Monday, June 13, 2011
World Wide Knit in Public Day...and the Pine Street Inn Knit-a-Thon
This Saturday, June 11th, was World Wide Knit in Public Day. Not to let such a day pass unnoticed, I decided to gather a group of friends and find a spot to knit...in public. I sent out a quick message via Facebook to my many local friends who are involved in fiber artistry and threw together a small gathering at the Public Library Cafe. As inspiration, I suggested that we join our efforts to make a contribution from our town to a Massachusetts charity which contributes hand knit blankets to a local homeless shelter, the Pine Street Inn. The recipients of these blankets utilize them while at the Inn, and are then allowed to take them with them as a housewarming gift when they regain a home of their own.
Ultimately, six women attended the event..from a variety of backgrounds, religions, and age groups. The conversation was lively and engaging. While topics quite naturally gravitated to crafting topics, drawing out the expertise of some of the ultra-talented attendees (one, an editor of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine and a multi-media artist, another a knit designer with a daughter entering the field of fashion design), it dawned on me the significance of housing in ALL of the attendees lives. I, myself, spent 5 months between August of 2005 and Jan 2006, wondering if we would be homeless while we were floating two mortages...one possibly lost to flooding in New Orleans(it wasn't), and ultimately trying to sell is the midst of a city in chaos before our money to pay our new home mortgage ran completely out (which we did in the knick of time). Around the table there was a woman currently making a tri-country move who hasn't had a place to call "home" for a year-and-a-half, a woman who has lived in at least 10 cities in America ( having made her most recent moved no more than a week ago to Portland, ME and who drove all the way in to be in the presence of like-minded knitters...a "home" of sorts), two women who have lived without secure housing while raising their lovely children (who are close friends of my own), and one who, by virtue of being in a house next door to my own has become, effectively, a third grandmother(though not old enough ;-) )/auntie to my children. And though the topic of housing and homelessness never came up during our discussions, it was ...and always is...an undercurrent to everything we did and do.
If you reflect on the significance of housing in your life, and want to participate in this project, don't hesitate! Anyone can participate...simply knit or crochet a 9x9" square of any color, yarn type, or design, and contribute to the project as detailed on the Pine Street Inn Knit-a-thon Page. A warm blanket can make all the difference.