Monday, July 27, 2009

Mitten Monday (2)

My second pair of mittens, this pair classic red. Perhaps the title of this post should be "Mitten Madness" as the temperature is supposed to be almost 100 degrees today.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What's the Point?

This blog post began with a comment I've heard before:

I just don’t think that knitting is the right response for every problem. For one thing, it’s slow. Do you know how long it takes to knit even a preemie cap? If handknits were really the solution to a problem, there would be a serious imbalance between supply and demand. That’s a bit facetious, but I wonder if all that knitting time wouldn’t be better spent lobbying or protesting for change, and whether knitted donations aren’t more about gratifying the the donor than fulfilling a need.

She continued:
I had these doubts in mind when I approached the Women’s Daytime Drop-in Center and asked if they needed a knitting teacher. I suspected my own motives and wondered whether I was offering something frivolous. But the volunteer coordinator assured me that to teach knitting to homeless and low-income women was to give them something of value –that the center’s clients needed more than just food, clothing, and shelter. I was reminded by this that homeless women and children are whole people; by offering a knitting class I would be honoring their creative impulses.

Yes! It might make more sense from a practical point of view to buy items or just send money, but there is an emotional gift being given as well as an item made of yarn. Little preemie hats keep those tiny baby heads warm, but they're also meant to make the parents see how lovely and special their babies are and to remind them that there are people, strangers, in the world who care about them and their babies. I've received thank you letters from parents and know that is true. And it's the same with hats and mittens made for children. I want them to know that there is someone they don't know who is thinking about them and wants them to be warm and has spent time and money making something beautiful as well as useful. It's that connection that makes the difference. It's that connection that is the point of knitting for others.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mitten Monday

I've finished the first pair of mittens for Mittnz 2009. I'd posted about this several months ago, but as I delayed my start I'm now dedicating Mondays to knitting mittens.

In EZ's Knitter's Almanac, she writes:

It is better not to make mittens in a hurry. When snow flies and small frozen hands beg for warmth (sob), the actual knitting tends to be perfunctory and possibly scamped; one economies on the number of stitches; one does not make the cuffs sufficiently long. The main object then is to turn out scads of mittens to appease the demand, and the enjoyment of production is not what it might be.
(page 53)

Now, true, she did write this for the month of May and it is now mid-July with a mid-September deadline and yet still I'm certain I can knit nine pairs of mittens in that time and do them well.

The pattern I'm using can be found here. I'm using Lamb's Pride Worsted Weight and size 3 and 7 dpns and I'm not scrimping on the cuffs either.