Saturday, October 8, 2011

Knitting for good

The Mossy Jacket pattern included in the book.
A few weeks ago I picked up a book from the local library.  It was buried in the 746's (Dewey decimal system baby... hey I worked at a library for a few months), with all of the other nonfiction books on the subject of knitting.  Amid all of the stitch-ionaries, teach yourself to knits, baby pattern books, vogue knits, and stitch n' bitches, was this little paperback called "Knitting for Good!: A Guide to Creating Personal, Social, and Political Change, Stitch by Stitch" authored by Betsy Greer.  So I tucked it into the pile of books I'd be keeping on the nightstand for the next few weeks.  

One of the main reasons I decided to look at this book is due to something my mother pointed out to me. She said that one of the best ways to feel better in your own life is to help someone else.  If anyone would know, it's her.  I swear, there will be an effort to canonize her even though she's not Catholic.  Not surprisingly that's one of the main messages in "Knitting for Good".

There's something kind of wonderful about putting purpose and meaning into the little things you do and the things we take for granted.  Most of us are wearing clothes where we have no idea where it came from.  Sadly, most of the time it's from a sweat shop in an impoverished nation.  Just a second... yeah, the t-shirt I'm wearing?  It was made in Haiti... (bought pre-earthquake) which according to wikipedia "is the poorest country in the Americas as per the Human Development Index."  Probably would have been a better idea to go get something through American Apparel.  The author of "Knitting for Good", Betsy Greer, encourages us to make more of an effort to look at our consumerism and the effects it has.

Along with these messages, the book also has a number of patterns of things that can be used as donation items, from pet blankets to hats for the homeless. Though I must say that my favorite feature of the book was the small vignettes from numerous contributors on their experiences with donation knits.

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