Friday, September 21, 2007
Knit for Kids
Just in case anyone reading this happens to be a knitter (or would like to be), I want to tell you a little about Knit for Kids. This program, which supplies hand knit sweaters to children all over the U.S. and the world, is in its tenth year. Volunteer knitters send sweaters to the home office in Carmel, New York, where the sweaters are sorted and packed up to be sent wherever they are most needed. Sometimes they might be sent to an orphanage in Europe, or to American children who have a parent who is in prison. Sweaters have recently gone to southern Iraq, Liberia, and Madagascar. The website has a distribution map showing where sweaters have been sent. Over the past ten years, Knit for Kids has sent out over 400,000 sweaters. According to their website: "2006 smashed all previous records – 74,983 sweaters were received, an amazing 11,729 in December alone."
You don't have to be a fancy knitter. Knitting beginners can use the basic and very simple knitting patterns that are supplied on the website, and very clear instructions are given for finishing the sweaters. You don't need to use expensive yarns--these sweaters are to keep kids warm and need to be washable and pretty sturdy.
Just in case you think you don't have time to work on a project like this, consider this. There are times every day when you might have a minute or two--riding on a train, sitting in a meeting, even working out on your exercise bike! I found out about the program a year and a half ago while chatting with a friend during a Town Meeting break, and since that time I have knit 23 sweaters--some of them are shown here. I knit while watching the Red Sox, while listening to books on tape, while riding in the car. I've found all sorts moments when my hands would otherwise be idle.
Please check out the Knit for Kids website at http://www.knitforkids.com/. You can read stories about volunteer knitters, download a pattern, and see some great pictures of kids wearing their new sweaters. Thank you.