Stitch for Senate

by betsy on 21/03/2007

in knitting+crochet+yarn

newhelmetheadoldhelmethead

For a long time knitting has been an activity that was used for good. In many past wars, people at home showed their support for the troops by knitting them needed items. (If you’re interested, you can see more here.) Helmet liners have been one such item that have been knitted for the troops, as they provide warmth in cold, harsh climates.

Keeping this in mind, Cat Mazza (microRevolt) launched a new project, Stitch for Senate, yesterday on the 4th anniversary of the U.S. involvement in Iraq. From her site:

Stitch for Senate is an initiative of knit hobbyists making helmet liners for every United States Senator. The helmet liner pattern was adapted from a support-the-troops initiative for soldiers stationed in Iraq. All the senators will receive their own helmet liner, and Senators can opt to send helmet liners to a soldier once they receive the helmet. Charitable knitting during wartime has been a tradition since the American Revolution. The Stitch for Senate website will compile testimonies from knitters reviving this cultural trend, seeking to understand what knitters express through wartime knitting: charity, allegiance, patriotism, resistance, radicalism, etc. and use the tradition of political organizing within knitting circles as a space for storytelling, discussion, exchange and protest.

Currently she is looking for people to sign up for this project as she will need two knitters from each state of the U.S. to volunteer in order to take it to is completion.

Regardless of your political views, it’s sad that knitting for the troops has such a long and involved history, but speaks volumes that despite the times, people still are finding ways to use their creativity for good.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy March 21, 2007 at 9:01 am

I don’t quite understand why this would be good for our soldiers in Iraq, if the liners are best used in cold weather. Maybe something else would be more useful to them?

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2 susan March 21, 2007 at 5:59 pm

This is brilliant and the delivery message timely. I am forwarding this to our state dept. of Peace. Thank you for sharing this.

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3 betsy March 21, 2007 at 7:29 pm

Amy,

Even though it’s warming up over there (in the winter places like Iraq and Aghanistan get really cold!), I think in this particular instance, the aim of this project is more political and for awareness reasons than for utility. But good point nonetheless!

Susan,

Hooray for passing this along!

x
betsy

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4 Heather March 21, 2007 at 10:05 pm

Thanks for sharing this. I think it’s a very clever idea, although the sly point may be lost on some of the recipients!

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5 canadienne March 22, 2007 at 7:39 am

When I began reading this post, I was eager to see what the twist was going to be. What clever knitted item could make an impactful statement about the war in Iraq? But the entire post was genuine, intended to support such an ill-reasoned occupation.

I understand why “knitting for the troops” was appropriate in past wars that the US has been involved in. But the war in Iraq is an entirely different situation.

Perhaps we should be sending along some empathy, cooperation, and peace rather than blindly supporting atrocious acts of violence and oppression. What symbol might be more appropriate in this moment?

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6 betsy March 22, 2007 at 7:57 pm

Heather,

Thank you!!

Canadienne,

While I completely understand your sentiments, I come from a military family. I support them, not the administration. There are few things more that soldiers want than peace, and this conflict is like all the others in that regard. I, too, believe in peace and understanding more than anything.

x
betsy

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7 Margot March 23, 2007 at 2:02 am

I understand that ‘sand scarves’ are being sent to troups and major group efforts are devoted to donating them, They need to be fairly closely woven and lightweight cotton is more comfortable than wool, etc… I guess, for our troups, and or against the occupation of Iraq, what the real use would these helmet liners provide? They seem a bit impractical to me… Now, if we went to war with China and lost our access to cheap textiles, then knitting for the troups might be more than a symbolic gesture.

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8 heatherly March 27, 2007 at 11:20 am

what a wonderful idea! it gets soo cold there at night! and with the rain and sand which causes horzontal mud storms…this is a great project!

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