Sunday, November 23, 2003

Knitting Violet Knits for CIC
What could be more fun for a knitter than to knit something small and cute and know that it's going to be used to keep a child warm? It's not going to be found lacking and stuck away in a drawer. It's not going to be saved for special occasions until it's outgrown and hardly worn. It's going to get passed from one child to another and used and used until it eventually falls to pieces.

That's why I find it so rewarding to knit for CIC, Children in Common.

CIC is a group of parents who adopted children from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. They were so shocked at the conditions in the orphanages that they banded together to try and help the children that had to be left behind. It's estimated there are about 700,000 children living in orphanages there. For a complete picture of all that CIC does, you can go to the new CIC link on the right side of the screen. My affiliation with CIC is through knitting.

Winter indoor temperatures in the orphanages hover around 45 Fahrenheit (that's 7 Celsius). That's why CIC requests knit sweaters, vests, socks, hats, and mittens in at least 70% wool. I use 100% wool.

Each year the Socknitters group I belong to has a challenge to provide 2000 pairs of wool socks to CIC. This was my second year to participate. I completed ten pair of socks and found it to be a very rewarding experience.

Recently I joined the CIC group on Yahoo. We are having a vest knitting challenge in January to see how many small vests, size two and four, we can knit. (The older children are taught how to knit for themselves.) Many group members, myself included, have started knitting already. I'm hoping to complete three vests by the end of January. The yarn is bulky and the pattern is simple, so I think three is a goal I can meet.

The knitted items are sent to a central location (Karen Porter's garage) They are then packed into suitcases and taken directly to the orphanages by couples traveling to the area to pick up a child they are adopting. This prevents the donations from being "side tracked" and sold, never making it to their intended destination.

How well I know that there are many good causes and many children and people in need. Every year there are Socknitters who have time to knit socks but don't have the money to buy the wool yarn. If you'd like to contribute yarn or money for yarn, I'd be happy to help. Let me know.