Knitting and Giving

Here is a Christmas tale involving soft wool, magic sticks and a sense of loving duty.

lady w scarf

A missionary working in Shichigahama, Japan, a place devasated by the tsunami in March 2011, instigated an outreach program called Yarn Alive that brought thousands of skeins of donated wool and a little knitting instruction to the people of the area.


The displaced, mainly elderly women who met weekly were living in shelter situations, with no personal possessions and little privacy, having lost loved ones and having had nightmarish experiences during  the disaster. Now, according to one of the participants,  they “knit and chat and comfort each other one stitch at a time.”

yarn alive class

It’s a fellowship. And the ladies are not only creating sweaters for themselves but gifts for others – cozy afghans laid across the chairs of the local postal workers, for example.

Now, as their brilliant 2013 Christmas gift to the world, the women of Yarn Alive have turned their sights farther afield – they’re helping the children of Syrian refugees in Jordan, sending over 200 articles of clothing to keep them warm.

syrian baby hats

Not only that, plans are underway to send knitting supplies to the Syrian ladies in Jordan so they can stay busy and productive too in their own difficult time.

syriaIf you would like to donate yarn, here is where to send it:

Yarn Alive
#36 TBC
Shichigahama Machi

United States, Japan, Syria, all knitted together by the willing hands of women who  are helping each other, helping themselves.



Filed under Culture, History, Home, Jean Zimmerman, Knitting, Nature

5 responses to “Knitting and Giving


    Lovely. I’ve sent this on to a couple of friends who are knitters.

  2. lkcr

    It is wonderful how we humans can reach out to each other in times of joy, as at Christmas, and also in times of sorrow or need, as the Japanese to the Syrians. Sometimes I think we Americans have become isolated, not so much by geography as by attitude. “I don’t want to become involved.” “I can’t make a difference. It doesn’t matter if I do anything or not.”

  3. roma1912

    What a heart warming post, good luck on your project

  4. Hack Attack

    O, let me teach you how to knit again
    This scatter’d corn into one mutual sheaf,
    These broken limbs again into one body
    –Titus Andronicus

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