Knit one, Purl One… Gratitude

by Guest Blogger Karen Francis.

Needles clicked, yarn spun, and discussions about patterns flowed, but in a store surrounded by the jewel tones of silk, bright worsted wool and imaginative color combinations in alpaca and cashmere, the dull tones of black and brown and grey pure wool stood out.  A group of women met on a glorious summer day in Old Town Alexandria, a day that the humidity was down and a cool breeze blew across the Potomac, but they sat indoors.  Why?  To knit for a cause, for Operation Gratitude.

Alexandria, Va "Knit-In"

Fibre space™, a charming, welcoming and well stocked yarn store and community  was hosting a “knit in”.  As their website said:

Please join Volunteer Alexandria’s Big Event Planning Committee and fibre space™ for a special service project dedicated to thanking our soldiers for their service to our country.

As a military spouse, I was encouraged to see the number of knitters and crocheters sitting around the table in the classroom and on the couch and chairs in front of the huge show window , industriously making scarves and hats in the dark colors requested – and 100% wool.  There were a few military spouses, one new Army wife, a retired Navy Wife,  a military child (who really picked up the pattern for a scarf and knitted up a storm) and a bunch of civilian knitters who wanted to make something useful for someone who needs a little something warm for the upcoming hard winter in Afghanistan or Iraq.  Fibre space ™ instructors were there to teach and help, and the coffee and cookies were very welcome.

There was a great side benefit,  the questions!  One woman wanted to know what else she could do, was there something she could do for the families (I sent her to the BSF website!) There were the questions about how do the families cope, what are the problems that are affecting us during deployment and what’s it like after deployment.   Helping our civilian friends understand what military families are like was another reason to spend a fun afternoon doing something we all enjoy.

Fibre space ™( 102 N. Fayette Street, Alexandria VA)  has volunteered to be a drop off point for scarves and hats made for Operation Gratitude.  To find out more about the Operation Gratitude hat and scarf project, please email them at opgrat@gmail.com for patterns and requirements.

Thank you, fibre space™, for giving us a great place to meet, for the coffee and cookies and being a drop off; thank you to the women who came and spent a holiday afternoon knitting and are still working on their projects.  Do you have a yarn store in your town you enjoy?  Won’t you join us in making hats and scarves for Operation Gratitude?

About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation to Veterans, New Recruits, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas. Our mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for all Americans to say "Thank You" to members of our Military. Each package contains donated product valued at $75-100 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than One Million Care Packages.
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4 Responses to Knit one, Purl One… Gratitude

  1. Lynda Harrington says:

    Conflicting answers to types of fiber allowed to be used for scarves for service personnel. The clerk in the yarn shop said “WOOL ONLY”; Operation Gratitude says “Any type as long as it has a label stating the type of yarn used attached to the item”
    I would enjoy this project just don’t want to use the wrong yarn. Thank you.

    • We receive many inquiries about acceptable fibers for the scarves/hats. The importance of the scarves in our packages is to send the very warm and loving message that people at home care enough to take the time and effort to make something as beautiful as a scarf. Our scarves, hats etc. are not “regulation,” so they can only be worn by the troops during their moments of rest and when they go home. Nevertheless, the message they send to a far away and cold combat zone is enduring. Due to potential allergies and/or Military uniform restrictions, please list the fiber content on your “Made With Love” note that you attach to the scarf. With that information provided to the recipient, you do not have to worry about which yarns you use! Thank you all for your support and thoughtfulness!

  2. Pingback: Knit one, Purl One… Gratitude (via Operation Gratitude Blog) « Stella's Garden Gate

  3. Pingback: Knit one, Purl One… Gratitude (via Operation Gratitude Blog) « My Many Twisted Stitches

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