Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

Knit One, Pray Too: Knitterly Giving

What is it about knitters that makes them so generous? Is it that people high on the altruism trait pick up the needles so they can wrap warmth around everyone they know? Or is it that nothing they knit fits them so they knit for others and give it away? Whatever the reason, members of the yarn community are extraordinarily involved in what used to be known as corporal works of mercy. It must be said that their generosity goes beyond hand knits. Cite the work of Knitters Without Borders who donate to medécins sans frontières (Doctors Without Borders), through the Yarn Harlot’s blog. Pin money, you think? Total at this writing is $590,768 big ones.

And there is the knitting. My grandmother, a staunch Canadian church lady, was a lifelong volunteer at the Mission to Seafarers, a ministry of the Anglican Church. When I was in an early hat and scarf phase, I found that the Mission accepts donations of warm woolies for merchant seafarers all over the world. Plain dark colors only! This is not the place to use up your leftover hot pink mohair.

In western Mass we find the first chapter of Knitting Liberally, a community based on the social networking, community development model of Living Liberally. These communities are predicated on the assumption that political identity should be part of our regular lives. The Knitting Liberally group’s last giving project donated knit toys for the children served by the New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT), who have survived domestic violence or sexual abuse.

Other well known knitting ways of giving are Afghans for Afghans, which also does scarves, sweaters and hats, the Dulaan project, which knits warm clothing for children in Mongolia, and the Red Scarf project, which cares about foster kids heading to college. And for those of you who are stash-rich, consider donating some yarn for Lent—as in “letting go.” Drop some off at Rosie’s Place and throw in some needles. Call your LYS and find out where they suggest. And please note, the rector advises that this does not count if it is just an excuse for stash expansion!

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