Monday, July 16, 2012

Contribute to the Whole

Those of you who have read my blog for a while know just how much I adore and value the friendships I have built through my local yarn group.

In the last month, I was brought in even further - I become part of the whole both figuratively and literally.

I have always been a person that used my ability to crochet (and more recently knitting) as a means to supply myself with household items, create gifts, and create items for people or animals in need. I wholeheartedly believe in charitable crafting - I always have and I know that in the end, I always will. I am sure a large monetary donation is appreciated, and probably preferred, but the truth is I'm not in a position to be able to give the money I would want - I cannot donate like others... but I can donate my time and I can definitely donate my crafting abilities. Even better - I don't have the time or schedule to accommodate volunteering my time at the location - but through crochet, I can make the items to fit my schedule and get them donated.

But that's not why I'm blogging today (although you wouldn't know it from the soap box I just got off of). Today - I am here to thank my friends from yarn group for including me in the whole. I will warn you now... this may be a little long because my emotional response to doing this was much greater than I had ever anticipated it to be.

Until the last 60 days, every charitable giving item and gift I have made has only been made by me. I have never crocheted or knitted on a group project. In the last 60 days, I have done this twice - and when it relates to a friend in need of prayer, there is nothing more special than praying your heart and soul into something and giving those prayers, along with the prayers of 11 other people to a friend.... in the form of a prayer shawl.

This prayer shawl was created over the course of a week and a half or two weeks... it was approximately 6 feet long, not stretched! I don't remember the yarn... I don't remember anything about the materials.. I remember sitting with it in my lap, praying for peace, comfort, and love for my friend who lost her dad unexpectedly.

I was the last person to work on the shawl so for me, I was the first person to see the shawl and feel the power of what it represented as a whole - 12 of us total worked on it. I opted to edge in crochet simply because I am a terribly slow knitter. The body was worked in garter stitch - the colors chosen and the sparkles... those are for our friend - THOSE were for her, something she would love.

I finished the shawl and washed it... looked at it - admired the representation of love and friendship.

It was powerful for me. Even more powerful was the moment she opened her gift at yarn group. She knew she was loved.

I am going to admit something - I have always had this "thing" about giving crafted gifts to a person who does the same craft. It is a bit negative - but in that moment, that moment when her gaze set upon the prayer shawl and she knew that we created this for her - those ideas melted away.It was a shawl... literally - but what it stood for figuratively was so much more.

The second item we as a team worked on was one that represented the happiness of bringing new life into the world.

We meet in a store that has a coffee shop - and in that coffee shop are some of the nicest people you will ever meet - and they sure know how to take care of us!

Well, when the young lady gave us an opportunity to craft by getting pregnant (surely that's the only reason she did it), we took the call to arms seriously!

The expecting barista is a tad bit unconventional so we decided to go with a nice red color for the baby blanket. It started out with the intent of being a normal sized baby blanket, but as you can see - the baby will be able to take this bad-boy to college. We ended up with 12 squares from 11 people (I believe... could be wrong) ... all were to be 12x12 but they blocked to 14! Couple that with an inch join between squares and a good 4 inch border.... and you have yourself a big baby blanket!

I will admit I was a little nervous about how this was going to come together (it was actually the first project I worked with a team to complete - not the shawl) but when D- pulled it out of the gift bag, it took my breath away.

So there you have it - it was something new for me to participate with others to coordinate and craft a single gift - but in the end, both turned out amazing.

Moral of this blog: you should always consider gift giving and charitable crafting as an option with your abilities BUT if you are ever in a position to work with a group towards a single crafted item goal - do it. Its worth it.


mary (nauget bluff) said...

That is wonderful.  There nearest group to me is over an hour away and not feasable for I really depend on virtual friendships!

Darbyrose said...

What a beautiful post, Cris! I am so glad that you are a part of our group.

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