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On Giving

Howard Zinn quote

I firmly believe in what Zinn is saying in that quote. It also fits in with my “It’s a Wonderful Life” theory of life: we will never really know the impact of all of our actions, behaviors, and words on others. This is true whether they are positive or negative.

I also know that what I have done since January has definitely felt right to me and has encouraged me to keep doing it and to do more. Giving – of my time, my energy, my humanity, my possessions – helps me, too. It strengthens my spirit, makes me happy, allows me to believe that being kind in my own little way makes a positive difference in the world, creating ripples that I will never see.

What have I been doing? I’ve been using my albeit limited talents to make things to give away. It all started with an inspiration from another member of my Guild. At the December evening meeting Suanne encouraged us to make things to donate, and told us she was knitting hats, scarves, and mittens that were being distributed through her local library. As soon as my Christmas gifts were made I started knitting, and ended up donating 1 hat and 15 pairs of mittens.

Then I started sewing. I made 10 bags to donate to the local pediatric hospital for use in their Beads of Courage program.

In fact I just finished my second batch of 10 bags. I made shopping trips to 2 local craft thrift stores for the fabric and ribbons, so I also supported their donations to local organizations with my purchases.

2nd batch of bead bags

Next I was inspired by another weaver via Facebook. (If you’re in my Facebook Second Wind Fan Group you already know this, but I’m repeating it here for those who are not.) She was donating ‘woven hugs’ – shawls – to people with cancer. I warped up my loom and was off and running.

Rainbow hug warp on the loom

My inspiration weaver and I had some conversations while I was working and decided we were better off to each do this independently, not to try to actually partner on the project.

So I did some thinking and decided to honor a dear friend of mine by offering my ‘woven hugs’ to people dealing with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. They can go to the person with the disease or their caregivers/loved ones. I plan to weave 3 of these hugs per month. Here are the 3 finished hugs for this month, all 100% mercerized cotton. (Note: I mailed the one in the first photo – the red one – out this morning.)

Rainbow hug, red

The hug below has a golden ‘flake’ weft, for a thick & thin texture.
Rainbow hug, golden

This hug has a *very* dark purple weft, reading navy or black, depending on the light.
Rainbow hug, dark purple

Every batch will be different, with colors and fibers that strike my fancy. As an added benefit to me, these hugs will allow me to use up my stash in a new way. Win-Win! I am offering the hugs at no charge, but will appreciate being reimbursed for shipping.

At this point, I am making this offer to people in my Facebook Fan Group and blog readers only. So if someone in your life has dementia and you’d like one of this first batch hugs, let me know. You can certainly email me directly instead of leaving lots of personal information in a comment to this post.

If I have any left in a few days I will make the offer to a wider group, perhaps on Facebook, perhaps in another way.

As I was finishing those hugs, my daughter texted me with what I thought was a brilliant idea. I could weave towels in yellow and blue, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, and donate proceeds from them to support Ukraine. I ordered the yarn almost immediately. I ordered 2 different yellows and blues, partly because I wasn’t sure which would be closer to the flag colors when I saw the yarn in person, and partly to enlarge my design options.

yarns ordered for Ukraine flag towels

It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m *psyched* about this project! Because I had to order the yarn, I don’t feel like I can donate 100% of the sale price, but will cover my actual yarn costs per towel and donate the rest.

In between all of the above, I was finally almost finished with the socks that had been on my needles since November, so it was time to dye the next sock blank. I decided I wanted multi-colored stripes, so here’s what the yarn looked like immediately after applying the dyes.

multi-striped sock blank

And here’s what it looks like after rinsing, drying, and winding into balls. It remains to be seen how it will look as it’s knit into socks.

multi-striped sock yarn wound into balls

Whew! Finally done with this post. Thanks for sticking with me. Maybe I’ll remember to post more frequently so each post can be shorter. But maybe not. 😉

10 comments to On Giving

  • Fiona

    I think these are excellent ideas and I came to similar conclusions recently. I. Am learning to weave but don’t really need anything so decided that anything I created (as long as OK) could be donated to refugee charities or other places where scarfs/blankets are neededand if I got any good I could sell them and all profits to go to charity.

  • What a wonderful year of gifting of your talents to others this is, I know they will all appreciate it whether they’ve received an actual items or the proceeds from sales.

  • Judy Tutuska

    I love your positivity Peg, and of course your creativity and your kindness. I believe you’re right, that if we do whatever little things we can to make this world a little better place, and if many others do what ever little things they can do, it will be a better place for us all.
    And warm hugs to you too for all you do!

    • Peg Cherre

      Thank you, Judy. I think – no I KNOW – that LOTS of people do what we/they can to make the world a little kinder, nicer, better. We just can’t get too overwhelmed by all the darkness around us. We have to keep going.

  • Alma Troiano

    Congratulations and hoorah! Thank you for what you do!

  • Jennifer Petschke

    Brilliant Peg. I’ll be lining up to purchase towels for Ukraine. Great idea. Your generosity of heart and spirit is beautiful.

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