Saturday, 31 March 2018

Making A Difference (Part One)

I was intrigued by this photo of the Finnish snowboard coach, Antti Koskinen, knitting at the start of his event at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang last month.

 Social media reported that his team mates were also knitting - but what were they making?

Well, the team's knitted pieces were all stitched together to make a baby blanket.  Here it is being presented to the Finnish president whose wife had recently given birth to a baby boy.

This lovely gesture got me thinking about collaborative projects.  In general, the individual pieces are small and on their own they don't have much significance.  Put together, however, they have the Wow Factor.  A wonderful finished project   Altogether, they really make a difference!

So I decided this year I would make a difference too.  Each month I'd make something to contribute to a creative project comprising small pieces from lots of makers.  They'd each have a big impact when complete.

So in early January, I knitted a tiny jumper (from this charity pattern) as part of the celebratory bunting being created to mark the 100th episode of the Knit British podcast.  I love listening to Louise Scollay's regular podcasts as she enthuses the crafting community about the virtues of British yarn.  I know my wee jumper arrived safely as it featured on Louise's Instagram feed a few days after I posted it along with others she'd received.  Not only was the bunting displayed at the Knit British 100th episode party in Edinburgh in mid January, the bunting had another outing at Edinburgh Yarn Festival in February where it featured in the Podcaster's Lounge.  Photos below are by @knit_british and @mariette694

It had to be hearts for February!

I knitted five hearts and sent them off to be part of the Work of Heart Garden.  The pattern can be accessed through this website.

The Work of Heart Garden is the brainchild of Clare Young who is creating a full size knitted show garden installation in memory of her husband.  It will be on display at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival at the Three Counties Showground in Worcestershire from 10th to 13th May 2018.

The 4 metre square garden will include a hospice bedroom overgrown with knitted plants known for their healing properties.  As part of the installation Clare wants to include 10,000 'works of heart' - small knitted or crocheted hearts which will be made available to visitors to place on trees around the Work of Heart garden in return for a donation to the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice which cared for her husband.  Clare hopes to raise £50,000. Let's hope my wee hearts help her on her way!


No, my project for March was knitted squares.  (It just so happens that a mitred square starts off looking a bit like a pair of pants!)

Through Facebook, I learned that two enterprising ladies (known as Grans On The Make) were appealing for knitted squares to create a 13 foot commemorative poppy to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.  When complete the poppy will be made up of 1568 squares, representing the number of days of the war.  The picture below shows the middle section of 992 squares.

As well as the giant poppy, they are also creating a panel on the reverse to commemorate the Votes for Women centenary.

When I contacted Pat, who's organising this mammoth project, she said they had enough red and green squares for the poppy but still required black and also squares in shades of purple, green and cream or white so that's what I made.  I recently learned the meaning of the British suffragette colours designed in 1908 - purple for loyalty, green for hope and white for purity.

The finished project will be revealed at The Creative Craft Show in Birmingham in November 2018.

I've had fun knitting all these meaningful makes.   Now I need to head off and see what I'm going to create in April to make a difference!


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