Are you a member of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) ? I’ve been knitting for over forty years and just joined last year. I can see some of you rolling your eyes right now at the thought of joining a knitter’s group. I don’t actually go to meetings, but could join a guild in my area if I wanted to.
I joined the TKGA for the same reason you join any group or club. To hang out (mostly in cyberspace) with people who do the same things I do. Knit. Why does anyone knit?
If you are reading this, you are probably a knitter. If you aren’t, you may be picturing a little white haired grandma sitting in a rocking chair knitting up something that no one would wear that was born after 1942. Or maybe your info from knitting has come from television and movies where most of the characters are not really knitting. They just poke at the yarn and pretend. (Directors, take a note, you should use a stunt double that knows how to knit if the actor can’t). One of my favorite TV yarn experiences was on The Electric Company when my kids were little. There was a catchy little song about making a scarf with “yards and yards of yellow yarn”! That dumb song runs through me head every time I think about it. You can listen to it here: http://www.last.fm/music/The+Electric+Company/_/Yards+and+Yards+of+Yellow+Yarn
Knitting is so much more. Patterns have become works of art. Creating a lace scarf or shawl takes patience and skill. Sweaters, socks, scarves – if it is made from fiber, it can be knitted.
The thing I like best is the calming affect knitting has on me. The rhythm of knitting soothes my soul and helps me unwind after a workday. It stitches my life back together after heartaches and losses.
I like to knit for others. Mostly family and some charity knitting. This month’s copy of the TKGA newsletter had several cool ideas if you are between projects to make things for others.
The first was a project called Precious Pals. You buy a teddy bear or other stuffed animal and knit a cute sweater for them. The pattern uses a small amount of yard and can be a pull over or cardigan. Then you donate them to the Precious Pals project which provides “immediate comfort to children in crisis” and are distributed by law enforcement agencies and other first responders in the United States.
You can donate at a TKGA conference, or mail it to:
The Knitting Guild Association
1100-H Brandywine Blvd
Janesville, OH 43701-7303
Another bit of charity work is perfect for this month. There are 5k races all over to raise money for charity. But how many times do you hear of a charity that raises money by the amount of time you spend knitting. Knit For The Cure is a fundraiser to support breast cancer research. It doesn’t matter what you knit, but you could knit chemo hats or something pink or whatever you are working on.
If you would like to participate, go to the website http://www.info-komen.org/ and click on “Give to a Team”. Then type in “Knit for The Cure” and decide how much you would like to donate. It can be as little or as much as you want. Then you pay yourself to knit, crochet, quilt or any other craft you enjoy by the hours that you work on your project. Maybe your friends would like to sponsor you to add to your donation.
Almost everyone knows someone that currently has or has had breast cancer.
There are many more charities that need knitted items. If you have the resources and time, knit a bit for charity. You don’t have to be a member of TKGA to find charities to knit for, but it helps 🙂
It only takes an hour or so to knit a chemo hat and maybe a weekend to knit a teddy bear sweater. Those hours could be spent doing just about anything, but making something for someone you don’t know and will never meet is not something everyone does. http://www.headhuggers.org/patterns/patterns.htm here are some patterns for various skill levels.
Whatever you donate may make someone young or old feel better or at least comforted at one of the worst moments of their life.
It is ok if you don’t really understand or care about knitting, be passionate for whatever you do that makes you happy. Do something that makes a difference in someone’s life even if you don’t know them now or will never know them. If knitting makes you happy, it is a win/win situation.