Annie Spiak: Hats & Hearts

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    People in need will be a bit warmer this winter because of Tigard resident, Annie Spiak. For the past few years, she has been crocheting hats to give to various charities. This year, she’s crocheted her biggest batch of hats yet!

    Annie and Andrew Spiak

    Andrew Spiak, Annie’s husband, is so incredibly proud of his wife- he beams with pride as he shows off her handy work. The pair have been married nine years and met at Cascade Zydeco in Portland, where they enjoy Cajun dancing. They’ve lived in Tigard for four years. The couple are so kind in fact that squirrels greet them at their back door and even eat right out of their hands. Annie also has an affinity for frogs and collects many statues and figures in which Andrew says there is four hundred! This couple is as colorful as the hats Annie makes.

    Annie has Multiple Sclerosis, and uses crocheting as a form of physical therapy. MS affects millions of people and is twice as common in women as it is in men. Crocheting comes as a highly recommended activity for MS patients as it helps not only with dexterity and is used in pain management programs, but can ease anxiety and offer a pleasant distraction. While this helps Annie physically, she finds joy in her creations and that she is giving them to others in need. Each hat takes between one and three hours to create depending on the size of the yarn; the thicker yarn taking less time. To Annie, it’s time well spent.

    Annie’s colorful kaleidoscope of crocheting this year yielded a staggering one thousand fifty-five hats. These beauties will find their way to charities all over Portland including the Union Gospel Mission, Doernbecker and the VA. Annie’s hats will be warming the cold this winter, but they’ll also be warming our hearts.

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