peace, love & yarn,