Crafting for Charity

I’ve got people in my life that I refuse to knit or crochet for. I have judged them (oh yes, I’m a judger!) and while I like them as people, I found them unworthy of all the time it would time to make something. Yet I make things for total strangers and give them away.

Hmmm…

Broomstick Lace crochet for charity

Honestly I hadn’t realized this contradiction until

just this week as I was working up a broomstick lace scarf for Sewing Simple Gifts. (That’s not an official program. If it was I’d link it! Its just a nice phrase used by the ladies at my church who have decided that in addition to prayer shawls, we should make smaller items for kids.) So as I was broomstick-ing away I tried to figure that out. The best I can come up with is: I’m really doing it for me.

Its All About Me You Know

(If the scarf looks a bit familiar, its because I started it in my a Sunday Stitch post a week or so ago and just kept going with it. Its made by just repeating the steps I show in the video in that post, then a strip of color on each end, and finished with some tassels. I do love me some tassels.) 

Knitters and crocheters and quilters (and probably all of the other fiber crafters) are always being asked to make things for a charitable cause. Its so common in fact that as a creator of these hand-made things you have to learn to say no and not over commit yourself. You have to pick one or two charities that you will support and be a big meanie… err… I mean stand firm… and say no to all the others.

That’s if you decide to make things for charity at all. I know plenty of crafters who don’t and they have a pretty good reason why: they don’t want to spend the time to make things for people they don’t know. They’d rather just spend money (i.e. make a cash donation or buy items and give those).

I get that. I’ve written about it before; time is worth more than money. So what am I doing giving my time away to someone I’ll never meet?

Broomstick Lace crochet scarf for a child

It gets me out of my head.  I wish I was like Superman and all the petty, irritating parts of life just bounced off me. They don’t. But doing something for a stranger lets me forget about it all for awhile. When I’m working on a charity project I get a mental break from the cruddy-ness of everyday life.

Broomstick Lace crochet with tassles

Also, when I give stuff to a stranger, I can indulge in ridiculous craft-fantasies that will never be pieced by the cruel needle of reality. For this pretty, pink, broomstick lace scarf I created this scenario to go with it:

a) The little girl (yes a girl. I know we live in the world of political correctness these days but come on, pink + lace = girl) who gets it will love it. Of course.

b) She will wear it everyday even when it doesn’t match her outfit.

c) She will never loose it on the school bus or at a friend’s house or in a public toilet.

d) She will pack it away carefully every summer in potpourri and tissue paper.

e) She will take such care that it will survive her entire childhood intact and be passed on to her own daughter thus becoming a treasured family heirloom.

Yep. That’s exactly the way its going to go. And since I’m handing it over to the church ladies this Sunday, never to be seen again, I’ll never have to find out otherwise.

Ha! Take that World.

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13 thoughts on “Crafting for Charity

  1. I do the same thing, and your not alone with your feelings. Right now I am sponsoring Winter Warm Project…I know it is almost spring and summer but by the end of the year, I hope to have quite much to provide. You can read about it on my page. Sandy

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m not Jewish, and I don’t agree 100% with everything he said about charity, but I do like what Rabbi Maimonides said about it being more blessed to give freely and anonymously than to give where the donor and recipient are known.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Crafting for charity is a wonderful pursuit. Our Veteran’s Hospitals always have a need for lap robes, whether knit, crochet, or quilt. They also need colostomy bag holders.
    Head Huggers is a great place to donate hats and caps for chemo patients.
    There are so many wonderful organizations that you can choose a group that holds a special place in your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your imagining of the scarf recipient. I have no grandchildren to knit for, so I knit baby sweaters that will go to babies I’ll never see. I imagine the mothers proudly dressing the babes in colorful sweaters that will make them look even cuter than they already are.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve just taken up crochet. so far all i have made is dish clothes but i have learnt a new stitch for each one. I wasn’t even finished my first one and people started asking me to make them, and so i did. I’ve given away almost everything thing I’ve made so far. Why not i figure, they buy the yarn and i get to practice my craft for free. All the while never having to see the little mistakes I’ve made ever again. besides i like crochet for the drug like effect it has on my mind, when I’m working on a piece all my problems and my worries melt away from my mind. And that is really why i like my new found hobby.

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    1. It sounds like you’ve already discovered the two best parts of crochet: using it to make other people happy and the zen. You’re on your way!

      And welcome to the addiction.

      Like

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