Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chicks Who Stitch for Charity

I've had the good fortune in the past few weeks to chat with some Incredible Chicks that stitch for charity. They don't do it for glory or recognition. Rather, it's the chance to share a little piece of themselves to bring joy and comfort into the lives of people they'll never meet.
  • My cousin Margaret crochets chemo caps for adults, preemie caps for the tiniest babies and shoulder throws for elderly nursing home and long-term care patients. She happily whips together colorful caps and throws from her stash, thankful for her own return to good health.
  • Alice Ann knits sweaters, afghans and lap robes for the volunteer center at St. Joseph's hospital in Syracuse, NY. She meets with the Center staff to find out what’s needed most and then goes into high production. Sweaters are her number one request—mainly for newborns and people down on their luck. When I asked her about the work involved in making baby sweaters, she modestly said, “Well it doesn’t take too long to make an infant sweater sleeve.”
  • Beth Caulfield of Sheep Thrills Yarn Company in North Syracuse, NY recently started a Community Knitting Project for her customers and the community, inviting knitters to make scarves for area homeless shelters. Customers contribute yarn scraps which are available for free for all to use. Beth offers new yarn at a discount and a $5 pattern which is redeemable for a $5 coupon for the store when you turn in your completed scarf. Many customers donate the $5 back as Beth gives these proceeds to the shelters too. As of last week, the customers have made over 70 scarves!
So why do we do spend our time stitching and knitting for people we’ll never meet? Because it’s about creation and connection. We Chicks Who Have The Knack for creating handcrafts do it because we love the act of creation. Here’s one of my favorite quotes that sums it up the best from a fellow knitter, designer and author Annie Modesitt.

“We don’t knit to make things. There are cheaper, faster and easier ways to obtain a sweater than to knit it. We knit to make ourselves happy. We are in charge of getting the most joy out of our yarn and stitches.”
The connection and joy parts come from knowing that someone will appreciate the gift of love woven into each stitch. To Annie’s quote I add this thought.

Giving hand-stitched pieces is sharing what you love with someone who needs a little love themselves— scarves are hugs you get each time you wrap them around you. Afghans and crocheted caps are the comfort of knowing someone thinks you deserve to be covered with beauty and warmth.

Cheers to all you generous Chicks Who Stitch for others! Please share your comments about other Chicks Who Stitch for Charity and information on how more Chicks can contribute.