Like many knitters, I was taught how to knit by my mother as a child. I remember Mum knitting a lot when we were growing up. She knit us cardigans and jerseys, hats, mittens and the ever-popular fingerless gloves. When the children were born, she crocheted their much loved blankets, and made cute newborn cardigans for each child. Given that we are all pretty self-sufficient when it comes to knitted goods now, Mum would be able to retire her knitting needles, but does a true knitter ever do that? Of course not! Mum has been knitting blankets (and singlets) for charity for a number of years now, and when we were in the South Island I was able to knit alongside her, and to photograph some of her knitting.
This gorgeous blanket was still a work in progress when I arrived, but it was finished quickly and ready to send. Each mitred square is knit onto the next one so there is no sewing up at the end. Just a million ends to sew in of course!
Organised by Misson Without Borders, Operation Coverup organises knitters throughout the country to knit and donate blankets, socks, singlets, hats and more to be sent to countries where these items are needed. Mostly they go to Eastern Europe – Moldova, Romania and the Ukraine. Each country has a massive proportion of the population who live below the poverty line, and of course with the cold cold winters these woolies are much needed and appreciated.
You can find out more about Mission Without Borders in NZ here.
And you can see more of Mum’s knitting.. here!
In addition to these blankets, Mum also knits strips of garter stitch squares to be joined together for a plainer blanket. She had a blanket’s worth finished too, but not quite as exciting to photograph!
As you can imagine, all this blanket knitting takes a lot of wool. The blankets need to be made from 100% wool, and Mum uses Dk/8ply or 4ply doubled. She sources wool from second hand shops, pulls apart knitted garments, and other thrifty means, If you could help out with a donation of suitable yarn, please feel free to leave me a message and I’ll give you her details. If you’d like to support Mission Without Borders in some other way, please take a look at their website. It has heaps of details on the different things that they do to support the communities in these countries that need our help.