Mavis Kaschl has made more than 225 purple baby toques since the lockdown started in mid-March. (Langley Seniors Village photo/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley senior fashions tiny toques to spotlight shaken baby syndrome

Since mid-March, Mavis Kaschl has made more than 225 toques, all of them purple

Mavis Kaschl has her tablet for talking to sisters in England and relatives across Canada. She’s got her books on tape and the staff at Langley Seniors Village offer what activities they can.

But that wasn’t enough for the 80-year-old who has lived at the Willoughby area seniors facility since 2017.

When the complex went into lockdown mid-March and social distancing rules came into effect inside the facility, Kaschl wanted to keep busy.

“I thought if I didn’t have anything to do, it would drive me crazy,” she said. “I needed something creative to do.”

The woman originally from Northern England found her outlet. As of Thursday morning, May 28, she’s created 228 tiny purple toques for babies.

Though her daughters can’t visit with mom in person, they do keep her supplied with purple yarn. Kaschl uses a loom to make the toques, no longer able to knit with aging fingers.

“Thank goodness to my daughters,” Kaschl said. “They found all kinds of purple wool.”

Why purple?

It’s part of a special campaign to make new parents more aware of shaken baby syndrome. Baby’s are particularly vulnerable to injury from shaking or jarring movements, and new parents are sometimes unaware of this as they try to deal with long bouts of the baby crying.

To fill the hours in the day, Kaschl would turn on her books on tape and get cracking on the loom.

“Before I knew there I was I had a whole pile of toques,” she said.

The toques will be donated to hospitals across B.C. to be given to new parents along with literature about the “purple crying period” to support parents and prevent shaken baby syndrome.

As a parent, Kaschl is no stranger to crying babies and recalls how it was dealt with in her home.

“As soon as I started getting frustrated, I would walk out of the room and [her husband] would go in,” she explained. “It was a very good team.”

This isn’t the first time she’s turned out toques for tiny tots, since as she noted “babies aren’t going to stop coming.”

The facility’s Giving Hope committee held a campaign last autumn. Residents made 192 toques. Of those, Kaschl made 148. She’s also made toques for the homeless and to donate some to a local soup kitchen.

The work of the Giving Hope committee has been mostly paused since the pandemic since many of its efforts involve social interaction, but the seniors facility run by Retirement Concepts is working to keep seniors safe and active using technology and creative thinking. Distanced karaoke, for instance, is proving a popular activity.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Langley may head back to polls in 2021

Election of local politicians in BC vote would trigger by-elections in several Fraser Valley cities

Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society volunteers clean up Aldergrove streams. (Aldergrove Star files)
Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society looking for new members to help protect Aldergrove waterway

The society hopes to hold stream clean-ups and blackberry bush removal events this fall

Coast Spas in Langley was ordered closed by the Fraser Health Authority after 12 staff came down with COVID-19 (undated Google Street View image)
COVID-19 outbreak closes Langley spa manufacturer

Fraser Health reports 12 employees have tested positive

Ferdinand Bredenholler played the last post at the Fort Langley Remembrance Day service in 2019, when a crowd of 6,500 attended. This year, due to the pandemic, organizers are asking the public to follow the ceremonies online rather than attending. (Langley Advance Times file)
A stay-at-home Remembrance Day planned for Fort Langley

Organizers take the annual ceremony online

Pastor Brad Sumner is inviting Halloween trick-or-treaters to visit the Jericho Ridge Community Church for a COVID-compliant celebration. (Courtesy Jericho Ridge Community Church)
VIDEO: A drive-in Halloween at the Jericho Ridge Community Church

A COVID-compliant event for kids on the Langley-Surrey border

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Most Read