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Old 09-09-2006, 11:43 AM   #1
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Charity Knitting
I hate calling it that b/c it sounds like something some grand dame in a Dickens novel would do between brunch and high tea and bestow on the rabble at Christmastime.

But I've noticed a lot of thingys on posts and I'm particularly interested in the Caps to the Capital and the Red Scarf project. But the real question is:

1. How do you decide which ones to do? There are so many from burial clothes for preemies to socks for the forces in the Middle East. (I want to do them all being a Bleeding Heart Liberal.)

2. Where to you find the time? The two that have interested me are short term quickie stuff. Do you get into more involved projects? A scarf or two or a couple of baby hats seem so insignificant and sort of "Here, I whipped this up out of yarn from my stash and a couple of hours of spare time."

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Old 09-09-2006, 11:58 AM   #2
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For me it is all about what means the most. I try to pick projects that affect me, or people I know. That is what keeps me motivated. I posted before about how much joy it brought my grandfather to receive an small afghan at the veterans hospital. That is how I decided to spend my charity knitting time on similar projects.

Truthfully, I work on the "lapghans" when I am out of yarn for other projects, or need a break from one that I am doing, etc.
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Old 09-09-2006, 02:02 PM   #3
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Like Carmen says, I think what each person picks will depend on background and other choices. I don't think any one cause is necessarily any more worthy than another.

For myself, I knit burial gowns for babies. I help my daughter run a web site for those who want to do the same and would like to blog/visit together while doing so. Sort of a knit-along, but it's not limited to knitting.

Like you, I'm pulled in different directions and sometimes knit for other charities too. The preemie project, Warming Grace, and others that come along.

The burial gowns pull me most strongly because I feel it's an area many people don't want to think about or would prefer to ignore. (Not talking knitters here, but society in general). I guess I feel like the number of people willing to do this is more limited than some other areas.

Most parents aren't in any shape to go shopping for clothes to bury a baby and finding ones that fit preemies is very difficult. Plus, shopping in the baby section is excruciating for those who have lost a child. When a nurse brings their child to them dressed in a hand made outfit, it's my hope that just knowing someone cared enough to do that brings them a tiny bit of comfort.

Warning... very personal opinions below... feel free to skip.

It's amazing how often when people ask me what I'm knitting and discover what it is that I'm asked.. "but don't you find that morbid? How can you stand to work on something so sad?"

I tell them that I find it much sadder that families are left to grieve alone when a little kindness can make such a difference in their lives. The number of grieving parents who have told me that they have no one who they can talk to and how often their friends pull away is really heartbreaking.

The US hides from death in general. But people especially don't like to believe that babies die and that means parents are often left isolated and alone. They discover that few friends, if any, are able to listen to them talk about their child. It's a subject that is "off limits" It's ok to talk about our memories of grandma or grandpa, but not a child who died.

I think it's very difficult to value life and teach our children to value life until we stop hiding death. Death isn't real so why should teens worry about what happens when they drink and drive, deal with gangs, pull stupid deadly pranks, etc.

I find time whenever and wherever... I can fit yarn for a hat in my pocket while I flip pancakes. Knit while my husband pumps gas.

I don't think it matters if someone has time to knit a single little hat, 10 helmet liners, or 50 caps... each one counts and together they all add up. When I don't have time or I'm involved in something else that's fine. If we each just do what we can, then it all adds up!

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Old 09-09-2006, 03:00 PM   #4
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Well, the one that really got me was the Mother Bear Project. It just made me feel good to know that I could make something (fairly easily) that might give some happiness or comfort to a child who has gone through so much suffering.

And I agree with Mama Bear. I don't think think one blanket or one bear or even one cap is insignificant. At least it won't be to the person who gets it.
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:55 AM   #5
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Good question because there are SO many charities. How to choose? Like Mama Bear said, no one cause is more worthy than the others. For me, babies are a soft spot. But I also had a lot of wool in my stash that I couldn't use, so that will be hats, vests, etc. for Afghans. Go for whatever moves you; I would at least like to contribute to several, eventually.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mama Bear
It's amazing how often when people ask me what I'm knitting and discover what it is that I'm asked.. "but don't you find that morbid? How can you stand to work on something so sad?"
I get that all the time when I crochet little onesies.

I don't feel morbid about it, but a sense of joy. Just knowing that someone out there will recieve something that was made with love, it makes me feel good inside.
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:35 AM   #7
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I was thinking of doing a blanket for the Salvation Army's blanket thing, if I start now I have about 9 months to finish, I might just get it done in time

working on
scarf [done]
booties [done]
baby sweater [stitching up]
pompom papoose [knitting]
bed socks [done]
scarf [sewing in ends]
pixie hat [done]
scarf [knitting]
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Old 11-08-2006, 03:45 PM   #8
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Here's my scarf for the Red Scarf Project!
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Old 11-08-2006, 04:43 PM   #9
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I have gone with "local." My workplace organizes sending holiday gift baskets to families in need or retirement homes where the residents don't have families nearby. The retirement center baskets include socks, scarves, hats, or blankets. One benefit to helping locally is that you get to meet the people you're helping, if you want a more personal connection.

And agreed with the other people who've posted here already--that one small project won't be insignificant if it helps one person.

All of these charities are doing such wonderful things for can't go wrong by knitting for any of them!
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