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January 03, 2017 3 Comments

I cordially invite you to join me in offering a warm welcome to refugees in the U.S. and Europe. If you would like to knit a hat for a refugee and offer them a warm welcome, as well as a little protection against winter cold, starting January 1, 2017, Little Skein will be a collection point.

Here's why:

Ever since I heard about the 25,000 tuques project in Canada, started in 2015, I've been taken with the idea of offering a warm, handknit hat to refugees who are coming to a new and often much colder country than the one they left. Knitters help keep people warm. That's what we do.

When the tuques project began to gain steam, local yarn shops and other businesses around the United States stepped up to be collection points for hats, so that individual knitters could send their hats with much cheaper domestic postage, and the host yarn shop would cover the cost of international shipping to Canada.

Fast forward to 2017. The 25,000 tuques project is run by an individual and seems a bit overwhelmed with the number of hats received and the massive work of getting hats in the hands of refugees. Our local Bay Area collection point, Purlescence Yarns, has closed. The U.S. elections happened, and the incoming president vociferously states anti-immigrant and divisive rhetoric that I find distressing for many reasons, but overarching all of these reasons is that bad things continue to happen in the world that impact innocent people who need help.

It feels right and important to dedicate some of Little Skein's time and resources to be a small, but hopefully meaningful, voice for the values I hold dear: a gracious welcome, an open hand and open heart, and the deep and abiding belief that differences in religion, skin color, background and perspectives make us stronger and better. 

How to help refugees in need

You knit a hat; we will send it to a reliable organization that gets knitted items in the hands of refugees.

Little Skein will be a collection point for handknit hats (and hats only, please). Once a month in the fall, winter and early spring months of the year, we will send hats to one of two organizations which are well-formed and well-organized to distribute the hats to refugees:

U.S. Committee for Refugees
Knit Aid in the United Kingdom (when they have an open call for donations)

I am delighted to do this as long as knitters want to send us hats. In the summer months, we'll hold onto the hats and send them in our first donation box of the fall.

Knitting guidelines

We will be using Knit Aid's guidelines, so please be sure your hat meets these criteria:

  • Dark colors only (here's why)

  • Use good quality yarn; wool preferred. We are going for maximum warmth.

  • All ages and sizes needed.

  • Please ensure all ends have been weaved in before sending.

  • If you would like to write a message with your donation, Knit Aid offers beautiful cards you can print at home. Please attach your note to each knitted donation with some yarn or a safety pin.

  • Crocheted hats are OK, too.

Hats only, please. It streamlines the donation process for me to negotiate a donation of a single item type.

Mail your hat(s) to:

Little Skein in the Big Wool
Warm Welcome project
P.O. Box 12305
San Francisco, CA 94112

Footnote

My family came to the United States on the Mayflower. It's a small footnote in my personal geneaology that makes me proud to be descended from the first immigrants to America. I come from hardy stock who made their way in the face of prejudice and difficulty. My husband is a first-generation immigrant, and my son is a native-born San Franciscan. They are two of the finest people I know, and our little family represents America to me: such different backgrounds, all of us, knitted together with love.

As 2016 turns into 2017, I face the New Year with some trepidation about what the presidential transition will bring, and this Warm Welcome project is my way of shining a light on an issue I care about. I hope you will join me.

 





3 Responses

Jamie
Jamie

January 04, 2017

Thank you so much for starting this hat collection. I have also been deeply shaken by the result of election since and been looking for opportunities to do something for our community and for the many refugees in Europe. We have a small group of friends at work who meet every other week to knit or crochet- one girl from Brazil acquired 1 case of individual crochet squares (500+) from Warm Up America and we have been working on sewing them together into blankets this winter— I wish the finished blankets could go to Europe but I don’t think that’s right. When I saw your post this morning I knew I will start making hats as fast as possible and send them to you… I went to the Knit Aid UK facebook and they have a new deadline for collection: January 20th- the inauguration day which is more fitting than ever for the charitable purposes. Thank you Anne for taking the initiative to do so. Many success to you in 2017!

Esther
Esther

January 03, 2017

Hi Anne,
I just posted my comment and after posting it realized that my name wasn’t typed properly. Should read Esther not Ther. Oooops

Ther
Ther

January 03, 2017

This is such a wonderful project and I will be sending in a hat or more if I can swing it. I’m a first generation American, coming from a family of immigrants. On my father’s side, 12 of 16 family member were lost in the holocaust and it breaks my heart to see people continuing to be persecuted. Thanks for the opportunity to show a bit of kindness to someone who may feel forgotten.

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