Team Yarn celebrates first anniversary

Team Yarn – Head Huggers, a group created in memory of former Isanti County resident Cheryl Slater who succumbed to a rare form of skin cancer in 2012, is one year old.

On behalf of Team Yarn, Joselyn Pettit (left) and Amy Pass donate prayer shawls to Kim Perez of Our Lady of Peace Home, Health and Hospice in St. Paul to comfort the dying.
On behalf of Team Yarn, Joselyn Pettit (left) and Amy Pass donate prayer shawls to Kim Perez of Our Lady of Peace Home, Health and Hospice in St. Paul to comfort the dying.

Amy (Slater) Pass and Tesha M. Christensen Pettit were inspired to form Team Yarn because of the hope and comfort Cheryl received through handmade items given to her by the Harbour Room in Cambridge. Both women now live in Minneapolis, but grew up in Isanti County.

Team Yarn held its first meet-up in January 2013 with 10 people and a laundry basket of donated yarn and hats.

“In our first month, we donated 40 items, and I was astonished at the turn-out,” stated Pass during the one-year celebration in January 2014. “One year later, I continue to be astonished and amazed by what this group has done.”

Team Yarn has over 50 members — folks who have made donations of handmade items, yarn or money and/or have attended meetings. During the first year, 244 items were donated anonymously or by groups and organizations. Contributions have come from people in six different states (Minnesota, Alabama, California, Michigan, New York, and North Carolina) and three different countries (the United States, Canada, and Germany).

In all, 718 items have been donated to eight different locations: the Harbor Room in Cambridge, the Richard M. Schultz Hope Lodge in Minneapolis, Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, Amplatz Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, Woodwinds in Maplewood, the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis and Our Lady of Peace Home, Health and Hospice in St. Paul.

Team Yarn has also donated a number of items for silent auction at three different fundraising events, and sent/brought items to 10 different individuals upon special request. The total number of Team Yarn handmade items for 2013 is 788.

“Together we’ve made everything from hats, scarves, shawls and afghans to doll hats, wrist warmers, mittens and headbands,” Pass said. “And we have never, ever run out of yarn. Every donation is posted to the Facebook page in an album indicating where it was donated. And every album is a tribute to the creativity and generosity of our team.”

At least six people in the group learned to crochet in the last year.

Hear from the people who give comfort

“On the one year anniversary of Team Yarn, we would like to honor you, our team, for your commitment, and the time and energy you’ve invested into bringing warmth and comfort to the lives of people who are battling chronic illness,” Pass said.

Linda Moore (Cheryl’s sister-in-law) of Moundsview has contributed 90 items. This makes her the largest individual contributor from 2013 and second largest over all, rivaled only by Northeast Metro School District 916 and teacher Karen Aalund (formerly of Isanti County), which donated 93 items in March 2013.

The second largest individual contributor was Lorraine Herges, who leaves her items at the Century 21 drop site in Cambridge. She made a total of 63 items for Team Yarn in 2013. She is followed by 1997 Cambridge-Isanti High School graduate Kelli McCully, who just learned to crochet this year, and Wanda Hollister (mother of Cambridge resident Vickie Christensen), who each donated 44 items in 2013.

The 5th largest individual contributor for 2013 was Jen Raborn, of Princeton, who donated 35 items, some of which she mailed all the way from North Carolina before she moved back to Minnesota. Aurora Pass was the youngest contributor, at the age of 11. She made seven items for Team Yarn this past year. She and four-year-old Joselyn Pettit helped sort, tag and deliver hats all year long.

Moore and McCully also deserve recognition for attending 9 of the 12 Team Yarn meet-ups at Silverwood Park in St. Anothony of 2013. The next top meeting attendees were Sandy Slater, who attended seven meetings, and Brenda Lewis, who attended six.

“Lewis had the courage to show up, having never met any of us,” Pass said. “She found our group on Ravelry, an online knit and crochet community, and has been attending meet-ups since the very beginning. Thanks to all of you for making our team such a huge success.”

Team Yarn holds monthly meet-ups the third Sunday of every month from 1 to 3 p.m. at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony, Minn. Locally, you can drop off items at Century 21 – Moline Reality, 202 Main St. S. in Cambridge on Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Items should be handmade, new, washable, and free of smoke and pet hair.

Learn more about Team Yarn at, follow on Facebook, or email [email protected]