Archive for the ‘Knitters for Peace’ Category

With peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials happening, or not happening, ceasefires initiated, or challenged, prisoners of conflict exchanged, dead or alive, it’s been a roller coaster ride for months. And all the while I’ve been working on Judaica knits that might stimulate conversation and community, answering questions about the TikkunTree, and holding my breath in the hope of a breakthrough for peace, somewhere, somehow, sometime soon. Like a lot of others.

And in the meantime, there’s always a reminder that others are travelling in a similar path …

This week Knittah (on Ravelry, and her Tumblyday blog) shared photos of her contribution to the TikkunTree … a trio of lovely sculpted (double-sided) leaves (pattern available here) made from Araucania nature wool!

Thanks ever so much, Knittah. I’ll be looking for them to arrive in The Box soon.

Read Full Post »

What a surprise! The TikkunTree project has sent shoots to Alaska … In her recent article, “Knitters make personal statement about peace, justice” (Anchorage Daily News, 5/12/08), Alaskan fiber artist and journalist Catherine Hollingsworth described the TikkunTree as” [p]robably the most ambitious [peace] project ever undertaken by needle workers.” How exciting to discover that the TikkunTree has cast such a broad shadow and has been received with such enthusiastiasm. Other knittivist projects discussed in the article include Knit for Peace and Afghans for Afghans. You can read the entire article here.

Along with drafting a pattern for the Ying Yang leaf (nearly done), my needles have been busy with small contributions to two important needles knittivist projects: the Color Orange campaign and Knit a Condom Amulet.

The Color Orange project aims to raise protest human rights abuses in China by promoting use of the color orange as a sign of protest at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing this summer. Contributions to the Color Orange are varied and international; I’ve joined others in the Ravelry fiberarts community to knit objects that can be worn or used at the Olympics by either athletes or spectators, and the challenge has prompted a bit of creative fun – such as a set of felted origami peace cranes, some orange chains, an Olympic rings medallion, and coral peapod earrings – my take on the “envision whirled peas” motto.

The Knit a Condom Amulet project is one of many knittivist fiberarts projects concocted by Naomi DB, the Little Red Hen. The project aims to promote HIV and safe sex awareness among women over 50, by encouraging needleworkers to make special covers for condoms. For me, the project is an opportunity to try a few new techniques while make making something special for a special cause – the health of my friends! I’ve contributed a bit of purse jewelry, a silver piece of purse jewelry -a Seashell Amulet Bag, and an ethnic Mosaic Girlfriends Bag.

What are you knitting for community and peace?

Read Full Post »

The myriad of ways we find to make connections between the creative work of our hands and peace is endlessly fascinating. This week I crossed paths with Em-En’s I Like Lemons blog. She’s knitting olives for peace … large olives, small olives, black olives, green olives, stuffed olives and not … at least one olive a week, for peace. As Em-En describes her project for the year,

I’ve come up with an idea that is quite simple in its basis, but which I am hoping will help keep me optimistic as I begin the journey into this year.

I intend to knit at least one olive every week this year. Why olives? Well, olive trees/branches/fruit symbolize peace, prosperity and love (“olive you”). By the end of the year I should have a jar full goodness. Ok, ok. So I also need to use up some yarn, but with each olive I knit I’ll be reminded of the things I wish for myself and the people I care about.

Inspired by Em-En’s gentle approach, I’m planning to check out her patterns, raid my sock yarn basket for remnants, and hope that the TikkunTree will show signs of bearing fruit this week.

p.s. If you are interested in knitting olives instead of leaves for the TikkunTree, there are any number of possibilities for inspiration and patterns in addition to Em-En’s olives, including the few I’ve found:

Read Full Post »

Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. Micah 4:2-5

Friday was Knit for Peace Day, a relatively new event for a number of socially-concerned knitters around the world. Initiated by Randy/KnitforPeace, an American knitter living in Sweden, Knit for Peace Day is an opportunity to commit both the work of spirit and hands to the pursuit of peace. She found time to reflect on:

  1. a lasting solution in Israel, where everyone can live in peace and dignity”;
  2. religious freedom for Tibetans;
  3. an end to the war in Iraq and an honest restructuring of the Iraqi; infrastructure;
  4. an end to the misery in Darfur; and
  5. understanding within my family for different views and different ways of doing things.

All of these found their way onto my list, along with a few others regarding local concerns as well, chief among which were wishes for the continued reduction in the number of homicides in my city, and care and reconciliation within the Democratic party (Clinton and Obama campaigns), so that eventual unity and electoral success can be achieved.

My knitting time was devoted to thinking creatively about the relationship between the Jewish holiday of Purim and peace (a few recent essays on Purim violence and traditions certainly stimulated me), and ways to promote the pursuit of peace in the American Jewish community. Much creativity will be needed in this endeavor, so I’ve been working on variations of “co-existence leaves” for the TikkunTree Project.

I managed to knit four leaves (each takes less than an hour), including “integrated” striped leaves, a ying & yang leaf (pattern available shortly), and a felted leaf, a combination of the simple garter leaf pattern and co-existence leaf. Any leaf pattern will work for the felted leaf – just use US 10.5 or 11 needles and 100% wool yarn. These leaves were made with Peace Fleece worsted wool – Peace Fleece felts beautifully, though requires a bit of elbow grease (or extra time in a machine). But then, peace is worth the extra effort.

Try knitting for peace – with the onset of spring, contribute to the new growth of the TikkunTree in 2008.

p.s.  Friday was also the Jewish holiday of Purim.  In keeping with the spirit of Knit for Peace Day, I also worked on a felted “Peacetaschen” Hamentaschen cookie (more information here).

Read Full Post »