Knitting for Compassion

One sign that we're not going off the deep end entirely as a culture is the growing movement in the knitting world to use our craft as a way to help others. So, for all those times when your reaction to the news was "what can I do?" - here's a proposal:

Will you help me collect scarves for some very worthy women who are clients of a Chicago non-profit called Housing Opportunities for Women? HOW (go here to read more) is an amazing organization that helps women and children find transition from the shelter system to more permanent housing.

The ultimate goal is 300 scarves by the end of October 2007: a scarf for every family in the program to give to their mom for the holidays in December. The scarves can be knitted, crocheted, sewn, quilted, or purchased - whatever strikes your fancy.

I'll be providing a very easy pattern for a garter stitch scarf: think big needles, affordable yarn, maybe 2 or 3 hours of your time (the length of So You Think You Can Dance plus a smidgen of the results show, but maybe that's just me). I'll have the pattern up on the blog by July 1, 2007. If you are a crocheter, if that's the right word, or some other type of handy-person and want to propose a pattern, just let me know.

Again, the point here is easy, fast, manageable. Not only will we be doing something good for someone else, but maybe the experience will show us that doing something compassionate is more like brushing your teeth than inventing the wheel. What if, every day, as regularly as brushing our teeth, we did something for someone else? In Judiasm, we call it Tikkun Olam, or repairing the world. Not dramatic, not parting of the seas, but small, quotidienne, ordinary, more like fixing a broken vacumn cleaner than creating world peace. It's no accident that everywhere I turn these days, I come across the very wonderful quote from Gandhi to "be the change that you want to see in the world."

But I wander. If you want to contribute or ask me more about the project, just email me at And let's make this into a bit of a chain. If you know a friend or relative or neighbor who might want to help, send them a link to this post. Go team!!


Hannah said…
That sounds like a great idea.

(RIP cicadas.)

- H