I’m going to try condensing a bit of history. A while ago, Ivy taught me about coping with grief by crocheting, and she suggested the self-fringing scarf. I was not a crocheter before then, although my grandmother had taught me the basics, but I found the rhythm soothing. It helped more than I would have imagined. I decided to donate whatever resulted to the charity she suggested: Dulaan, which at the time sent hand-knit items to Mongolia.
I ended up making seven scarves between Christmas and Easter, and then I felt “done.”
[Just as an aside — my lace-making grandmother used to make altar linens to donate to her church. I didn’t find that out until after she died, when I was writing a euology to deliver at the end of her funeral.]
Back to my story: after I finished with the scarves, God answered a big prayer of mine. As a thank-you gift, I promised God I’d make a baby blanket and send that to Dulaan. I made this:
It came kind of crummy. I detested the yarn and overall, it wasn’t really something I felt comfortable saying was a thank-you gift to God. So I also made this one:
That one was nicer, fluffier, and I think it was going to be warmer. People would stop as I was working on it to admire it.
On a funny note: as I knit or crochet, I pray for the person who’s going to receive the item. When I was working on the second blanket, it occurred to me that Dulaan doesn’t ship until July; they sort the items in August and then distribute them in September. Since I was working on the blanket in August, that meant there were thirteen months until the baby I was praying for would receive its blanket: that meant there was a high likelihood that the baby for whom I was praying hadn’t even been conceived yet. Wrap your brain around that. I’ve actually got a short story in-process about what happens when that kind of spiritual time-warp goes wrong. 🙂
At around the time I finished the second blanket, I felt called to make scarves again. I got nervous about this, but it worked well the first time, so I made a scarf. And then, wonder of wonders, I got the strong desire to make a hat.
I’d never made a hat before, but it actually worked out well. So I made another one, improving on the first one. And then I kept making scarves: for some reason, I felt like I needed to make it up to seven items before Thanksgiving. So I got to work.
Here’s what I sent to Dulaan:
Five scarves, two hats, plus the two baby blankets.
I sent them in December. Yesterday, I got a thank-you note from Dulaan.
I’ve heard reports that this is the final year for hand-knit items for Dulaan. Apparently they’ve conquered coldness in Mongolia; everyone there is warm, so knitters/crocheters are being told to direct their energies elsewhere. My next hat/scarf set is going to the Angeltown food pantry. I’ll post pictures when it’s done, but Kiddo#4 has been occupying my arms lately.
I don’t know what’s up with Dulaan anymore. First I’m told it’s still going, then I’m told it stopped. I’m knitting now for Macuwita Sni (Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation) and St. Francis.
A site you might be interested in is http://www.KnittingForCharity.org. Tons of information and links to projects seeking various items.