We are part of a powerful, creative fabric arts community. We mostly sit in the background, not garnering attention or notoriety- happy to be quietly knitting. While dark, frightening news dominates our news channels and social media feeds, we feel that it is important to illuminate the wonderful contributions the knitting community has already made to Ukraine. If you have not yet contributed and want to, keep reading for some fabulous ways to knit in solidarity.
It is nearly impossible to imagine babies being born into and existing in regions of war. At a mental health facility in Northern Ireland, patients are frantically knitting baby hats and booties for displaced Ukrainian babies in need. The knitters expressed that they, too, understand the trauma caused by war and they want to connect in solidarity so that the people of Ukraine don't feel alone. Their knitted garments are being shipped to refugee centers.
Elsie Pepper, age 101 years old, vividly recalls the fear and isolation she experienced when she and her husband were separated by war for three years during WW2. She has reminded her community that during times of war, everyone needs to do the little they can to contribute to the efforts. She has organized a team of volunteers at her local craft store and they are knitting hats, scarves, and gloves for Ukrainian refugees. Elsie has arranged for a family member with connections to Ukraine to transport the knitted garments to refugee posts at the border. She reminds knitters that if she can make a difference at the age of 101, so can you!
Helen Cassidy Page, a writer on Medium, is urging the Western world to do more than simply post sunflowers on social media. As important as symbolic efforts are, knitters can take action. One of the ways we can contribute is with our money. Ravelry has made it easy to identify and purchase knitting patterns sold by Ukrainian designers. Even if the pattern is in Russian or Ukrainian, not English, it is important to purchase it anyway, in support. If you have the means, buy as many patterns as you can. The money is going directly to Ukrainians who are fighting for their homes and their lives. There is even a way to leave a note for the seller.
Hopefully you have been energized by these heartfelt stories of knitters using their skill to make a difference. If so, you may be wondering how you can help, too. Here are some ideas:
During times of strife, we are always impressed and inspired by our fellow knitting community. Stay safe and be well.