I mean to make progress on the piles of UFO’s, on the Ravelry files, on the backlog of photos to document the Dulaan pile. There are two new babies to knit for (and a toddler brother). The TikkunTree Project has been eating evening time, and getting the RS TikkunKnitters off the ground consumes much of the weekend. But there are always new distractions. I’ve just signed onto another (!) knittivist project – to knit a helmet liner for one of my U.S. senators, Bob Casey, Jr., as part of the Stitch for Senate project. The pattern’s been in my files for a number of years, so here’s a chance to put it to special use.
As described by the project’s organizers:
Stitch for Senate is an initiative of knit hobbyists making helmet liners for every United States Senator. Building on the tradition of wartime knitting, a practice as old as the American Revolution, Stitch for Senate revives this cultural trend by engaging with political officials about the war in Iraq. The Stitch for Senate website will compile testimonies from contributing knitters, that express everything from charity, allegiance, patriotism, resistance, and radicalism; using the tradition of political organizing within knitting circles as a space for storytelling, discussion, exchange and protest. All the senators will receive their own helmet liner before the 2008 Senate race, after being displayed in the seating chart of the US Senate at a Washington DC venue. Once they are received, senators can opt to send helmets to a soldier.
The Red Cross Museum maintains a terrific website about the history of wartime knitting efforts, and the Washington state museum. In addition, if you want to knit helmet liners that will go to American soldiers in Iraq without the detour of the Stitch for Senate exhibit, there are a number of groups looking for volunteers (try Seniors Helping Others, RI, Helmetliner, IL or a collection by former Iraqi soldier Ruth), and the Helmet Heads KAL.
I’ve long been concerned about Senator Casey’s stand on reproductive rights, health care legislation, environmental protection (until lately), public transportation, and urban planning, as well as his position on the war in Iraq and willingness to compromise civil rights in the name of fighting terrorism. I’m glad to participate in the Stitch for Senate project and add this helmet to the messages I’ve already sent to his office.
There are plenty of other state senators “in need” of the warm reminder provided by one of these knitted helmets. We are most fortunate to live in this democracy, with the right to express our views … knittivism isn’t necessarily progressive or conservative; it’s expressive. If you support your senator, or don’t, support the military conflict in Iraq, or don’t, sign up and speak/knit out (as it were).
This one will be done in a flash. Then back to the TikkunTree.
October 24, 2007 Update
Eureka! The FO marathon … Cast onto the needles yesterday morning at 10 a.m. at the beginning of a six-hour seminar on climate change (sponsored by the Green Menorah Covenant Project and the Shalom Center of Philadelphia), the crown executed (mostly) during an evening meeting on homelessness at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia, and the final stitches completed after dinner at Grace Tavern (just around 10 pm.).
Here’s to speedily making the US military presence in Iraq a FO, Senator Casey.