Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Good News Tuesday: Knitting as an Act of Love

Ready to ship 2008

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may recall that I knit children's sweaters for Knit for Kids. As a matter of fact, I just finished sweater number 64, a fact that absolutely amazes me. I honestly never imagined that I would be able to do something so simple that could, in its small way, make the world a better place. I like to picture 64 little kids from all over the world, standing together in a great big group and giggling and fidgeting like kids do. In my mind's eye, they are wearing my sweaters and knowing that somewhere on the other side of the world is an American woman who has made a gift of love to them. I may not be able to impact our foreign policy very much, but I am doing what I can to send out good feelings to my fellow human beings, one child at a time.

One stitch at a time.

I just checked back through my records and see that I began with my first sweater in March of 2006. In just under three and a half years I have produced piles and piles of sweaters that have been mailed away for distribution, and I did it all in spare moments here and there--while sitting in community meetings, while watching a movie on TV, and while riding in a car.

Ready to ship November 2007

But this isn't about me, it's about you and how wonderful you will feel when you donate a bit of time to make everyone feel a little better.

For those of you who are beginning knitters and feel a little overwhelmed about knitting a sweater, I can assure you that the pattern is quite a simple one that is especially geared toward beginners.

Still not ready to take on a whole sweater? I just recently found out about Knit a Square, a project that provides blankets for "abandoned children, AIDS orphans and child-headed families in southern Africa, who live in dire poverty." All you do is to knit an 8" x 8" square out of wool or synthetic yarn. The goal for 2009 is 5,000 blankets: "That is an average of 25 squares per blanket, so to achieve 5,000 blankets we need 125,000 squares! As your squares arrive, they are collected, sorted and bundled into blanket packs by the ladies of Soweto Comfort Club." Those same ladies sew the squares into blankets, so all you do is make the square and pass the word on to others to make squares, too.

If you are worried about the expense of buying yarn, just ask you friends or local community group (church, PTA, etc.) for any leftovers they may have, or check on your local Freecycle, a grassroots network that is devoted to reducing waste and reusing and recycling good stuff. You'll soon find that you have your very own yarn stash, waiting for you to begin with that very first stitch.


Owlfarmer said...

What a terrific idea! And what a lovely pile, as well. As I read the post I wondered how long it would take me to get my knitting chops up enough to be able to start doing this, and then I got to the "knit a square" bit--much more up my alley. Thanks for providing the information and the links. This will make "watching" Beloved Spouse's Tennis Channel stuff much more worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

The sweaters are so pretty with their bright colors stacked up.
That is such a nice idea.

I don't knit, but I am going to pass on the info to some relatives who do.
Have a great day.

becky said...

Wow, Clair. So I was looking at your latest post & I was thinking what a cool thing. Because not only are you keeping kids warm, I'd think that they'd absorb some of that love from something hand made vs mass produced by a machine. ( my mom used to make clothes for me as a kid). then i scroll thru & here's your post ..."an act of love." so true. kudos to you, Clair... making the world better one sweater at a time.