Monday, August 29, 2011

Art and Charity.

I frogged and re-knit the second square for the Avenue of Tree's project. That makes 2 squares—I have some time left before Robyn returns to NYC, and a few more days before the deadline becomes hard—I've already cast on for block 3. (My mental deadline is Labor Day—a week from now) Who knows, maybe I will really be productive and make a 4th.

I have a bit of Red Heart still in my stash—and Red Heart just seems to appear out of no where. I haven't bought any in years –but skeins get foisted on me. I accept them, because there are always request for 'charity' knitting.

I am not much for charity knitting—I am poor enough, almost to be needing charity of my own, and yet I give—to so many organizations. I've given knitting, too. Hand knit socks (for a raffle), cash donations, time—and always, hats. It's been said, “the poor are always with us”. Giving more doesn't change that.

And even though I have headed up a project for knitting hats, I am not all that sure it works. Love and appreciation of hand knits comes with valuing them. I don't think hand knits are valued—in general, and especially by kids who want nothing more than to be and look like the images they see on TV and media. They want name brand baseball style caps. They aren't warm, they are very expensive, but they are worn by people they idolize.

I want to see big rap artist wearing no name jeans from Walmart, and cheap sneakers, and hand knit hats—and setting an example of “It's OK” (or even, It's Cool) -and not wearing designer jeans, and custom made footwear, and expensive baseball type hats. The standards of fashion set by performing artist are expensive ones, and the desire to emulate these fashions is incidious.

Today, Annie Modesitt has a link (its here) and a blog post about charity knitting. Again. And what she says, what Tony Sleep says, needs to be said again, and again.

I am so much happier to knit for art—for beauty, for pleasure, and for enjoyment than I am for charity (though Robyn notes, about $5 is being contributed to UNICEF for every donation to the Avenues project.) I didn't know that when I started, and it doesn't really change my mind about knitting squares for her.

Meanwhile, I like 99% of the citizens of NYC survived the hurricane. Not a bit of damage, not a problem in the world. Not even a lot of damage to the local trees.


zippiknits.....sometimes said...

The purple is lovely. Can't wait to see the project installed. It will be amazing. The earthquake was bad enough.

I share your gladness that your city didn't get a lot of damage. That horrid storm is over with, and good riddance to it.

I agree about Charity knitting; if it's for babies or really little kids, too, it makes sense. And, African kids wear those very colorful knit hats because of tradition. And, I've seen them on kids in Afghanistan, too.

Robyn said...

Thanks for the link to Annie Modesitt and onward. It is something that I also think about a lot. The donation to UNICEF came about somewhat after the fact, primarily as a motivation for Korean knitters. While I am happy to have this nice added benefit to the project, part of me wonders if it is because what we are doing is not considered "enough" in terms of being art....

Well, at this point, I will take whatever I can to make it happen!! : )