Thursday, August 27, 2009

Knitting for Peace

I have wanted to read the book "Knitting for Peace" by local author Betty Christiansen for a long time and finally picked it up from the library this week. I knew instantly that it needed to have a permanent place on my own library shelf. The patterns are wonderful--easy, keeper patterns--and the stories of knitting for those in need are heartwarming (tear-jerking, even).

I've knit for charity a few times (namely, Caps to the Capital) and always want to do more but have so many excuses: time, knitting for my own kids, time, etc. I finally came up against a brick wall in my head on this issue the other day while reading this book in the car with sleeping kids behind me. My kids have so many knitted things. My kids are warm. My kids do not want for much (other than new toy trains, but I don't knit those).

Other kids are not so lucky.

Like the kids in the orphanages in Eastern Europe and Russia who live in spaces as cold as 45 degrees Fahrenheit (that's inside the building, when they're supposed to be warm and playing and happy). This one really got me. I have good wool yarn to knit at least six sweaters each for my two kids and am just spacing out the knitting so they won't have Mom's handknits piling up on them. Why do my kids need so many sweaters when there are kids with no sweaters? (Here and abroad, of course. I wouldn't have to look very far from my wintery hometown to find chilly kids.)

So, the new course of knitting* for me will be one for mine, one for them. "One for mine" can mean anything I want it to mean and "one for them" will mean something for charity. Ruth has been doing this for so long and I've always been inspired by her efforts. I also see others all over the blogosphere and here at home engaging in this all the time. I'm a little embarassed that it's taken me this long to catch on...

I'm excited to knit for Caps to the Capital again, a sweater or two for the Russian orphanages, finally getting around to making a comfort shawl for the ministry in my own church, and many other wonderful programs.

This is what stash is for, right? Peace out, Knitters.

*After the wedding shawl is completed, of course.


TinkingBell said...

I need to do this too - I spent lots of last winter knitting for children in Mongolia, but almost none this winter. So I'll try and adopt your one for me one for charity mantra!
Thanks for the spiced peaches recipes - I can hardly wait for summer to do this - I have just finished the last of the bottled (same as canning) quinces from 2008 - this makes me sad!

DAD said...

Hows about a knitted sweater for Dad.....I've only gotten a hat so far. One for One!

Gin said...

I would definitely be up for knitting for kids who need it, anytime!!! I am just a wee bit slower with the needles than you, so keep me posted on who and what you are donating and hopefully I can join you!

Ruth's Place said...

I was just thinking yesterday that it had been a while since I cast on for a charity knit. Thanks for the reminder :)

a day in the life of a davis said...

Love this post. I just read this book from the library and plan to get it for my bookshelf, soon. I love your new knitting mantra! One request can I get a LOVE Friday?