Monday, May 30, 2005

I am always excited to see new and creative ways in which people are working to nurture peace and social justice, so I was very inspired to hear of Donna Druchunas' new site, Knitting for Change. Donna was feeling helpless after the 2004 elections, until she lit upon the idea of creating an online knitting circle dedicated to, in her words, "building community, fostering discussion, and promoting peace." Here, she describes her inspiration for the circle:

The more I thought about the events of the past four years, the more desperate I became to find something positive that I could do.

Surprisingly, it was an article in the Fall 2004 issue of Vogue Knitting that renewed my energy and gave me an idea. The article described knitters making peace-sign arm bands to wear at rallies, members of Codepink knitting a giant banner to display on International Women’s Day, and a woman in New York City knitting red worms to promote composting. This is something I could relate to, because I have been knitting since I was a child.
Each month, she plans to post an essay, a knitting lesson, a pattern, and a link to organizations accepting donations of hand-knit items.

This month's lessons are wonderfully basic. I have been wanting to learn to knit, and this is the perfect opportunity. My daughter actually just bought a learn-to-knit kit not too long ago, too. I know Donna's example will inspire us both.

She writes:

I hope this site will be visited by knitters of many different backgrounds and viewpoints so we can have an open and honest dialog. As knitters, we have a unique opportunity to join together in our communities to make small changes that can have large repercussions in our nation and beyond our borders. One stitch at a time, we can build bridges that bind us together instead of allowing our differences to tear us apart.

A few days after the election, I told a friend, “I am frustrated that ‘what little I can do’ won't make any difference.” She replied, “I also get frustrated, but I think that grains of sand ultimately make mountains (under a bit of heat and pressure). I can be a grain of sand. I can maybe be a few grains of sand.” Please pick up your knitting needles and join me in being a grain of sand!
I'm all for that!

Think of ways in which you can use your own passions can help make a difference in the world--writing for change, dancing for change, eating for change...The possibilities are endless!

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