Wednesday, June 15, 2016

There will be Hugs and Stardust

By now everyone in the world has heard about what happened in Orlando, Florida this past weekend.  It was devastating, not just to the people involved, but to people all over the country and even the world.

There are those, who probably nodded to themselves, and said something along the lines of "Isn't that just like Americans," or "That's what we expect from a country that has shootings in schools" or "He was a terrorist, or a bigot or..."  well you get the picture.

All I can say, is that there is more than enough hate to go around in the world and responding to such horrendous acts with candle-light vigils is all very well and good, and it makes the people who participate feel a marginal bit better.....but something has to change.  And before you tell me, or yourself, that you are just one small person and the change needed is too big for you to make an impact on; that throwing sand grains in the sea won't raise the water level at all, let me tell you a little secret that knitters know.

Many small, good, actions add up.

When I start a project, no matter what it is, somewhere there is the first stitch.  One loop of yarn around a needle, that through time and many small actions grows up to be a shawl, a scarf, socks, a sweater, a blanket or anywhere else my fancy takes me.  One small flick of the fingers, or scoop of the needle and that one stitch can become two.  Five minutes later how many small movements turned into the entire cast on for a sweater or the first few rows of a shawl?  I don't count them, those movements are too small, but they add up.

On Ravelry alone there are 6 million knitters!  Think of all the small movements they make each day!  And Ravelry is by no means all the crafters out there, every day I encounter people who have never heard of it. If everyone on Ravelry just knit for five minutes today, how many small actions would that be?

Since Sunday I have seen a lot of rainbows popping up on the web, but here is one I want you to go look at, and if the fancy strikes you, maybe purchase a skein.  Natasha of Unplanned Peacock asked me if I would like to design something to use that very special colorway and help support the fundraiser, and of course I jumped at the chance.

Here is what Natasha has to say about the fundraiser and what UPP has been able to contribute to in the past...

"For those of you who were around last year, we had a "Rainbow Unicorn of Love" fundraiser to benefit, a youth shelter out of Denver. We raised enough money to buy 1800 pairs of socks for teens that are currently homeless.  I decided to reprise this fundraiser as a small antidote to the hatred and negativity brought about by the shooting in Orlando.  How does this relate? 40% of teens that are homeless are LGBT.  Most homeless teens have been abused by family members or others. No one chooses homelessness over a happy home life.  If you want to learn more about the statistics, click here.
Socks are one of the most needed items in shelters. We can show these teens that someone out there is caring about them, when the world seems to be against them.
Last year we put socks on 1800 kids' feet. Let's double that amount this year."*

I am working on the pattern right now...actually I think it is mostly written, just swatching and waiting for my skein of that very special yarn to arrive.  (I am going with the warm tones and a little sparkle in the fingering weight......and while I knit I will be thinking about warm hugs and stardust.)  When the pattern is released I will be donating a portion of the pattern price to Urbanpeak as well.

Doing my part to make those small motions add up into something bigger.

Another one of my favorite designers is donating all sales from one of her patterns (rainbow mitts, they are fun!) to Lambda Legal.
So if you want a "ready to go right this minute" pattern to show your support, here it is. 


*And if you want to do something in your own community, that's great too!  The shelters I have worked with in Columbus, Ohio also say there is a huge need for hygiene products, along with clothing, especially clothing that can be worn to job interviews.

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