Posted by Neighborhood Church

You’ve undoubtedly seen a blurb in the Neighborhood e-news and Sunday green sheet about the Social Justice Knitters meeting every other Wednesday. But do you know what we do?

Nearly 10 years ago, one intrepid knitter started the group for “anyone who knits or would like to.”  We immediately knew we wanted a purpose, so we researched and selected a needy remote area in Mongolia–cold, impoverished and welcoming of warm hats and scarves.  For our first project, we made and sent children’s items.  When we received photos of a school class of small children opening our box with delight and each getting a hat which they wore with big smiles, we too were touched and warmed.

We’ve continued to choose a recipient who could benefit from our knitting.  These have included Afghans for Afghans (through the Red Cross), the Lakota Sioux nation in South Dakota, LACounty/USC Hospital (hats for premies), and most recently, Pasadena’s Affordable Housing Services and affiliates for the unhoused/poor. Over the years we’ve mailed or delivered 90-100 large packing crates filled with hand-knitted clothing items, as well as occasionally selling dishcloths at Church and giving the proceeds to Affordable Housing.

We personally knit (or crochet) for many reasons and seasons: it can be a joyous cacophonous group experience, a meditative slowing down of our fast-paced lives, a healing place, a personal accomplishment, practically useful hobby. Knitting can turn anger or distress into calm, focus us on the present moment, and it can be beautiful.

And so why do we gather together for this activity, which can also be solitary?  We think our group exemplifies 5 defining purposes of our UU faith: to give of ourselves, to work for social justice, to build supportive community, to deepen our spiritual lives, to grow the soul.  Though we knitters take on a specific “project” each year, we experience all of these purposes and are richly rewarded in the doing.

Sara Willard

January 10, 2018