An onslaught of emotionally charged and negative current events seem to inundate us each day. If you look closely, buried beneath the headlines are heartwarming stories of generosity, comfort, and growth. As part of the knitting community, we are proud to share these upbeat and encouraging stories centered around the joys of knitting. We already know that knitters are happier people, but we didn't realize quite how generous the knitting community is during troubled times. If you are craving some feel-good energy, keep reading about how our little knitting hobby can make a big difference.
Since 2006, The National WWII Museum has run the Knit Your Bit initiative in an effort to distribute scarves to veterans' centers, hospitals, and other veteran organizations across the country. Due to COVID-19, the initiative has been suspended, but the museum is encouraging crafters to shift their focus of providing handcrafted supplies to front line healthcare workers fighting to save lives. As American crafters have historically done during wartime, knitters are picking up their needles to help fight our invisible enemy, COVID-19.
Three knitters from Ontario have launched the COVID-19 Memorial Blanket Project to honor the lives of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. Inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the women plan to memorialize each of the 8,000+ victims of COVID-19 with a knitted square to represent the lost life. During times of unrest, they are encouraging "craft activism" within the knitting community. They are calling for all knitters across Canada to pick up the needles and contribute to the project that seeks to represent the "gravity and sheer physical heaviness" of grief caused by the pandemic. The name and province of each person who has died will be knitted on their own square. The final blanket is expected to be 9,000 square feet and weigh 1,500 pounds.
One of the hidden tragedies of COVID-19 is that terminal patients are not permitted to be with loved ones when they die. A group of crafters called on knitters and crochet enthusiasts across the country to create pairs of identical crochet hearts. One heart is placed on the patient to accompany them to burial and the other is given to the family. A note is also provided to the family that reads, "Made with love. Your loved one wasn't alone. We cared for them and prayed we could heal them. A pair of identical hearts. One heart was given to them and this heart is for you." The focus of the campaign is to provide comfort for grieving families in spite of COVID-19 hospital and funeral restrictions. I'm not crying, you are.
We could go on and on recounting thousands of acts of kindness within the knitting community since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you haven't yet found a way to be involved in a cause to help others during this stressful time, we encourage you to act now. If you aren't sure where to start, refer to our article, 7 Ways to Use Knitting to Give Back to Your Community.