Tuesday, September 20, 2011

You Can Never Have Too Much Knitting for Good

The other knitting group I am involved with also knits for charity, as well as for fun. They are affiliated with a Dorcas group that knits hats, scarves, sweaters and other warm things for low income people in the Diocese of Caledonia in Northern British Columbia. One nice aspect of the group is that it doesn't feel arouse feelings of fibre lust or pattern envy. When knitting for others, with yarn that has been donated, personal style and expression is mostly taken out of the equation. There is instead an atmosphere of sharing and generousity.

I find it interesting, although hardly surprising, that both knitting groups are made up of middle-aged and older women. They say they like to keep their hands busy while watching TV or waiting in the doctor's office. This is one of the reasons I have for knitting too, and I see it as a practise that is more process than product oriented. While I welcome the abundance of beautiful yarns and exciting patterns available these days, I am also glad to see that there is still lots of knitting going on that may not be glamorous or cutting edge, but simply comes from the heart.

Our next group project is the classic Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket. Above image is from the Schoolhouse Press site.

A couple of great books about charitable knitting are Betsy Greer's Knitting for Good and Betty Christiansen's Knitting for Peace. Both books have patterns and stories to inspire you.

For more on knitting groups, here is Sherri Lynn Wood's lovely post about the group in her neighbourhood.

4 comments:

  1. I find it always interesting how much charity knitting is going on in other countries.

    Here in Germany we have very few and often it is a problem to find someone who takes the knitted items. :-/

    (If you don't earn money yourself you get income from the state. And even though those who get it complain that it is not enough, many refuse to take things for a new baby for example. They will demand money to buy something.)

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  2. I was surprised to see a number of comments on another blog about knitting that were quite down on charitable knitting. The comments ranged from "Knitting for charity is just a vanity thing" to a lot of complaints about how ugly/unsuitable donated items often are. I guess that a bit of research before embarking on a charitable project is a good idea.

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  3. Knitting for good is wonderful. I'm not a very good knitter being born in a hot country, but I'm glad to say that I organized a knitting group knitting for Africa a few years ago.
    The yellow jersey is adorable - Hugs Nat

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  4. knitting for good is such an easy way for those of us who are blessed to give back. Can't understand people who always have to find fault? I knit a Zimmerman sweater for my 1st grand-d, when it got a bit small I added length to the sleeves and around the bottom - that's a little tricky but it's an interesting pattern.

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