A couple of years ago someone who knew that I did a lot of charity knitting asked if she could do an interview for a local magazine. She said blithely, "I'll be in touch after Thanksgiving to set up a date. Oh, and we'll want to take pictures of some of y."ur work." She was completely outdone when I answered, "That's not got going to work. It will all be gone by then." To date the interview has not been done.
This is the time of year when I distribute all the things I have been working on all year. Some churches have an "ingathering" in the fall to gather together all the projects various mission groups have been working on. I have an "outgoing."
Today I did the first drop-off of 44 hats for the Knitting for Noggins project at Arkansas Children's Hospital (http://www.archildrens.org/volunteer/Knitting_for_Noggins.asp). I take my hat to a very special yarn shop in Arkadelphia that serves as a gathering point for lots of charity projects and sells fair trade goods. Knit Unto Others ( http://www.knituntoothers.com/) has lots of great yarn, but more than that, is a place that invites you to have a seat at the table and just hang out and knit for a while.
Today I was smarter than usual, and determined that my visit to the shop was my only goal for the day. That meant I could spend all the time I wanted, without a need to rush off to some other place. Let's just say I went in with two bags of hats and came out with two bags of yarn. I'm on my way to well-stocked for Christmas knitting.
Tomorrow I'm off to Little Rock for the second drop-off. This one is a church-wide effort to create layette kits for newborns. The hard part of the kits, at least in the warm climate where we live, is the little sweater; they simply can't be bought around here for less than $20.00. So I promised the church that I would provide sweaters for the kits they create. This year they outdid themselves; I was prepared to knit 20 sweaters, and ended up needing 30. Amy helped by sending me 3 from her stash, so we were able in the end to complete 28 kits, with a few things left over for next year. In addition, 8 of our kits went out with handmade blankets in them. One of my parishioners loves to crochet baby blankets, and we love for her to do it.
I love watching the hats and sweaters pile up in my yarn through the room. A kitty litter pail full and labeled makes my heart feel good. But even better is the process of emptying them all at the end of the year. It means that all those stitches are on their way to the people that need them, which was the point in the first place. And of course, they go with my prayers. Whether for the child patients at Arkansas Children's or the tiny newborns that go home wrapped in one of Diane's blankets, lots of prayers go with the garments.
Maybe, when all is said and done, it's the prayers that are really the point.