This year was the first for Jorstad Creek to take on a charity knitting project. We collaborated with the local Zonta International chapter to provide free hat kits to knitters or crocheters who stopped by our side-by-side booths during the August Harbor Days event in Olympia, Washington.
We gave away all of the kits to be knit up into baby hats and donated to Family Education and Support Services of Olympia (Familyess.org) who in turn donates the hats plus a video and information packet to new parents at local hospitals. The hats are a visual reminder to new parents that sometimes new babies cry for no reason at all, even after you’ve taken care of all of their needs. The video talks to parents about taking care of themselves and how to cope with inconsolable crying in a newborn. The program helps to prevent shaken baby syndrome, a problem that has escalated throughout Thurston County in the past few years.
One person who accepted a kit found me at my booth at Fiber Fusion and shared her enthusiasm for the project. We laid out all of the hats she had made since August, and I snapped a photo that ended up on the Jorstad Creek Facebook page. Having just retired and finding herself in need of a project, she confessed to me how much meaning this act of charity knitting has given to her knitting.
I have been thinking about her experience, and casting forward to what might be another cause for Jorstad Creek to support as we move toward the new year and 2015. As if someone was reading my mind, I ran across an article in the Holiday 2014 Vogue Knitting about cashmere grown in Pangong, India. A Cashmere Craft Center is being built to provide the women of the area a place to go during the winter to spin and weave the locally produced cashmere, and have their children with them in a light, warm environment. Being able to produce products for sale saves these women from having to do heavy manual labor with their infants on their backs.
As a yarn company I feel compelled to embrace this effort on the other side of the world. While I do not currently make yarn with cashmere in it, I have one commercial yarn I hand dye that has a small quantity. It is a wonderful fiber, and I want to know more about how it is produced for the commercial hand knitting yarn market. In the mean time, I can support the building of the center by donating a portion of my company’s profits to this worthy effort at my next fiber market event.
I will be donating five percent of gross proceeds from my booth at KnitFit in Ballard (November 8 and 9, 2014) to the Cashmere Craft Center effort. To donate individually, visit http://www.wildfibersmagazine.com/#!ladakh/clejy.