Bird in Hand Farm

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Charity Knitting

I don't do charity knitting.  Knitting is a selfish activity for me.  I make things for myself and the people I love.  I get solicited to make charity mittens for kids.  I didn't do it.  I do make mittens for a little kid every year.  She looses them and they get dirty.  This is her job.  Mine is to make her more.
Anyway back to charity knitting.  I believe in charity.  Helping others is one of my core values. But, when it comes to my knitting needles, I have resisted it.  There are so many things I have wanted to make that I will never be able to make them all in my lifetime.
So what changed?  Years ago I saw something about the terrible suffering of women in Africa who had experienced an obstetric fistula.  I never forgot the social ostracism they experienced.  A week or so ago I read about and joined the Stitches-for-Sisters group on Ravelry.  They are making 4" garter stitch squares to be sewn into blankets.  I can make a 4" square.  So far, I have made 10 of them.  My basic pattern is to cast on 39 stitches and do a center, double stitch decrease on the right side and slip the center stitch on the wrong side.  To make a neat edge, the last stitch of every row is knit in the back and the first stitch is slipped purl-wise with the yarn in front.
I will send them to a central US collection point and they will be mailed on to be sewed into blankets.  The squares are small and all together should create a riot of color in a patchwork effect.  The will then be sent to the Hamlin Fistula Hospital.  Women receiving care at the hospital are given a blanket that they wear.  You can see some in the NOVA video: A Walk to Beautiful.
I like this project because I don't have to make an entire blanket.  I can make as many squares as I want.  I am using up my leftover wool yarn scraps.  In a few days I will mail these out and go back to selfish knitting.


  1. Thanks for sharing the links for this. I first heard about this from a friend who has been to Ethiopia, and was shocked to see all the young women begging in the streets. He said men would marry girls too young to safely give birth, and then just kick them out if they suffered from the fistulas. I have lots of sturdy Vanna White yarn in vivid colors, I shall go check out the Rav link.

  2. Our church's knitting group does 6 x 9 inch rectangles that go to, I think, Walter Reed to be sewn into lap afgans for vets. It's a quick mini-mission.