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Wednesday, 1 March 2006
Knitting For Peace
Topic: charity knitting
I got an e-mail from Randy in Sweden that struck a chord. I don't normally jump on bandwagons, as mine is rolling too fast already, but I like what is going on here.

On March 21, Randy spends all day knitting...for peace. Contemplating the world and all its problems, but also how connected we all are, there is hope that through our common ground we'll find a way past the anger and dividedness.

I've posted Randy's letter here. I invite everyone who might be interested to come and knit with me in town on that day. We'll hang out at The Spotty Dog in Hudson. If you need yarn or needles or ideas on what to knit, give a holler and I'll help you get organized.

March 21, 2006
Knitting is a peaceful activity. Sheep are archetypically placid. When they cross a road that you are driving down, there is nothing to do but wait. It never crosses your mind to honk the horn or try to drive around—where I live the sheep graze in fields so rocky that you’d pierce your muffler if you tried—you just turn off your engine and admire the ungainly woolly lumps brushing past your front bumper. Knitting starts with the sheep.
I like natural yarns that are full of lanolin. That way I can feel the life of this animal that needn’t give its life to yield up this wonderful product that I use to knit. I fondle the yarn and start to rack my brains and my library for inspiration. My knitted things have no borders. I use a Swedish wool to knit mittens using a twisted Eastern stitch. The mittens turn out not to be warm enough, so I knit mitten liners out of Chilean alpaca. The hat on my head is of Japanese yarn, knitted from a Norwegian pattern. I knit my hat in the round from the top down, and once I passed the awkward double point stage and worked onto a circular needle, I slipped into the meditative state that arises when I knit stocking stitch in the round. My mind wanders, first to my work day then, eventually, to the private part of my day, my family, my friends, the wild thyme that the sheep graze on in the rocky fields up the road. I become part of a world bigger than that enclosed by the ends of the sofa where I sit knitting. My mind wanders through the world that has led to the knitting in my hands and because I am knitting, engaged in this quiet, peaceful activity that starts with the placid sheep, my mind wanders through a peaceful world.
Knitters radiate peace. When I see a stranger moving a pre-natal sock around and around a ring of double points, he is engaged in creating warmth for someone he cares about, an expression of peace. When I see a friend with a lap full of grey alpaca, lovingly being worked in moss stitch for her new baby, her quiet handiwork sings peace.
I would like to channel this peacefulness. On March 21, every stitch that I knit will be dedicated to peace. I would like to invite everyone who knits to join me on that day. Will it stop people from hurting and threatening and frightening each other, the antithesis of peace? Who knows. When I knit on March 21, I will be saying with each stitch that peace is possible, that human intelligence and compassion can triumph over fear and greed, that terror and war can give way to discussion and peace.
Knit for peace.
* * *
Randy Sklaver
Visby, Sweden"

Posted by countrywool at 7:21 AM EST
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Thursday, 8 September 2005
Warm Woolies Patterns
Topic: charity knitting

Needles ready?

I've listed ALL the details for two headbands to get some of you started knitting.

Besides spending today writing the patterns up for the web, I've contacted three newspapers, my charity knitting group, and everyone on my COUNTRYWOOL NEWSLETTER list.

And we're off...

Posted by countrywool at 2:58 PM EDT
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Syracuse, NY!
Topic: charity knitting

In this very fluid situation, our Southern Pilgrims will arrive in many different spots. The Cape Cod plan has been put on hold for now, and Syracuse will host 150 families who will be resettled into apartments.

The planning continues, and our knitting will keep pace.

In the works is an adult knit vest pattern, along the lines of the Children In Common Vest Pattern I wrote years ago for that continuing worthy cause. But to start things off, we will make headbands and fingerless mitts out of the warmest stuff we have on hand.

Posted by countrywool at 7:52 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005 2:59 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 6 September 2005
Woolies For Southern Pilgrims
Topic: charity knitting

Word has just come in that 2500 folks displaced by Hurricane Katrina will be arriving at Camp Edwards in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Our thinner blood southern neighbors will be mighty cold once the New England wind starts blowing.

It is supposed that some of them will decide to settle in Massachusetts, and won't it be fun to show them all how warm wool can be? What a nice welcome a box of warm handknits would be for someone starting a new life here, eh?

This Monday the Neighborhood Knitters meet for the first time this Fall, and I am SURE they will be raring to fill up boxes with hand knit socks, gloves, shawls, scarves and hats as fast as they can. I invite all Internet Knitters to join this effort. I will post updates on items needed as information from the Air Base comes in. There are other knit bloggers who are scrambling to help. I would love to connect with someone near the base who can meet with the folks who will be living there. I'll be glad to supply yarns, needles and patterns if anyone can get there to teach/help/support them with knitting.

There is mailing info on the Neighborhood Knitters website, and if you get your things to me, I will send them on. I will have a collection box at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival at Rhinebeck, NY, in October.

Watch this space.

Posted by countrywool at 3:42 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005 3:00 PM EDT
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