Hello! My name is Amanda Zitzelman and I'm one of your Artists in Residence for October.
I'm going to be making a blanket and also sharing and working on some of the behind the scenes things of a small idea I hope to eventually establish as a non-profit in the future.
Blankets for Berries is an idea I had after surviving a ruptured brain aneurysm in May of 2018. I made several blankets between June and December of that year and gave them away in one of my survivors group.
The goal was simple: bring a small amount of comfort to someone who survived a brain aneurysm.
2019 came and brought lots of changes in our personal lives so I didn't really have the chance to focus on it or really make any blankets.
We moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona arriving in the Arizona heat on July 1. We settled in and did some exploring before COVID hit. Then in August 2020 it was the perfect storm of events that motivated me and brought Blankets for Berries back to the front burner.
I started in the first Birds of the Air class the Hive offered. During this time a friend reached out to see if I could reach out to one of her friends whose dad had recently suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. I ended up hand-knitting him a blanket (first one I ever made that way) and sending a little care package.
Blankets for Berries became my focus as we continued our work in the Birds of the Air class.
I have a goal to give away 12 blankets by October 1, 2021. A picture of first of these 12 (what I call the Calico blanket) is pictured below.