Who are the Knitters . . . AND a Special Invitation
by Sue Goddard
The knitting group of Neighborhood Church is very important to me. I would like to tell you a little about our history and about who I think we are. Our group was founded in 2005 by LuLu Escott. It has lasted through 3 settled ministers, 2 interim ministers, and a lot of changes in our world. Our mission was to learn to knit, to knit better, and to donate our goods to cold and poor people. It also was a way to meet new people with shared interests.
We are known as the Social Justice Knitters. We knitted blankets for the coldest, most poverty-stricken people of Mongolia and for the Afghans for Afghans project. We knitted items for those living at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and for tiny babies in a Southern California neo-natal unit.
We currently are affiliated with Affordable Housing Services in Pasadena and work with its director, Michelle White. Michelle has her finger on the needs of the most charitable organizations in our city and can guide our goods where they are most useful. The proceeds from our washcloth project funded blankets for a cold weather shelter. Elderly grandparents on a small income can choose a scarf or beanie as a Christmas gift for a loved one. Lap robes are always appreciated.
We have a facilitator, Leslie, who keeps us informed of meetings and pertinent news via-e-mail. She is our liaison with Michelle White and delivers our goods to her on occasion. Many people have stopped by our group for a while on their life journey. We have had people from other religions and churches join us. We taught a handful of men to knit. Four generations of my family knitted in our group for a time. We are as diverse as the kinds of yarns and size needles we use. We come from many places and experiences. We tell our stories. We talk about whatever we want to, in what we feel is a safe place of acceptance and understanding. We talk about end of life issues, children and grand kids, books and movies, TV and politics. We teach each other and learn from each other. We knit pussy hats and protest together.
We provide support and comfort for members who have lost loved ones, for others who are battling life-threatening illness. We provide shoulders to lean on and ears to really hear. We find friends here. Some members’ husbands have stayed with my invalid husband so I could attend a meeting. Sometimes, I come in a state of fatigue and don’t even knit; I just come for the warmth of our fellowship.
We celebrate together–accomplishments, such as a member who became a published author, or the completion of a beautiful blanket, or the mastery of a difficult pattern stitch. We share bounty from our gardens. We celebrate birthdays. We play together and laugh and go on occasional field trips.
We respect that each of us perhaps has a personal struggle. Each has unique quirks and foibles. We all get annoyed and cranky at times. We step on toes and, sadly, sometimes without an immediate apology. However, our deepest inclination is to be kind to one another. Most of all, we honor the First Principle. We know that anyone coming through that door is family and we welcome them to share in all that we have. This is who I think we are.
Now we are excited about knitting items for the Black Infant Health Program in Northwestern Pasadena. They expressed a need for baby hats (and, knowing us, we will probably add sweaters, blankets and booties). Baby hats are quick and easy to create, a perfect beginners project. To kick-off this new challenge, we are holding a “yarn tasting” open house on the patio after each service on Sunday, November 4. We will provide yarn, needles, patterns, and instruction, so you can give it a try. All are cordially invited to join us for fun, fellowship, service, and cookies. New Church members are especially welcome.