Knit for a Unique Fit Facebook Group Makes Custom Gloves for Those With Apert Syndrome

The members of the Knit for a Unique Fit Facebook Group Rivals one-size-fits-all gloves and hats.

Twenty-two-year-old Kieran Roehl’s gloves and matching hat aren’t just special because of their red and gold colors that represent his Hogwarts house, Gryffindor. They were custom made to fit his hands, which have smaller digits due to Apert Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes physical differences in the limbs, face and skull. Kieran has undergone 56 surgeries and procedures.

Roehl’s mom, Sherry Kraus of Shelby Township, sees the gloves as “one less burden.”

“It makes me teary even thinking about it,” Kraus says. “There are so many little things when you have a child with a disability that other people don’t think about. For us, the little things are the big things.”

Before the gloves arrived, it was a trade-off between mittens, which offered warmth but minimal dexterity, and store-bought gloves, which wouldn’t fit.

The gloves are courtesy of a tight-knit, 1,500-member-strong Facebook group called “Knit for a Unique Fit” started by Illinois resident Rena Rosen.

The group stitches knitters with people requesting custom-made gloves, socks and hats for those with limb differences. A common phrase needled into the group’s discussion is “One size does not fit all,” which Kraus says is a simple but powerful message.

“There’s a lot of talk about body image and body positivity as far as sizes, but I don’t think people think so much about ableism,” she says. “Just because somebody is (physically) different doesn’t necessarily mean they’re different on the inside. They’re just a person.”

After braving more than 20 years of harsh Michigan winters with ill-fitting gloves and mittens, Roehl now doesn’t have to accommodate. Kraus says her son truly represents the Gryffindor characteristic of determination: “He can do pretty much anything.”

How it works

In order to get a pair of gloves, the first step is to join the “Fit for a Unique Fit” Facebook group and post a request along with the measurements, a tracing and a photo of the individual’s limbs.

After that, you’ll connect with a knitter to coordinate colors, designs and fabric as well as payment details.

Parents of kids with disabilities can find more advice and support on the special needs page at MetroParent.com.


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