Sunday, July 3, 2011

Unsung Heroes

I have been knitting with Operation Cover Up for around six years.  I knit alone.  My mother-in-law got me started when I was sick with fatigue.  It was a great occupier.  I could sit on the couch, knit two rows, feel like I'd accomplished something, then have a rest.  Then I'd knit another row or two.  I was hooked.  Today, six years down the track, I still knit squares.  I thought about doing more advanced knitting.  You know, a jersey or two.  I knitted some bootees for babies, then decided that really, I like knitting squares.  No counting.  Just knitting.  Not too much thinking, so my brain can wander where it pleases.  Colour and shape, and some visible progress for each and every stitch I make.  An excellent choice for a high-achiever like me (when I say high-achiever, I am not meaning I have achieved highly, but rather that I am constantly pressuring myself to achieve, to cross things of, to finish, to start, to be DOING something).  I delight in having something that is relaxing and purposeful at the same time, that is giving but also personally satisfying. 

My mother-in-law knitted with a group from her local church.  They got together every week.  And I did go to a craft group for nearly a year, and was welcomed with open arms by the mainly elderly lady population of knitters!  But for the most part, my knitting has been a personal journey.  I very rarely meet other knitters, or see their blankets.  I have, therefore, had a really exciting week in that I have seen not one, but TWO other Operation Cover Up unsung heroes!

The first is an old family friend of my husband's.  We visited this week, and I 'happened' to notice the strips of crocheted squares on her footstool.  She doesn't knit or crochet these days, but she is still busy at work sewing crocheted squares together.  She even had a newspaper clipping and Mission Without Borders magazine with Cover Up news sitting beside her chair!  The magazine came home with me.  Yay, thank you!  The article was duly photographed and returned.  She showed me a blanket she'd just finished stitching together as well as the strips she had just started on.  It was lovely.  Sometimes it is just encouraging to find someone else doing something similar to yourself, you know.  And I find it amusing that we have known her so long without ever knowing she does this, or her knowing that I do too.

Then, to top my week off, we visited an old school friend yesterday.  There, sitting on her piano was a neat little tower of knitted squares, in all the colours of the rainbow.  I just had to ask.  She had just finished the squares for a blanket.  It's taken three years.  Now that is committment.  This is someone my age, with several children and a home to manage, who only knits when there is nothing else to do (like at the doctors, for instance!).  She could have knitted something for one of her own children, but instead she has chosen to knit for a child she will never meet.

Two unsung heroes, going about their daily lives, quietly knitting and sewing when they get the chance.  Two people who are among the hundreds who donate hours and hours of time to Operation Cover Up so that children who have so little and are so often forgotten are able to know that they matter enough to someone right the way across the world that they made them a colourful, warm blanket.  Just for them.  Just because we care.  Sigh.  Now I want to knit.  I'm nearly finished my blanket.  Nearly.  I get the twitches just thinking about being so close.  But life is busy just now, so I am waiting.  Waiting, and enjoying the knowledge that there are others like me out there, knitting and crocheting and sewing away. 



Mary said...

Hi Amy! Thanks for stopping by and I had wondered if there were squirrels in NZ and Australia.

I'm a crocheter. Like you I make simple things. Some I keep and some I give away. Reminds me I have a woolen blanket in the works to finish for people in Tibet.

MaxineD said...

Well written, Amy - as ever :-)
We didn't know about N doing the blankets either until we were talking just the other day.