Making the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time
Photographs by Kiriko Shirobayashi
Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2006
for: Adults (Well, it could be for kids and young adults, too, but it's written primarily for adults.)
What an interesting book! I've actually let my fiction reading go for a couple of days so that I could read this NON-FICTION from cover to cover. Me....non-fiction! A miracle. But I've been knitting and knitting and knitting lately, and this book really called out to me.
What a wonderful book. It tells of all sorts of organizations, big and small, that knit (or crochet) for charity. Helping make the world a better place. One person CAN make a difference. Yup. There are background stories behind all the projects, how they got started, how one person was affected by another and created a mission that grew. It includes simple patterns, website information, photos, and interesting stories. I enjoyed this book immensely.
I wondered if in the four years since this was published if any of the organizations have gone belly-up. I did an internet search and found all of them seem to be still flourishing - at least the ones I looked at. I also found these:
The Daily Knitter is a website that gives a huge list of charities to knit for. (It even features a list of yarn shops all over the country - something I look for before some of my travels!)
Charities of interest to me:
The Mother Bear Project, knitting bears for children in South Africa, touched me. Many of these kids are homeless or suffer from HIV/AIDS themselves or in their families. For some, this bear is the only toy they own. All kids should have toys! And all it takes is a little leftover yarn...
The Snuggles Project provides cats and dogs in shelters with small blankets to sleep on when they're family-less and sleeping on a concrete floor in a cage. You can use all sorts of leftover yarn and do the simplest pattern - and even sport a mistake or two - and these recipients won't care! For some reason, this charity really appeals to me - and I wouldn't even call myself an animal lover. Okay, okay, I do like cats a lot.....
afghans for Afghans, run by the American Friends Service in San Francisco, sends WOOL hats, mittens, socks, sweaters, and afghans to poor kids in Afghanistan. The suffering the people, especially the women and girls, of that country have had to endure. The website includes a great deal of information about Afghanistan, as well as patterns and ideas.
Peace Fleece, a farm in Maine, gets wool from Russia and blends it with American wool to sell at a very reasonable price to American consumers. They also have started a wool blending/sharing program between Israel and Palestine! Their colors are terrific, and patterns are easy and great -looking. They even sell handmade Russian knitting needles! What a great concept.
Then I found HAP (The Handmade Afghans Project). This group collect hand knit or crocheted 6" x 9" squares that are then sewn together into a twin-size afghans. These are sent to wounded US military personal in several Army and Air Force medical centers around the country. Each afghan contains 49 different squares, knit or crocheted by 49 different people . It's a wonderful idea, and another great way to use leftover yarn and make a small project for charity. However, they may not be accepting any rectangles right now, I've emailed them asking. (Note: I got a lovely reply...they have 1800 knitters and cannot deal with a larger amount. Maybe it's time to start a HAP work arena on the west coast?)