Charity Knitting: Enough! Stop Already!
For whatever reason, knitters and crocheters have this annoying habit of insinuating their addiction on everyone. They call it Charity Knitting. Whether it’s wanted or not.
Charity Knitting – Know When to Quit
Fergawdsakes, before you crochet your next bird’s nest for a bird sanctuary, find out if they really need more first. Don’t make one more fucking blanket out of plastic bags for the homeless unless you KNOW it will be wanted and used. Does your church really need another prayer shawl or do you just need to make one? And please know that if you insist on making a sweater (or jumper) for an Australian penguin, it will probably get thrown in a ridiculously large pile of other penguin sweaters that weren’t needed.
Don’t get me wrong. Charity Knitting can be great. If you can do something good with your skill of knitting, weaving and/or crocheting, I’m all for it. I couldn’t find any indication that the crocheted mats made from plastic bags for the homeless weren’t a useful thing. I can’t imagine schlepping around a bulky crochet mat, but then again, I’ve never been homeless, so I don’t really know. But do a google image search on homeless crochet plastic bag mats. You’ll see a lot of proud crocheters. And a lot of finished mats. But not many homeless people using them.
Here’s what I really mean. There comes a point where the “charity” becomes way more about the crafter than the donation. I remember when I’d give a hand-knit gift for someone’s birthday or at a shower. Suddenly the event became WAY too much about me. Instead of the celebrant of the occasion. Which was the exact opposite of what I was hoping for.
Before you craft for charity next, ask yourself a question. Would my time, effort and cost of materials be better spent helping the charity in a different way?
As hoped, the Tree Line Shawl was finished last night.
It’s a beautifully designed shawl, and even though it’s got a lacy component, it’s something I could easily get away with wearing.
I’ve chosen the yarn and swatched for my next project as well.
I’m thinking this natural/undyed yarn (Romney and Merino blend) from Karin Kennedy at Ensign Brook Farm will become a cardigan for Thaddeus. I will design on the needles and hope for the best.
3 comments on “Charity Knitting: Enough! Stop Already!”
Great post! Sorry to say that “charity” attitude permeates many aspects of our culture. Hard to have a nuanced discussion of issues with someone who has cloaked herself in righteousness over the good she is doing for society.
The shawl looks great & look forward to seeing Thaddeus’ cardigan progress!
Love the shawl, but I think I’m gonna love the new sweater even more.
For me Franklin Habit’s Do You Knit the Gift or Do You Buy the Gift? diagram in his Panopticon post “Yarnworthy?” can be helpfully extended to charity knitting. I imagine you’re familiar with it: http://the-panopticon.blogspot.com/2012/07/yarnworthy.html