Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Box Ready to Be Mailed

Here is the box of hats and booties ready to be mailed to Darnall Army Community Hospital in Texas in time for the Fourth of July.

Fourth of July Card Enclosed

Summer/Fourth of July Items

Violet Hat with Boucle Trim

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Why I Knit

There are those who oppose the idea of charity knitting, arguing that it makes more sense to just donate the money one would spend on yarn instead. One blogger wrote:

"Do you think Bosnian (or any other sort) refugees or abused women in shelters really need orange acrylic hats?....although I am all for knitting for charity, especially for kids, such as the Linus Project and premie hats, I often do wonder about knitters who crank out mittens, socks, afghans and all sorts of knitted accessories for charities when many of these people want and desperately need food, medicine, and cold hard cash."

They need something else too. They need people to know that others care about them and making something comforting can do that. Yes, there are people who use cheap, ugly, scratchy yarn to make things to donate to charity. Yes, there are people who think the higher the number of items they knit the better, and the beauty, thought, love, or prayers they put into them isn't important.

It's scary for parents to see their tiny baby in an NICU with all sorts of wires and tubes attached. Sometimes something as simple as a colorful little hat to remind them that their baby is a baby and that someone cares is much more important than "cold hard cash" All I know is that it gives me a great sense of peace to knit for others and I treasure the notes parents send me. One mother who had had premature twins while her husband served in Iraq wrote:

"I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your donating your time and your efforts to knitting the hats and booties. It showed me that someone out in the world cares. "

Isn't that what it's all about?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

Charity: It's Not a No Brainer

An elderly woman I knew once told me "I never lost anything by giving things away".

A news story, which can be found here begins

"Researchers at the University of Oregon have found a connection between acts of charity and a pleasure center deep in the brain, a discovery that offers new insight into why people help others.... The results show that charitable giving, even just seeing someone else's money being given, pleases people in much the same way as eating, being with friends or even falling in love."

I noted several serious and obvious flaws with how this research was conducted. The subjects were "19 college-age women" and one has to wonder how or if the results would differ if the subject pool were larger and included men and people who were older. The money that was given away also wasn't money they'd earned; it was money that had been given to them.

There also seemed to be some confusion trying to compare paying taxes with charitable giving and the two clearly are not comparable. (In one of my library school classes this summer, Global Information Infrastructure one question we discussed was "Why is there a mistrust of science?" Badly designed studies and conclusions that go beyond the scope of the research are two reasons. The media's spin is another and I think I'll probably need to find the citation and read the original research article.)

Still, it's intriguing. I wonder what researchers would find it they looked at people actively doing something (like knitting) instead of doing something passive (like giving away money)?

Mellow Yellow Hat and Booties

I used seed stitch instead of ribbing and purled a row every five rows in the hat pattern.

Patriotic Stitch Markers

Some friends and I are making and exchanging stitch markers. These little accessories are used to mark the beginning of rows as well as changes in patterns while knitting.

Red, White, and Blue Hats

Camo Hat and Booties Set

Sunday, June 10, 2007