Thank you all SOOOOO much. I am so happy to hear from each of you. I am amazed at how much better it makes me feel just hearing others say they get it. Doubtless, there is likely to be some backsliding here and there but I am so encouraged and I appreciate all of your kind words and support.
I know we’ve all said it before but it is still true – knitters rock.
So, last week, I mentioned about knitting a hat every day this month. The place where I live – Northern California – is quite warm, all year around. It doesn’t snow here, even during the coldest winters. There is rarely a day a year that really even requires a heavy coat. So it might come as a surprise to you to find out that I have committed to knitting a hat a day this month. They aren’t for me – as you might imagine. They are for Ukrainian orphans.
In 1995, the summer after I graduated from high school, I went to the Ukraine on a mission trip with my church. The association of church here has a sister association there and I was a part of a group of youth and young adults who went there to meet and work with our sister churches. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I have always longed to go back. I loved the country and the culture and the people. After all of these years, I have a chance to go again, with another church group from the church I grew up in in North Carolina. I had heard about the trip a couple of weeks ago but it was just this past week that I found out for sure that I am going to be able to go. This is the most excited I’ve been about anything in a long time and is probably particularly good for my spirits right now.
As for the hats, while I am there (end of September/first part of October) we’re going to be working with several orphanages in the town of Rivne. In particular, there is an orphanage there for special needs children – those with mental and physical disabilities, that don’t have a place at other orphanages in the area. I talked to the lady who is organizing the trip and she and I agreed that it would be fabulous to take some handknit hats to the children. And originally I thought we’d need about 160 hats. Which seemed totally doable…but then she called me last Thursday and umm, probably we are going to need 300 if all the kids are going to get one of their own. (300 is capacity for the two orphanages we will be visiting.) And she wondered if maybe I knew any other knitters…
The thing is, if I take 160 hats that will be great. (Heck, if I take 10 hats, they will be thankful and will be able to use them.) BUT if I could round up 300 hats, it would be like Christmas for these kids. This is a very poor area and these orphanages get very little funding; they rely almost completely on private support. The Ukraine (as a whole) has come a long way since I was there 13 years ago. More areas have electricity (though for limit hours each day) and indoor plumbing is more common than it was then and the economy is much more stable. Even with all of this progress, there are still orphanages like these that struggle to care for needy children and in this case, it is made that much more difficult because of the unique challenges these children face.
I did go to the Maker Fair Saturday and I was working on a hat (of course - though it seemed inappropriate note to take the sock knitting to this event) and in the afternoon, they had a sit and knit together time during which I finished Saturday's hat. And hoping to instill the hat and this project with a little bit of knitting mojo, it posed for this picture.Anybody interested in knitting a hat or two?
“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” -Sitting Bull
P.S. The Yarn Harlot really is as fabulous as everyone says she is. I had a blast Saturday and I'll share more pictures and the details of the fair the next time I post.