Well, here they are, the last two Knit for Kids sweaters that I’ve just finished. I have reached my goal of 10 sweaters, all the others are blocked and boxed, and as soon as these have been washed and dried, off the box goes! Whee!
I have to admit that I was shopping in Wal-Mart with my daughter, and we saw these two types of Red Heart yarn, we both liked them, so I bought them. I’m such a sucker for loud, variegated yarn. I happen to know that loads of kids love this stuff, so it helps me believe that I’ll be bringing a smile and a little warmth to a child somewhere who could really use both.
And that made me think about all the sweaters I’ve made for my own kids over the years – when they were babies and toddlers and tweenies and now teens. I’ve hung onto the majority of all of the sweaters, and booties, and afghans, the hats and mittens, the whole ball of wax, all out of sentiment and crafter’s greed. They show my progression in skill, in income (the newer items are more likely to be natural fibers and more interestingly made), and they have sentimental value.
Then I read an appeal on the FOPRR (Friends of Pine Ridge Rez) site from an orphanage they run, which has about 30 children. I read about the 900 people that Victim’s Assistance on the Rez helped out last year. I read about programs for destitute new mothers and their babies. And I read about the shelter for battered women and their children. All in one place – the poorest county in the US, all needy in a way I can actually help. They need new or gently used afghans and winter wear. They especially need things for small children and babies.
I looked at my children’s outgrown sweaters and afghans, few of them showing any wear at all because, truly, they had had an abundance of knitted love. They still do! And I decided that I would send these little treasures on to tiny people who can use them now. I can take pictures; I already have pictures of some of them on my kids, in school portraits, casual pictures, and in the background of family holiday pictures. My kids aren’t going to wear them again. I will probably be thrilled to make new things for any grandkids that come along, so they won’t get any wear then, either. If I go ahead and donate them now, they will get used, and they will continue to provide warmth and some measure of comfort until they are worn out. I’d prefer that, really, rather than trying to store them for a someday that may never truly be.
And, strangely, it appeals to me to think that I can actually provide hats, sweaters and mittens for 30 children, all at once. I like that idea. It’s like bulk shopping (Oh, look, 400 chicken breasts!), only it’s bulk donating. I hope it brings at least one of those kids as big a smile as it brings to me, just thinking about it. It’s nice to feel that I can make a measurable difference.
Besides, I told myself earlier this year that I would reduce my clutter with the long view of making it easier for my children when my time comes. I think this would be a good step in that direction.
I’ve missed the cutoff date for donating wool items to Afghans for Afghans, functionally anyway. They have a schoolkids’ clothing drive ending 7/21/06. I can get started on next year’s things, though. I have plenty of stash wool, I have the tools, I have the fingers (!), the skills, and the motivation. Clickin’ on!