Wear in Good Health – Beanies for Newborns and other Community Projects

“Handcrafts belong to an earlier world, the slower pace of pre-industrial life where one had the leisure to sink deeply and profoundly into the rhythms of nature within and without and to feel a connection with the earth as a living spiritual entity . . . Handcrafts throughout history have often been fashioned with the aid of prayer, one prayer for each bead or each stitch, while keeping good thoughts to enhance the spiritual purpose of the object.”   The Knitting Sutra:  Craft as a Spiritual Practice by Susan Gordon Lydon.

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As I sit in the late evening knitting these little beanies for an unknown wearer, I am imagining a happy, healthy life for each baby and infusing each hat with good thoughts.  A woman in a local knitting guild will take these hats along with others knit by members and deliver them to local hospitals and other places that have expressed a need.

I used to think that if I was going to have any impact at all, I had to make many of whatever.  I now realize that whether I donate one hat or a dozen, each one will help someone and that is what is important. My friend Paula uses leftover yarn from the purses she designs and makes to crochet colorful lap-sized afghans for residents of the senior citizen center on her street – she delivers each one as it is completed.  Some months she delivers a half a dozen, other months she delivers one, but each is much appreciated.

If you are looking for places to donate handmade items to, look around your community or region.  In addition, several recent books tell the inspiring stories of organizations that collect handmade items for specific causes and provide project directions.  These books include:

  • Knitting for Good!  A Guide to Creating Personal, Social, and Political Change, Stitch by Stitch by Betsy Greer
  • Knitting for Peace:  Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time by Betty Christiansen
  • Quilting for Peace:  Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time by Katherine Bell

In talking with friends recently about their community knitting projects, several mentioned that the charities they contribute to are always short of items for older children and teenagers.  This is something to inquire about when you are donating items that are sized for a specific age group.

A Side Note

The classic hat pictured above is from a pattern in Erika Knight’s Simple Knits for Cherished Babies; each one takes slightly more than one hour to complete.

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One Response to “Wear in Good Health – Beanies for Newborns and other Community Projects”

  1. Paula Says:

    Knitting, quilting and crochet are linked to baths vs showers, stick shift cars vs automatics, digital timekeeping vs analogue. It’s part of a different perpective on the world, just like walking someplace vs driving there. The experience is altogether different. And giving of yourself without needing thanks or recognition is in that world, too.

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