Knitting for Good: A Guide to Creating Personal, Social & Political Change, Stitch by Stitch

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And have you not heard about prayer shawls? Many stitch patterns, not least in Fairisle knitting, have Christian connotations, eg the tree of life. We knitters are not only creative, crafty, in the best sense of the word, and community minded but also rather spiritual! From a now very sadly ex-knitter due to arthritis in my thumbs probably aggravated by knitting! You can knit on an airplane! Just bring bamboo circular cable needles — there is never a question on them as they are shorter than a pencil, made of wood like a pencil, and no one takes your pencils away when you board a plane.

Circular needles are great for straight knitting, as you store your work on the cable and no stitches ever fall of the end of the needle like they do on straight needles. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.

View all posts by theweeflea. Skip to content So here we are in Australia, sitting at our log fire it is winter and it does get cold! Here is where knitting leads…. Not so happy with the hat maker…! Blessed are the knitters…. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

Next Next post: Prophets, Prostitutes and Politicians. Published by theweeflea. Makes me want to be a better person and a better knitter, not necessarily in that order. Feb 16, Marlyn rated it really liked it Shelves: knitting. The subtitle says it all, really. The book begins with an introduction to knitting and by inference, other needle and fibre crafts and it's re-emergence as a popular craft. The concept of knitting etc. Personally, I believe that knitting as an activity is inherently good: one is making warm garments or even toys to provide love and warmth to oneself or someone else.

And then there is the psychological benefit to the knitter. Knitting is a proven stress reliever my screams and curses when attempting to follow a difficult pattern notwithstanding. Greer deals with this to some extent in the first section of the book, also citing the satisfaction of creating a tangible item, and the possibilities of earning a living through this creation.

In subsequent chapters, the focus is on knitting as a communal activity, which is evidenced by the number of recently formed knitting groups all over the world. The idea of knitting as a feminist craft rather than as old-fashioned "women's work" is dominant here. The last section of the book focusses on knitting as an instrument of good on a global basis: knitting for charities outside one's immediate circle, such as those that send knitted toys to children in third-world countries. Knitting is, without exaggeration, a respite from grief, war, and cold, as Greer makes clear in this book.

There are patterns included that are suitable for giving or sending to charities, as well as a list of knitting groups and knitting charities. As this is an Advanced Reader's Copy, I'm hoping that the publisher chose not to print the personal narratives that appear throughout the book in white letters on gray background. It's just too difficult to read! I didn't sit down with this book and become absorbed in it to the exclusion of everything around me, but that doesn't mean it's not valuable.

It's chock-full of ideas and inspirations; perfect for dipping into when you're feeling purposeless or unmotivated. Feb 17, Apryl Anderson rated it liked it Shelves: set-adrift-from-my-shelves , knitters-paradise. This was a nice read; I don't have anything to say against it, yet I don't see it changing my world. Greer gives excellent suggestions and enthusiastic support for how we might use our handwork for positive change.

Maybe it's just the extreme difference between American volunteerism versus the French complaint that you're taking work away from someone who's paid for it. So please! Pay me to knit all day!! I suppose that 'knitting for the good' in my world would be a happy marriage of social capi This was a nice read; I don't have anything to say against it, yet I don't see it changing my world. I suppose that 'knitting for the good' in my world would be a happy marriage of social capitalism? I can do far better work than pink pussy caps.

Can I please knit for the good by getting my amazing work out there for my own financial support? Just thinking out loud Apr 13, Kelly H. Maybedog rated it liked it Shelves: what-knit-crochet , what-nonfiction.

I like the concept, and I agree with pretty much everything the author says, I'm just not sure it needed a whole book. Or maybe just that the execution wasn't the greatest. Plus, this was really about Crafting for good not Knitting: most of the examples varied greatly in the different types of craft they were talking about. I think they were latching onto the knitting fad with the title. The basic premise of the book is that you can engender social change in just about everything you do.

Just buy I like the concept, and I agree with pretty much everything the author says, I'm just not sure it needed a whole book.

Antislick to Postslick: DIY Books and Youth Culture Then and Now

Just buy buying locally and not supporting businesses that employ slave labor. Buying and selling crafts is more environmental and socially conscious. You can also spread goodwill just by communicating through knitting by someone seeing you knit and being interested even if you don't speak the same language.

But that's true of just about anything you could be doing that's remotely creative. If you were sitting on a bus making a sculpture I bet you'd get a couple interested eyes. I liked the fact that these things were being discussed about a mainstream hobby but I suspect that her identification with Riot Grrrl when she was younger probably would turn a few people off. Plus the book is text text text text text. The patterns are tiny line drawings so it's hard to even discern what they're supposed to be.

There's this scary lion that looks like it's mouth exploded! I wish they'd included the pattern for the cool knitted globe on the cover but alas, no. I laud the author for her efforts and her research but I think this could have been handled much better. Sep 25, Ellen rated it really liked it Shelves: setting , social-justice , knitting.

I first read Betsy Greer's work in the anthology she complied called Craftivism. This earlier work show the origins of her later one. This book is her personal story of coming to knitting and discovering the connections which can be made with it, connections to many people, including a previously difficult to speak with relative, connections to strangers who see her knitting in public, and connections to activism, or craftivism.

This personal story shapes the narrative, but does not overwhelm it I first read Betsy Greer's work in the anthology she complied called Craftivism. This personal story shapes the narrative, but does not overwhelm it. The authro has been very proactive in using her knitting to connect to others, and made me think that I should make a few changes around how publicly I knit. Interspersed within this work are the stories of others, told in their own words about how crafting has connected them more deeply to their community either nearby or to be able to help strangers who they may not meet.

When reading this, I kept thinking about the many knitting groups in public libraries across Australia who knit for Wrap with love and other charities, and the powerful act of craftivism these many people are continuing to do. It was great that this was brought to mind by reading this work. Mar 13, Tom Franklin rated it liked it. Greer starts her book by describing her own path to knitting and how it helped her see herself as part of a continuing series of women in her family line. Knitting was once a necessary skill, practiced by generations of women to help clothe their families, and reclaiming that craft by choice made a great difference in her life.

She then goes on to describe and suggest ways in which knitting can create community. The act of crafting can bring like-minded people together and offer ways to give of y Greer starts her book by describing her own path to knitting and how it helped her see herself as part of a continuing series of women in her family line.

The act of crafting can bring like-minded people together and offer ways to give of your time and talents to those in need. Greer offers suggestions for volunteering, either individually or as part of a crafting circle, and is very encouraging in her writing. Greer is also the author of a book titled "Craftivism" and heads the website of the same name. The word is a combination of Craft and Activism. While she slightly distances herself from someone she quotes as stating that 'all actions are political acts' the gist of her writing at least suggests that she believes all crafting is a activism, especially knitting.

Oct 09, Elise Cohen added it. It jumps around a bit but provides a very pleasant read and a good deal of support and community building. Knitters can influence their own personal growth through knitting and particularly though not exclusively through knitting for others. She also profiles a number of other knitters including bloggers, write "This is a lovely little book for any knitter's library. She also profiles a number of other knitters including bloggers, writers, designers, teachers, activists, and others , with their thoughts on knitting, fiber arts' place in the world, and what knitting means for them personally.

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Dec 21, penny shima glanz rated it really liked it Shelves: craft-knitting , arcs-purchased-from-strand. This line spoke the most to me, though I wish that it didn't need to be written: "Textiles gave these women a voice; when they weren't allowed to speak, they could communicate their emotions through color, expressing their hopes and fears and anger stitch by stitch. Greer has done a very nice job in intermingling her experiences, the experiences and personal words of others, and how we ourselves can embrace crafti This line spoke the most to me, though I wish that it didn't need to be written: "Textiles gave these women a voice; when they weren't allowed to speak, they could communicate their emotions through color, expressing their hopes and fears and anger stitch by stitch.

Greer has done a very nice job in intermingling her experiences, the experiences and personal words of others, and how we ourselves can embrace craftivism. She doesn't preach but offers a view and leaves the reader to learn more and make their own choices.

Visioning Resources

The included knitting patterns are varied in topic and geared toward the beginner. I didn't take note of the recommended yarns, but as I logged in to write this review, I noticed a few others said they are on the pricey side. I'll try to append this review with some substitutions in the near future.

It's a nice easy and quick read.

Calaméo - Knitting For Good_Pbk

Jun 11, karenbee rated it liked it. I've loved the idea of "craftivism" since I first heard it, through Betsy Greer, as a matter of fact. Maybe it's because this isn't a new concept for me, but I found this book to be sort of dry, even though there were personal stories sprinkled throughout the text.

It just didn't work for me. Maybe I am not enough of a hardcore knitter. There are also a few patterns in "Knitting for Good! My copy was an ARC, and I would give it two-and-a-half stars if goodreads allowed that. It soothed me with the repetitive movements that also symbolized the growth of a garment or an accessory, each stitch simultaneously a push forward and a mark of time.

Eventually, as I sought out knitting groups and took to knitting in public, this activity allowed me to talk to a whole host of people I never would have met otherwise. Thanks to the common denominator of knitting, I was able to connect with individuals who were older, younger, richer, not-so-rich, foreign, and local—all of us coming together through our love of craft. During this quest, I realized that as I walked around town and watched the news, I was constantly bombarded by images of both humans and animals in need all over the planet, and it began to sink in that there were things I could do to help others just by knitting.

I started with knitting scarves and hats for local homeless and domestic abuse shelters; the thought of bringing warmth and comfort to people with something soft and tangible seemed natural. The idea that my scarves were keeping people in my own community cozy allowed me to start processing how charity and compassion truly start in the smallest of actions.

While some people are meant to donate large sums of money, others are meant to donate their time, knowledge, or skills. As time progressed, I kept expanding my focus toward the global scale, which for the most part is incredibly daunting and terrifyingly large.

11 More KNITTING TIPS You Need to Know

But thenIbegantothinkaboutthetraitsthatmakehandmadeitemsunique—for example, how scarves knitted with hope and love always seem cozier on cold, lonely nights. But desperately needed and treasured by the people receiving the scarves or hats or blankets. It was for those people, the ones who truly needed something that my hands could create in a few spare hours, that I started donating handmade items on an international level as well as a local one.

This was a few years after the start of a well-known organization called Afghans for Afghans, a humanitarian project I had read about on various craft websites and message boards. It took little more than a couple of hours, and I made sure to use bright colors in the hope that they might bring a little bit of light to those who had endured a lifetime of strife.


  • Description.
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Some people donate money to causes. Some help raise awareness for them via campaigning. I choose to knit. I know that what I create with my own hands will directly help someone in need by providing warmth. I like that. About This Book This is a book about expanding your relationship with craft so that it can become more a part of your everyday life, your personality, and your beliefs.

Since my love of knitting grew from personal changes to later encompass community and global perspectives, that is how this book is organized. It is also my belief that when we make a change within ourselves and then apply it to our world, we can become better examples for others via our actions. Although this book is ultimately best read in chronological order, it is also written as a guide to help you jump-start your relationship with knitting or sewing or basketball or what have you however you need it, whether that is on a personal or global scale or somewhere in between.

Part 2 deals with ways you can aid your immediate community through craft and creativity. While knitting gifts for people you love is wonderful, knitting for others in your community can be just as, if not more, rewarding. Different communities have different needs, depending on location, culture, and economics, but every community has a want or need that can be met via creativity—you just may need to do a bit of brainstorming to see how your skills can be of use.

This section is a starting point for connecting with family, friends, and others in your community. One of the remarkable things about knitting and handcrafts is their ability to transcend societal differences, as every culture has its own craft history based on its own idiosyncrasies. This section explores using craft to express emotion, make statements, and engage in activism.

This book is about taking your craft and creativity in hand and running with the possibilities. Each item and pattern represents part of the range of articles that can be donated to various charitable organizations. Each chapter also ends with an action, in case you would like to push your craft further and engage your creativity in new directions.

Finally, although this book centers on knitting, it speaks to all things handmade and creatively driven. Even though I identify most strongly with knitting, it is just one of the many crafts you can practice to make a difference personally, locally, and globally. And while there are hundreds, if not thousands, of choices and paths before you, there are just as many personal stories and insights on how to use knitting for the good of ourselves and others.

Just as the projects I may dream of as I step into a shop full of yarn may be worlds away from the creations you concoct, my experiences with knitting may be very different from yours.


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  7. This book is written with those core similarities in mind; as no matter how we differ, we can all hold creativity in high esteem and value the lessons that knitting has to teach. This book is based on the belief that every time you pick up your knitting needles you have the opportunity to create positive change in the world. It is my hope that what you read will make you think, create, and remember to take time to knit.

    I believe that if we take good care of ourselves, we can give more to others. Thank you for sharing this time with me. True magic happens when we create with our hands and dream from our hearts.

    A Guide to Creating Personal, Social, and Political Change Stitch by Stitch

    How else could I explain how this grandmotherly craft made its way into my feminist, activist lifestyle? I was embarrassed by my secret hobby, yet there was something about it that was irresistible. When I stop and think about how this craft came to me, I realize that there was a clear path that brought me to this point in my life—now a knitter of eight years. Understanding how I became a knitter let me relax deeper into my craft and reclaim the stereotypes so that I could truly be empowered by my choice to knit.

    When you think of knitting, perhaps you also think of how it allows you to relax, create, and clothe. What led you to knit despite all the other crafty options? When we explore our craft roots, we can connect more deeply with what drives our creativity and compels us to make something. I tried things like skateboarding, playing music, starting a zine, hiking, and many other pursuits that resulted in either a bruised ego or bruised knees. I jostled between cliques and activities in the hope that one of.

    When I discovered Riot Grrrl at the onset of the s, it felt like what I hadbeenwaitingformyentirelife. Iwouldcrankupmyrecord player and dance and sing along to the lyrics, completely exhilarated to discover that there were people like me. It was acceptable to not be good, because after all, I was learning, right? The notion that I could do something and screw it up without apology was novel and liberating. This new way of thinking gave me the go-ahead to try a host of different things that I actually wanted to do instead of just doing the things my friends wanted me to do.

    It was my indoctrination into the world of the do-it-yourself DIY ideologyandactivism. Byusingmyowncreativedriveasapositiveforce instead of allowing the wheels of consumerism to direct me, everything I did becamepartofmyactivism. Insteadofpittingmyselfagainstothers,Ibeganto comprehendthatifIwantedtomakeamagazine,Icouldwriteitandpublishit myself; if I wanted to start a record company, I could start one in my bedroom.

    It was a small local store in Durham, North Carolina, that sold handmade jewelry and bags in the front andyarnintheback.

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