Afghans for Afghans
Friday February 23rd 2007, 9:06 pm
Filed under: afghans for Afghans,Knit,Knitting a Gift

Before I say the rest of this, I want to publicly thank Shelly, who has emailed with me any number of times but whom I had never met. Today was her first-ever Stitches, she was only going for the one day, and she spent three hours of it pushing me around. Knitters are such nice people… Many, many thanks, Shelly.

When I was knitting my Barnswallows scarf for my book, I picked out a yarn that reminded me of the color of well-weathered wood, Jaggerspun Zephyr in Mushroom; it went with the story and it felt right. But as I knit it, I wondered whom it would eventually go to. It was pretty, but it wasn’t a color you’d be seeing me wearing any too often.

Ann Rubin is the person behind Afghans For Afghans, as I noted on my Weapons of Mass Construction entry, and for the last several years she has run a booth cum collecting point at Stitches for people wanting to donate handmade warm woolen things for the people of Afghanistan. To wage peace and goodwill. I’ve stopped before and chatted a bit, but never felt virtuous enough to make the effort to knit a whole blanket.

Well, Ann recently put out a call asking for hats, mittens, small things; someone was flying over there, but luggage space would be a problem. The one time I finally have an afghan I want to offer, a donegal tweed wool knitted with a camelhair/lambswool, big and warm and practical. So I emailed Ann; could she still use this? Sure, she said; there will be another shipment going not too far off, bring it, and thanks.

I went to the KnitU meetup last night, held after the opening-day stuff was otherwise over. I didn’t expect Ann to recognize me; other than the fact that I’ve been in a wheelchair at Stitches past, there was nothing ever to make me particularly stand out when we’ve met before. She and I were sitting across the large room from each other at this meeting, and she was dead tired, could hardly keep her eyes open–but they had us go around the room and say our names; she registered mine when I said it, her face lit up, and she smiled a silent hello.

Getting ready for bed last night, it suddenly hit me in total clarity: if I knitted something for Ann, anything warm she would feel morally obligated to share with those in far greater need of that warmth. She is someone who cannot sit still when there are humans in need. But the story of that Barnswallows scarf was about creating a place of peace in a background of ongoing war–and it is a wispy little thing, a bit of Jaggerspun Zephyr, a symbol and an airy lightness.

There is nobody else it could possibly have been for.

(Ann hesitated to accept it; she didn’t want to leave the other volunteers out, and she didn’t want the focus to be on her. I told her it would be wonderful publicity for the Afghans For Afghans project, and with that she relented. And she absolutely loved her scarf.)

2 Comments so far
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200% beautiful!!!
And that is all I can really muster, short and sweet.. But, I will add that I am left with this *feeling* every time I visit your blog. (It’s a good thing, to sum it up; beautiful!)

Comment by pippi 02.25.07 @ 4:53 am

Many, many thanks, Pippi. Comments like that help keep me writing this blog. And then Saturday, back at Stitches, Ann was being interviewed, with an afghan in her lap as she sat and spoke to the press. I was thrilled to see it was brown and cabled, and–okay, I should go listen to her example of “it’s not about me” and shut up now.

Comment by AlisonH 02.25.07 @ 4:09 pm

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