Friday, January 29, 2010

Love from Anonymous

Back when I was a starry-eyed, idealistic teenager, I read a book by Lloyd C. Douglas. I can't remember the title but it had something to do with charity. Now I'll admit I'm not a fan of the word "charity" -- it's a tad too noblesse oblige for my taste but the idea of giving freely to someone you don't know with absolutely no expectations attached is both compelling and seductive. (Note: It was Magnificent Obsession.)

And I know you all understand exactly what I'm talking about. Knitter are givers. We can't seem to help ourselves. Maybe it begins from a selfish place (please please help me reduce my stash!) but it quickly becomes something deeper. More intimate. More necessary.

Anyway, the point of the Lloyd C. Douglas book was that giving only had true value if the donor remained totally anonymous and that idea stuck with me all these years. Crazy, I know, but admitting to making those shelter blankets was a big deal for me and I did it only because I wanted to encourage other knitters of like mind to give it a try.

There's more. I make baby blankets and booties and tiny socks for various hospitals and organizations and I'll bet most of you do too.

Let's talk! What do you knit and where do you send it? What organizations are in need? To hell with LCD . . . let's share the info.


Blogger Debbie said...

Oh, gosh, where to begin? I live in Florida, so a LOT of my knitting is for others, simply because it's so warm here I don't need too many knitted things, myself! My knitting group always has one or more projects going for charity.

Ongoing, we make washcloths and package them with soap and toiletries for a homeless shelter here in town.

We're working on a blanket for the survivors of the Fort Hood victims.

We've adopted a woman's shelter for this entire year, and every month we're making different things for them-- baby stuff, washcloths, shawls, blankets, slippers.

We're each making squares for a blanket for Afghans for Afghans.

We supported Caps for the Capital (baby hats).

One of our members put together a shipment of hats and mittens for a shelter where she's from up north.

One of our member's mom works in a hospital in Ohio, and we send baby hats and booties to her.

We've made chemo caps for Head Huggers . . .

I'm sure I'm forgetting some of our projects, but you get the idea!


8:23 AM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

My local knitting guild does "Caps for Kids" every year, with the Salvation Army getting the caps and hats we make. Mine tend to be simple, roll-brimmed things, because they knit up fast. The Salvation Army requests they be easily washable, so that usually means acrylic, and as a kid, I *loved* the really bright, eye-crossing color combos on some of the acrylics, so I get colors as eye-blinding as possible. I have yet to see anyone locally wearing one of my hats, but that could just be me not getting out in public much, either. They're supposed to stay in this area.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Dawn Brocco said...

Hi Barbara,
For many years now I've been knitting thick wool socks for CIC (Children in Common). I usually aim for a dozen pairs for each batch I send.

I've also knit wool mittens for the afghans for Afghans group. And I almost forgot, I've knit wool mittens for some children in Maine.

Which reminds me, I haven't knit for any of these groups in several months - time to get working on it again.

Why do I do it? I do things for children (and for animals too if I can manage it - thanks for the link), because, unlike adults, they can't take care of themselves. They are dependent on us. Maternal urge I guess.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knit for various charities, some consistently, some occasionally or on a rotating basis.

Every year, I spend November and December knitting caps, scarves, an occasional pair of mittens, for the collection my LYS gives to an organization for the homeless. (I seldom knit Christmas gifts anymore for a variety of reasons; but if I do have a Christmas gift on the needles, I still intersperse sessions of that with the caps.)

I have knit helmet liners for our troops in Afghanistan; caps for newborns; chemo caps; afghan squares for a Doctors Without Borders raffle and for Veteran's charity raffles; cage pads for the animal shelter (this is a great use for oddball acrylics whose colors just don't work for anything else -- the cats & dogs don't care!); afghans for the domestic violence shelter or to be raffled off for charity; an occasional baby blanket or sweater for specific recipients of the "I-know-this-girl-and-she-really-needs-it" variety; kids' sweaters for our local Fire Department Christmas baskets.

The specific project usually depends on what's in my line of sight, combined with what I have in the stash that needs to be used up and moved along.

--Lynda in Oregon

5:18 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Great topic, Barbara! I've knit dozens of chemo caps (just finished one for a friend who's halfway through her treatments). Also hats and scarves and mittens for a local women's shelter. Now that you've mentioned it, I think I'll makes some blankies for the animal shelter. Speaking of which ... can anyone watch one of those heartbreaking commercials about abused animals? They just tear me up!

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knit with a group for our local NICU children's hospital. Also, thanks to BB I knit for the Red scarf program.

Ellen in Fl.

6:51 PM  
Blogger kozmic said...

I used to do a lot of knitting for a local church organisation that was supposed to give the items to young Mums etc. Until I found some of my knitting being sold at a church fete.
Now I knit and donate directly to two hospitals where I have family on the staff.They make sure my knitting goes to the departments where its needed most.

I also crochet and knit for my youngest daughter's school to be sold at their annual fundraising fair.

2:05 AM  
Blogger Turtle said...

i participate in the caps for preemie program at our local hospital on a regular basis. other than that i knit for folks i see that look like they need it. Last xmas i knit fingerless gloves for all the ladies i would see on the foot ferry working. They would have red chapped hands but needed their fingers free. They did appreciate the suprise.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Pencil Sanity said...

I am not much of a knitter but hope to learn. Glad I came across your blog mentioned in the book from Barbara Bretton.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynda, I just heard about the helmet liners--turns out a group at my LYS has been knitting them, but they just shipped off a batch. I'm going to check with them to see if they're doing another, but if not, do you have a place to send them you could share?

I'm with you, Debbie--too hot here to be knitting for local folks, so I'm always looking for someplace colder to do things for. The washcloth idea with soap and toiletries is great and could work around here--I'm assuming you're using cotton? Do you have a pattern you like? I mostly just do a sort of rib pattern and would welcome something more interesting.

6:03 PM  

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