IN THE PRESS: Isanti County News story December 2013

Team Yarn - Head Hugger members donate 77 hats to the Harbor Room cancer resource center at the Cambridge Medical Center. Left to right: Jenn Johnson, Joselyn Pettit, Aurora Pass, Amy Pass and Harbor Room Coordinator Bonnie Gutzkow-Bowman. (Photo by Tesha M.C. Pettit)

Team Yarn - Head Huggers returned to the Harbor Room at the Cambridge Medical Center in October 2013 to donate 77 hats and scarves.

Many of the items were purple, in honor of Cheryl Slater, a lifetime Isanti County resident who died one year ago after battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Slater’s favorite color was purple.

Team Yarn made its first donation to the Harbor Room in January 2013. According to Team Yarn co-founder Amy (Slater) Pass, she wanted to give back to the Harbor Room since it helped her mother, Cheryl, when she was going through cancer. Pass credits the Harbor Room for inspiring her to begin Team Yarn.

“The people that come in to the Harbor Room are kind of in despair and going through a rough time. When they get a fun hat, it totally changes their day,” said Bonnie Gutzkow-Bowman of the Harbor Room. “Thank you, Team Yarn, for making all these beautiful hats. It means a lot.”

Cambridge-Isanti High School 2000 graduate Susie (McCully) Haen, now a resident of Renville, Minn., learned to crochet this past year and made several of the hats donated to the Harbor Room. Her mother, Kathy McCully of Cambridge, taught her how to single crochet and her sister, Kelli, McCully, taught her the double crochet stitch during her first Team Yarn meeting in August.

“So far I have just made a lot of beanie hats, trying to learn how the different crochet hooks and yarn affect the pattern,” remarked Haen.

“I saw Team Yarn's Facebook posts throughout the year, and was inspired by the good work (thoughtfulness/love and talent) of the group,” explained Haen.

She was drawn to the group because of the hometown connection. “I thought it would be a nice way to give back to the community and nice to come together while doing so,” she stated.

Her sister, Kelli McCully, a 1997 CIHS graduate who resides in St. Paul, has been involved in Team Yarn since it began in January 2013. When asked why she is a part of Team Yarn, McCully stated, “I wanted to help provide comfort to those involved in potentially painful treatments.”

McCully learned to crochet just so she could join the group. She noted that every time she makes something, she tries to imagine what it would be like to go through what those battling cancer are going through. She hopes “that this small gift can convey my support and care.”


Over the next few months, Team Yarn members will focus on fashioning shawls and lapghans. To mark the first anniversary of Team Yarn, the shawls and lapghans will be donated to Our Lady of Peace: Home, Health and Hospice in St. Paul in January 2014.

“After the death of a loved one, certain possessions become keepsakes for those left behind, things like handmade shawls and lapghans. We would like to bring some last comfort to those who are dying, and also to the family members as they grieve,” observed Team Yarn co-founder Tesha M. Christensen Pettit.

“We’d love to see more people join the team,” said Pass. “We can use all the help we can get.”

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

Team Yarn holds monthly meet-ups on 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 to Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Or, mail donations to: Team Yarn, c/o Amy Pass, 2536 18th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55404.

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


Click here to view a story the Isanti County News ran when we launched Team Yarn:


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