I’ve been very pleased to notice articles and essays about knitting for causes in so many books and magazines this summer. Here are a few that I found recently:
In Stahman’s Shawls and Scarves by Myrna Stahman, I found a section called “Let’s Make the World a Better Place for All” that includes patterns for several seaman’s scarves. The patterns are dedicated to Matthew Shepard, a gay student from the University of Wyoming, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in 1998. According to Myrna, “At Matthew’s funderal his cousin, the Rev. Anne Kitch, asked the world to find in Matthew’s life a lesson that transcends the evil of his death.” In response to this request, Myrna has designed two patterns that she allows readers to photocopy for noncommercial purposes. Her only request, is that whenever you knit these scarves, you take some action to work against hatred and towards the understanding and acceptance of people who are “different from yourself”. The Matthew and Matt patterns are on the web here. (Myrna also includes 3 patterns dedicated to the victims of the Columbine shootings in 1999 in her book)
In the Fall 2005 issue of Vogue Knitting Magazine, I found several interesting mini-articles. The first is about Joy Durham, one of the models in the issue. Four years ago, her young daughter, Sunshine, lost an eye in an accident, and faced with huge medical bills on top of the trauma of the accident, Joy started knitting scarves to give as Christmas gifts to save some money. The gifts were so successful that she went on to start a business that donates a portion of the profits to help families facing similar difficulties. Sunshine Scarves and The Sunshine Foundation are two arms of Joy’s efforts to help children who have facial deformities gain access to the costly prostethics and surgery needed to give them normal lives.
Knit for Her Cure is an organization that sells kits to make scarves, blankets, and hats, that make perfect comforting gifts for cancer patients, and for anyone in need of a little extra warmth in their life. A portion of the profits is donated to the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation. All of the gorgeous projects are made from luxurious yarns from Muench, and there are patterns for knitters of all skill levels.
The Dulaan Project of the Flagstaff International Relief Effort (FIRE), collects hand-knitted clothing items–including hats, mittens, socks, neck gaitors, scarves and sweater–for impoverished people in Mongolia who live in areas where the winter temperatures often plummit to 40-degrees below zero. The FIRE web site includes information about packing and shipping items to them, as well as links to free knitting patterns.
The January 2005 issue of Family Circle Easy Knitting included a feature article entitled, “Knit Your Bit for the American Red Cross” that included a brief history of the organization and its traditions of providing handknit goods to U.S. troops in the two World Wars, as well as information about a retro sock knitting kit that includes the yarn and pattern to knit regulation military socks from the 1940s. The proceeds from the kits support the work of the American Red Cross. The Red Cross used to have the kits for sale on their web site, but that link seems to be broken. You can still buy the kits from Lion Brand. Other free historical knitting patterns are available at the Red Cross Museum web site.
Interweave Press is having Scarf Style contests at various Knit-Out and Crochet events around the country. The Philadelphia contest on September 18, 2005, is called the Go Red Scarf Style Contest. All scarves must be made in red yarn and the proceeds go to the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Campaign.
I love all of these ideas! I am working on a couple of ideas myself for later this year, so check back every month to find out what’s new. Or better yet, sign up for my mailing list.