When I started knitting for charity, I was looking for practical items that could also send a message of warmth, comfort and care beyond its utilitarian purpose. Why not warm and cozy socks?
So I called the local women shelter and asked if they would want some. They said ‘Sure’ and when we discussed specific requirements, they suggested to make them machine washable and in both medium and large sizes. There are about 20 regular clients at the shelter. The first three pairs of socks is a little pilot project. The cold season ends (hopefully) but if we get a request for more, we could start making them for the next winter.
At the suggestion of another knitter, I picked three skeins of 2 ply Briggs and Little Tuffy yarn, 80% wool and 20% nylon for better wear. This yarn makes thick and warm socks, I machine washed one pair and it became much softer and felted just a bit, but didn’t change its shape. I made two medium size pairs in blue and green colours and had leftover yarn. The red pair was going to be size large. I made the first sock, nice and tall, and weighted it. Then I weighted the leftover yarn. It was ten grams lighter.
My second sock was shorter by its toe. So before making the first sock smaller, I decided to ask around on Ravelry. The reply was posted mere hours after my plea to share some leftover yarn since I only needed ten grams. Janet from New Brunswick had it, even the same dyelot. We exchanged a few messages, and that’s what came in the mail a few days later.
One hundred grams of kindness. It’s almost the whole skein! It will make another pair. Janet graciously refused to be compensated for both yarn and postage and only asked to pass the favour onto someone else.
Now, sharing is not unheard of in the knitting community, it’s actually quite common. But when it happened to me, it felt really, really good. I could go to the store and buy more yarn. I could do without and still finish that pair. But these two balls sitting on my table make me feel warm inside.
Women at the shelter probably have socks. Or warm boots. Or their temporary house is warm. Or their problems are so much bigger than those little thing — I honestly don’t know.
But I hope someone will get the same warm feeling when they put on a pair of socks.
Thanks, Janet. You made this little endeavor a collective effort and that’s what it is all about.
If anyone feels inclined to knit socks, here is more info about the shelter. The socks can be dropped off or mailed to:
2706 Gottingen Street
Halifax, NS B3K 3C7