I took my knitting to a Lifegroup meeting last night. One of the ladies there came over to see what I was doing. I had helped teach her how to knit last November at a Mom-to-Mom meeting at our church (she was an amazingly quick learner), and she showed me pictures of what she had since made. We talked about knitting for a bit, and she asked if I would teach her how to make a hat. I said yes, of course, and then she got a slightly sad look on her face. "I'll have to get some new needles, somehow. I was working on a pink scarf, and it was in my car..." Following a series of other heartbreaking events, her car was taken a few weeks ago. Another church member has graciously lent her own vehicle for weekday use - and yet, two weeks later, after all she's been through, it was the loss of her only pair of knitting needles that caused her voice to shake slightly.
That's the way it is, often. A house will burn down, and a woman will mourn the loss of a favorite pair of shoes. Everything was taken from me - even down to this, this seemingly small thing. I suspect that it's also the mentality that causes the sales of red lipstick to skyrocket during economic recessions - as an inexpensive way for a girl to feel pretty. Something small, something special, something unnecessary - sometimes that's all it takes.
In that box of supplies I picked up from the Library last week, there were a lot of donated needles (which are hard to come by - yarn can be gotten on clearance or donated by a knitter who's destashing, but needles come only from those who can no longer knit or from the children of knitters who have passed on). I'm getting a Wednesday night knitting group started at UBC (which I invited this lady to, as a concrete near-future opportunity to get her started on a hat), and planned to use the needles there. Since I started attending UBC two years ago, it has bothered me the way that the older ladies and the college girls don't interact with each other. To me, the solution to that was a knitting group. Eventually, I'd like it to become a Warm Up, America! chapter, and to see Fayetteville buried under a pile of handmade blankets.
But in the mean time, if the only purpose that it ever serves is to provide needles and a steady supply of yarn to one person who needs them - because it's more than sticks and string; it can be a path toward hope when all seems hopeless, and a feeling of worth and accomplishment after being belittled and put down - then I feel that more good will have been accomplished than I could have ever planned or dreamed of.