86-year-old Grandfather Teaches Himself To Knit To Make Little Caps For Premature Babies

86-year-old Grandfather Teaches Himself To Knit To Make Little Caps For Premature Babies

We live in an era when the average 24-hour news cycle is filled with stories of pain, deceit, death, tragedy, and heartbreak. Sometimes, it can be challenging to remain optimistic. But amid the pain and tragedy, we are blessed with glimpses of kindness and compassion that somehow lift our spirits and restores our collective belief in humanity. This amazing story is one that warms our hearts and inspires us.

Ed Moseley, 86, didn’t always know how to knit but when the Dogwood Forest assisted living facility office put forth a challenge, calling on its residents to make as many baby caps for premature babies, Moseley felt compelled to participate. He asked his granddaughter to get a kit and started to teach himself.

Bless her heart, she went … and got a [starter loom] kit, yarn and instruction kit for me. So I started slowly and learned it just takes patience,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. [1]

His patience paid off eventually

Although it took a while before he got the hang of it, Moseley was undeterred. With patience and effort, he was able to complete his first cap after three hours. He went on to train himself and can now finish a cap in a little over an hour.

I just followed the instructions. It was easy. Somehow I had never knitted, and I always associated knitting with a bunch of needles but this looked pretty doable for me. I went through two or three before I came out with a good finished product,”  he said. [2]

Seeing his dedication, other residents were encouraged and decided to learn. Staff members and students of the school where his granddaughter teaches were also on board. He even organized workshops for those that had no knowledge of knitting. 

Together, the retired engineer — who is currently battling cancer — staff, and other residents of the home made 300 baby caps, with Ed making 55 himself. They went on to donate them to the Northside Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which delivers about 2,000 premature infants each year.

The gesture was well-received by the staff of the hospital. They were touched by the effort, patience, and love that had gone into knitting that many caps and they hope it will alleviate some of the parents’ emotional stress.

To have a gift left at the bedside, or a nurse put the hat on the little baby’s head, makes it all seem less like a hospital. It’s important for families to see their baby as a baby and not as a patient. This will help to get the families to that spot,” said Linda Kelly, clinical manager of the special care nursery at Northside Hospital. [3]

“It means a lot to us”

The handmade gifts also touched many parents with babies in the hospital’s NICU. They expressed gratitude for the care and time that was spent to create the knit caps.

“It means a lot to us because this is our second stint in the NICU. We have a 5-year-old who spent 54 days up there. To know there are other people who are thinking about the well-being of these babies, our babies, it’s really nice to know. The fact this man is taking time out of his day to help the kids really means a lot to us,” said Doug Bunt. [4]

But Moseley isn’t stopping just yet. He plans to continue knitting and is hopeful that the care home will be able to send 30 new caps to the hospital monthly.


  1. 86-year-old Acworth man learns to knit to help newborn babies.” AJC. Helena Oliviero. November 17, 2016.
  2. 86-year-old man teaches himself to knit so he can give 300 hats to premature babies.” Independent. Tim Walker. November 22, 2016.
  3. 86-year-old man with cancer teaches himself to knit, helps deliver 300 hats to preemies.Fox 5. Admin. November 22, 2016.
  4. 86-year-old man with cancer teaches himself how to knit hats for premature babies.Strait Times. Admin. November 23, 2016
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