Learn How You Can Help Raise Epilepsy Awareness With Your Stitching Skills

Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 in Crocheting, Knitting, Quilting, Sewing | Comments

Purple Stitch Project - Highlighter Scarf Pattern

Craftsy Instructor Vickie Howell is raising epilepsy awareness through the new charitable organization, the Purple Stitch Project. Here’s a note from Vickie explaining how the Purple Stitch Project works, who it will be benefiting, and most importantly how you can help.


Hey there, fellow designers!

As some of you may know, nine months ago my now 10-year-old son, Tristan, was diagnosed with epilepsy.  Since then it’s been an emotional roller-coaster of anti-seizure drug side-effects, alternative treatment options, academic challenges, and dealing with the emotional strife a child feels when he’s not in control of his own body. Tristan is a brave kid, though, and I’m happy to report he is getting better every day! So much so, that he’s ready to work on a project with me.

I’m thrilled to announce we’ve launched the Purple Stitch Project, a web-based charitable organization to benefit babies, children, and teens with epilepsy.

The main goal of this initiative will be a call to action for those who knit, crochet, sew, and/or embroider to make purple (the epilepsy awareness color) gifts for kids with seizure disorders as a reminder that they are not alone, that they have community support. Ultimately, I’m hoping to be able to create distribution for these items to centers nationwide, but for now we’ll work with a pediatric neurology office and seizure-monitoring center here in Austin, Texas. We’ll also respond to individual requests from parents who reach out.

When you visit PurpleStitchProject.org, you’ll see information on donating, prompts to help promote through web buttons, and downloadable gift tags to include with your handmade items. You’ll also be able to access a generously sized (I hope) archive of purple project ideas via Craftsy. Here’s where I need your help.

We need pattern donations! I’m hoping that you’ll consider donating patterns for plushies, amigurumi items, scarves, beanies, small blankets, wrist warmers, and all things that children/teens would dig. Thanks to Craftsy’s amazing infrastructure, it’s easy for designers to upload these patterns and for volunteers to download them to make items for donation. In a perfect world, the pattern you donate would be of an already made/photographed purple (or purple accented) item. This does not need to be a new pattern! It can be something from your existing sites, books, mags, wherever. Really, I’m just looking for a broad enough bank of purple projects that will attract people regardless of the cause. If I can get ‘em there for the gimmick, they might stay to lend their hands. Oh, and you’ll have my undying love — although you already have it, so that may not be much of a bargaining tool on my part.

Thank you so much in advance for consideration. See below for info on submitting patterns.


The Purple Ninja, a Purple Stitch Project that's already uploaded on Craftsy!

How to upload your pattern donations for the Purple Stitch Project

1. To upload a pattern for the Purple Stitch Project, simply go here.

2. Of course, the price of the pattern is up to you, but it is highly recommended that you make these patterns free!

3. Put “Purple Stitch Project” somewhere in the title of your pattern.

4. Pat yourself on the back for contributing your time and talents to a great cause!


Please send completed projects to:

Purple Stitch Project
9901 Brodie Ln, Ste 160 #268
Austin, TX 78748


  1. damselfly says:

    The purple ninja got me! My daughter-in-law is an epileptic and her husband, my son, is an actual ninja (black belt in ninjutsu with his own dojo). So appropriate. Wish you had given a direct link to the pattern though. I haven’t found it yet but I’d like to make it for them even though they are not children. It can be a scary condition even into adulthood which affects the lives of everyone who loves them. Best of luck on the initiative!

    1. Joyce Roettele says:

      My oldest granddaughter was diagnosed with epilepsy a year or so ago! She is now 26 years old and is on the meds. I suffered years ago when I was a child, so I know first hand what a delibitating disease this can be. I would love to join in honor of my granddaughter and to the many adults and children who suffer.

      Thank you

  2. Jenny says:

    This is AWESOME. My son has epilepsy and has the VNS seizure implant. I want to participate in this and am letting all my friends know who craft too so we can donate to our children’s hospital. How do we go about doing this and what are best projects to donate.
    Thank you

  3. Andrea says:

    hi! i’m just writing to tell you that my dad has epilepsy. he’s had it since being ‘diagnosed’ at age 12 after a football injury. he stopped eating all gluten products 5 years ago and has been able to manage his condition much better. i know you’re probably looking into everything and every form of treatment, and i wish you the BEST of luck and everything wonderful as you make your way. and btw, my dad is one of the COOLEST people on the planet! always cheerful and helping others! be well!!!!!!

  4. Judy says:

    Fantastic idea, I grew up in a family with Epilepsy, I understand and am aware how it effects lives.

  5. Elaine M. says:

    What a wonderful idea.

    I have a 12 yr old grand daughter with Epilepsy and she has had it since she was 2 yrs old.

    Thank you!!!

  6. Carol B. says:

    Three months ago my 33 year old son was diagnosed with epilepsy. He became a father six months ago so today is his first Father’s Day. I am so happy I came across this email this morning! What a great idea!!! I am already thinking of a pattern to send to you.

  7. Marion says:

    Best of luck for your terrific idea. My son was diagnosed with epilepsy a few years older than your son. He did out grow it and is now free of the epilepsy. My hopes and prayers are with your family and your project and I will be watching for patterns so that I can help.

  8. Diane says:

    What a wonderful effort. I have friends and co workers with epilepsy.

  9. Coed says:

    what about the people that have pets with Epilepsy,I have a 4 lb Chihuahua,we almost lost to epilepsy,so it may also be nice to do dog sweaters,etc.
    What do you think?
    Just a suggestion

  10. Sarahbear says:

    Have you thought of asking Lion Brand yarn manufacturer to donate patterns. They are free on their website.

  11. Betty Robertson says:

    What a worthy cause. Most of my creations are not on paper, but in my head. But this grandmother would like to help by donating a finished project.

  12. Jan says:

    Do you accept any project done in purple or does it have to be one of the downloaded patterns? Also, do you want a specific color purple, if so let us know the yarn manufacturer and color. I would like to make some hats and scarves with patterns I have that are easy and have been downloaded already from the site so they are not new, or original but easy, quick and cute. Where do we sent the finished projects? This is another great idea, my dad had epilepsy after a brain trauma in WWII. Good for you!

    1. Rebecca says:

      Any project done in purple that would be appropriate for kids or teens is absolutely accepted! If you have a pattern on hand already that you want to use, please feel free to do so. There’s no specific color of purple that we recommend you use – any shade from lilac to eggplant is fine.

      You can send finished items to:
      Purple Stitch Project
      9901 Brodie Ln, Ste 160 #268
      Austin, TX 78748

      Thank you for your donation Jan! If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

  13. Beth Jinkerson says:

    Vickie, I am so sorry to learn about Tristan’s epilepsy. I have a grown son who had his first seizure at age 18 months, and had massive, recurring seizures (grand mal) for several years. I feel as if I know what you are going through and would be happy to share info with you via private email if you are interested.

    I have been your fan for many years as a knitter. You and your dear family will be in my prayers. I love this idea of yours–it is so like you to want to help others. I will tell my knitting buddies about this new venture. I was a contributor to your book on Craft Corps, btw. Please let me know if you want to share info. I give permission for Craftsy to share my email address with you.

  14. Sharon Mendonca says:

    SO glad to finally see something knitting-related for Epilepsy! My DD (32) has struggled with Epilepsy since she was about 13 and we are involved with the Epilepsy Foundations of Los Angeles and Orange County.

  15. Heather Mallanda says:

    Hi, I also have had epilepsy sence the age of 13, I as well had learining issues in school, teachers always thought I was day dreaming, unfortunatly my high school teachers thought I was not college material, oh well have 2 college degrees. I applaude your efforts and will try and help. Thank you!

  16. Ashley says:

    What a wonderful idea! My sister had her first seizure when she was 4 (I was 5 at the time). I know how difficult epilepsy can be on a child, their parents and their siblings. We’re in our late 20′s now but at the time there wasn’t much support or information on epilepsy leaving my parents scared and to do a lot of research on their own. Being giving an item from your project will be a symbol of hope and support for the family – it will show them that there are others out there who are going though the same thing. I wish the best for your son and your family.

  17. Mary says:

    I’m on it and will alert my crafty friends!

  18. Mary Jo Hood says:

    How convenient! Purple is totally my favorite color and has been, since I was a little girl!!! Love it and love your initiative! MJ

  19. Deloees Hayes says:

    What a wonderful idea!!!! I would love to help. I also live in Texas, near Marble Falls. I’m going to get started on this today!

  20. Victoria says:

    This is a truly cool idea. I will start a purple scarr this afternoon – actually had already put the yarns together but didn’t know who it would be for. My knitting projects are still pretty simple, but I like this option of being able to contribute to kids with the challenge of epilepsy. And I’m even in Austin!

  21. Charlene says:

    I love this idea. My brother was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was young. Through lots of prayers and finding a doctor that could treat him, he has not had an episode since he was in his teens. He is now 61 years old and has been a teacher for almost 40 years. I will definitely be looking at what I can do to support you.

  22. Darla J Cheatwood says:

    Thanks so much for this project, My sister has a seizure disorder and nephew started having seizures at 7. I’ve been through the gammet of meds and treatments So grateful for the awareness campaign. Keep up the great work.

  23. Peg Patricia says:

    I would Love to help! Just tell me how where and when!! I worked for JOANN fabrics for years so I have plenty of patterns and fabric and craft materials. I make blankets, hats, crochet items, and knit. Tell me where to send them and I”ll get started ridht away. What a wonderful idea this is. I do hope your son gets better every day and he will be in my prayers. Please give me a address to send items to. Thank you for the opportunity to help.

    1. Rebecca says:

      Hi Peg! Thank you for your willingness to donate!

      You can send finished items to:
      Purple Stitch Project
      9901 Brodie Ln, Ste 160 #268
      Austin, TX 78748

  24. Joey McKee says:

    The more we can help those who have Epilepsy and other terrible seizures cope with the “aftermath” of having seizures, the better it makes that person feel. And it makes me feel good too helping them in my small way.
    But lets not forget the children who grow into Adults with Epilepsy. They need the same support as our younger children.

  25. Cathie says:

    My dad has elipepsy! I am going to ask the foundation in la to post this on their Facebook page. Great idea!

  26. Jen M. says:

    What a great idea! I, too, had a son diagnosed at the age of 6 with childhood epilepsy. He did outgrow the disorder, however, and leads a seizure-free life thus far. My brother also had childhood epilepsy, my grandmother had epilepsy until the day of her passing, and my ex-husband has epilepsy. So, as you can see, this is a topic near and dear to my heart as well. I will post a link to this site on my web site (I just got it started, so it is not very complete yet, but I am slowly working on my web site). Hopefully, I can do my part in getting the word out!

  27. Jackie says:

    Love from our home to your home! Learning to live with epilepsy is a challenge I know you can meet with love and hard work…we did! Hang tough, guys, and you can get to better, seizur- free days. Keep trying those combos and you will find the one that finally works!!!! Contact me if you need a parent friend. I’m here and have see in all, been through it all…every combo, every test, everything. Our daughter is now 23 and travelling the world…who would have ever thought that would have been possible all those seizure filled years ago?????!!!!! YOU WILL MAKE IT THROUGH!!!!!!!! I’m so happy you are working on this initiative…positive is key and you are doing it!

    1. Jackie says:

      BTW…..give me a list of what to make, how much and where to send and I’ll get my needles flying, and so will my daughter. We would be happy to brighten the day of any child just beginning to experience the challenges of epilepsy. Wow. Nothing is harder! I’d be happy to make kits to send to people (yarn, patters, addresses as well as epilepsy fact sheets) to help them get started, and aware!

  28. Judy Brummet says:

    No patterns but am willing to knit or crochet.

  29. My ten year old son was diagnosed in March. I feel your pain with every bone in my body. What an amazing way to contribute!!! You should be very proud.

  30. Stacey says:

    What a wonderful idea. Since purple is a staple color for our home I’ll see what we can come up with.

  31. Martha says:

    Hang in there, our son was diagnosed at 16 years of age with epilepsy. You are so right about the emotial roller coaster of finding and adjusting to the correct medication. Our son is doing really well now 12 years later. In fact he has had a pretty full life with finishing high school, college and now marriage and a baby on they way. In fact he and his wife are leaving the country soon to live as missionaries in a “third world” country. So I am sure your son has a bright future too! -M

  32. Charlene Horn says:

    When I was 11 years old, I was diagnosed with epilepsy. So I know what your son is going thru. However, after going thru different meds as you have experienced, my seizures were finally controlled. But this did not stop me from doing what I wanted to do. I was very active in all the clubs and sports in school (junior and senior high school). I even drive which some people with epilepsy cannot do. I have not had a seizure since 1987. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  33. Carole says:

    My son was diagnosed with Epilepsy at 7 years of age. He “outgrew it” at 12. Although now 18 years since, we both recall the terror of it. Aside from the personal hardship/heartache of seizures, we battled great prejudice in school (he was shaken and chastised for disrupting class) and public in general. Mothers ignorantly (and hurtfully) kept their children away for fear of contagion. This should not have been so. Epileptic episodes should be regarded with compassion and intelligence no matter where they occur. I, of course, am fully supportive of any positive attention toward Juvenile Epilepsy.
    This is a fantastic project. After my “surprise!” puppies are adopted, they nab the neighborhood burglar (hopefully both soon!) and June 18-22 VBS is concluded, I will get busy crocheting/submitting patterns. Until then, Vickie, please know that I am keeping Tristan and you in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you both, and all the families out there who are going through this.
    Power to the (precious) Purple Ninja! Hi-Yah Seizures indeed!

  34. wamama says:

    just a thought
    here in Western Australia we give small pocketable hearts (tiny to half a palm size and softly fibre filled), they can be given to any age group and kept in your room, bag, pocket etc etc and when you feel alone, different etc etc you can feel it or look at it and remember we are all ( your family and friends) thinking about you and what you are going through.
    purple hearts in soft fur, velvet, velour, towelling, satins etc mke lovely gfts on their own or to accompany a gift from someone else – they are personal and no 2 are the same –
    my sister has been epileptic ( with ther major complications) since birth.

  35. cora jo says:

    Vickie, have put you and Tristan on our prayer list. Will think really hard about a pattern. What a great idea!

  36. karmen says:

    I pray for healing and strength for your family. I enjoy your enthusiasm for all things crafty.

  37. sherry frenzel says:

    Great idea Vickie! I wish you and your son all the best as you learn to manage epilepsy. I learned to knit by watching your show years ago and I want to thank you for teaching me! Good luck with this project and I look forward to working some of the patterns and making donations to help kids with epilepsy. Knit On!

  38. Jeanie H Gaskin says:

    Stacey, I think this is a great idea. At 10 yrs of age I was diagnosed w/ Epilepsy and today at 48 continue taking medication. I went 12 long wonderful yrs without a seizure and a couple of yrs ago I had one. That was okay we will start all over again and fight this demon. Tell him to stand tall and be brave and I support him 100%. There is so much information for children out there now, than when I was a child. If I can be of any help, please let me know. Jeanie

  39. notdeadredhead says:

    Grew-up with one of my best friends being epileptic. That, and the fact that my husband and I just moved to Austin… Guess what I’ll be working on! :^D Just let me know where to drop stuff off, and hopefully we can get the ball rolling! :^)

    1. Rebecca says:

      You can send finished items to:
      Purple Stitch Project
      9901 Brodie Ln, Ste 160 #268
      Austin, TX 78748

      Thank you for your donation! It is very much appreciated!

  40. Lindsey says:

    I was reading the Craftsy Newsletter which led me to this thread. It caught my attention because my niece was diagnosed with epilepsy last fall. I would like to do something, but I don’t know what. Is there a website or a link I could send to my sister-in-law? She was trying to reach out to those she knew asking if anyone had information or experience with epilepsy.

    1. Rebecca says:

      Hi Lindsey,

      You can go to http://purplestitchproject.org/ for more information on the Purple Stitch Project.

  41. Thank you so much, everyone. Your comments are all wonderful! Sorry it’s taken me so long to read them. I truly appreciate hearing your stories, and gaining your support.

    Much love,

  42. Mary-Beth Cyr says:

    Hi I’m a high schooler and I was wondering If I could donate a blanket that I crocheted. It is purple. I believe that it will turn out to be big enough for a teenager, but I am not really sure. I am crocheting this quilt for my honors senior project at my school and I heard from a friend that this is a great cause. She told me I just had to make whatever I did purple. I should be finished with the blanket in March or April, but will not be able to send it until May because I have to present my finished product in May. The blanket is made out of granny squares and then I plan on connecting them and adding a border around it all. Also, I was wondering if I had to do it all purple or could I use other colors to connect and border the blanket with. I need to know as soon as possible if I can send you the blanket and if other colors are ok to use along with which other colors I am able to use. Thank you for all your help and I am praying for your son.

    1. Katie says:

      Hi Mary!

      You can absolutely donate a blanket you crocheted! It sounds like an awesome project, and something a teen would love to have! It doesn’t have to be all purple as long as there is some purple in it.

      Thanks so much for your support of the Purple Stitch Project, and I hope you get an “A” on your senior project!

      Keep it Craftsy,
      Craftsy Outreach Marketing Manager