Friday, October 14, 2011

knitting to give away

Every year that I've been at this college, we have done a winter wear drive to clothe the people of Buffalo, NY who don't have the money for coats, hats, mittens, boots, and other winter items. Many of these people are refugees or immigrants, and they receive help from Jericho Road Ministries. I have always wanted to participate by knitting something special for these people and their struggling families. College studies and busyness always got in the way.

This year, I started early. I wanted to be sure that I had time to make at least one thing to give away this winter. So I made a hat. And then a few more!

The first one is an infant size hat - quick and easy - using scraps from my stash, even some self-striping sock yarn. I held two strands together throughout the project, so it's pretty heavy fabric. It should keep its new owner toasty! The colors are not what we see as traditional for infants, but I think it may suit the darker skin of many of the refugee children who take shelter in Buffalo. Do you like it?I made a child-sized hat next, using a creamy yarn with flecks of other colors. It's pretty basic - flexible enough to be for a boy or a girl. It's lightweight and stretchy.The next hat is for an older child, about 12-14, or for a woman. It's brown and burgundy striped, which I think is also flexible for a young man or woman. This last hat is a true work of love. It's the best hat I have ever knitted, I think. It wasn't easy. And it's a little hard for me to give it away. But we're made to be poured out, right? Filled to fill others? And gifted to give away. Blessed to bless others.

But I digress. I knitted using the technique called "fair isle" knitting or "intarsia" - that's using two or more colors to create a design. I used a traditional snowflake pattern, making the "snowflakes" smaller as the hat gets smaller. I'm really proud of this one, and I hope that the new owner - a man or woman - feels loved and cared for when they wear it. It's a navy blue yarn, using the same creamy tweed-like yarn that I used to make the child-sized hat. What do you think? And the view from the top: It reminds me of the Christmas that my grandma made the black and white Kirsten doll sweater for my doll instead of buying it - the sweater was so expensive! And tiny! And detailed! Now that I know how much work it is to knit like this, I am so much more thankful and amazed at the work that my grandma put into that special gift.

I hope that these little contributions help to make a family more at home here, that they'll feel welcome, stay warm and healthy, and learn about the hope we have in Jesus.

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