I am working (writing) and I am spending 5 hours a day making mask holders for my local hospitals. Here’s some I have finished. I have seen these for sale for $15-$55. I find that insane. They are costing me roughly $3 in supplies and I can crochet one in less than 20 minutes.
So I am sharing my pattern and hoping that others who can crochet will make them and donate them to their local hospitals. They are real ear savers! I would love to start a movement and get tons of people making and donating these to our local hospitals. I have seen some gruesome pictures of the backs of our health providers ears after wearing their masks 12+ hours a day, day after day. I figure like scrubs each provider needs a handful or so of them because they won’t be able to sterilize them after every shift and they should really be sterilized before being worn again. I have made an assortment of sizes so that the providers can decide which ones fit best for them… do they need it longer or shorter? Wider or more narrow? A single skein of Lily Sugar ‘n Cream yarn (roughly 120 yards) gave me a dozen of them. Most stores sell them in packs of 6 or 10, so you can get a lot of them done. And a reader I inspired showed me some she had made on a long knitting loom. This pattern is for crochet and it’s basically just repeating rows. But they could be knitted with needles or on a loom (even on a round loom).
Yarn: worsted cotton (acrylic is damaged by bleach and hot water so they really need to be made of cotton yarn).
Hook Size: 4mm
Pattern: They should be 6-8 inches long by 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches wide. Bigger heads require them to be longer, so if you are making for a specific person knowing their hat size will help.
Chain 20-28 stitches for your foundation. Chain 2 before the turn.
- Row 1 half double crochet in each stitch, chain 2 for the turn
- Row 2-6
- Sew on buttons at roughly the edges and at the same height from top and bottom.
With my mom attaching buttons, I can complete one in less than 20 minutes. My first batch is bound for the Harry S. Truman Veterans Hospital in my hometown. I have included 2 pictures; the first is the 24 I did on Friday and the second is an example of how they are used since people have trouble picturing their usage with them laid out flat on a table.
I will say buttons sized 16mm or larger work best, but it’s not a requirement that they be that large. I’ve had a couple reasons offer to give me money to fuel the donations, but I think it would be better if they could find someone local who crochets or knits to give a donation to so that one of their local hospitals gets them. I can probably do a 100 or more a week, but I think my local health care providers will eat those up fairly quickly and need more.
I have in fact been stockpiling cotton yarn since mid-January because of a project I decided to do this year. J and I agreed that if I needed to dig into that stockpile it could be replaced later this year and this is more important. Thankfully, my local JoAnn’s and Michael’s are both doing “order online with curbside pickup” so when I ran out of buttons on Friday, I was able to replenish for a weekend full of crocheting these.
I am 100% donating them. It will cost health care providers nothing. They don’t take long and the materials are rather cheap (like I said with buttons they might cost me $3 each to make). And judging by the “thank you” messages I’ve been getting as I post the pictures on social media, it’s a couple of bucks for me but a lifesaver (ear saver) for those using them. Imagine if everyone that could crochet, knit, or use a knitting loom used an entire skein of yarn making them and donating them to their local hospitals what a difference we could make for our healthcare providers during these trying days. If you get 12 per skein and had 100 or 200 people making them to donate to each hospital, we could easily get a handful to every healthcare provider in the US and Canada (or Australia as one of my Australian Readers has also taken up the cause)… and that’s if every one of those 100 or 200 people used a single skein of yarn to do it (I have 700+ yard cones of cotton yarn at my house right now… so I can’t even imagine how many I could get done if I used all of it).
That would be amazing.