Oct 7, 2009

i always forget to mention ...

So, yesterday I was in the local paper, discussing my passion for knitting and the One Hundred Hats Project. {hello to all you new readers who found me through that article!}

I always find recognition a little overwhelming, and the unexpected attention this project has brought, a mere eleven hats in, has gotten me thinking. I tend to focus on the *what* of the thing that I'm doing, but forget to tell people the *why* of what I'm doing.

So today, here's a few of the why's.

* I spent formative years as a teen helping build houses and improve living conditions in several third world countries. My experiences with the children I encountered altered my view of what it takes for a person to be happy, and what I can to do further happiness in the world.

 * I am someone who loves to give gifts. Whether that's buying a pint for a friend at the pub, hiding 50 Valentines around the room for my husband, or knitting a dog sweater for a friend's pooch, I love to give tangible things. So the leap to knitting for strangers didn't seem that far.

* I am consistently amazed at the large amount of good one handmade item can do for someone's spirit.

* Knitting has become my meditation, my strongest connection to the Divine.

but probably most important - I have a brother who was born very premature. I was twelve, and he spent his first two months in a NICU. He, and all the other babes there, were gifted with tiny hand-made hats, booties and blankets, gifts from strangers who took the time to care about all these tiny little braying creatures, fighting for life.

That same brother is now almost 21, a pre-law history major in college, and an amazing and strong individual. I know that 20 years ago the survival rates of preemies wasn't what it is today, and that he is healthy and strong is something I never forget. I also never forgot those handmade items.

When I got into knitting, one of my first decisions was to knit for the babes at the NICU. Every time I walk onto their floor and get close to those tiny babes, I'm reminded of how lucky I am. I just wanted to share some of that luck with some newer additions to the world, and so I began to knit tiny hats and booties.

 Charity knitting for me has become not just a way to give back, but a way to remember. It is a way for me to stand up, quietly wielding two sticks, some yarn and an ocean full of love and say: "This child is important. This child matters. This sweater/hat/booties/vest I am making stands as witness to the fact that this child is LOVED and deserves to not only survive, but to thrive and excel." It's my small way of changing the world.

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