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The generosity of knitters

January 19, 2010

It has been a week since Haiti experienced a massive and devastating earthquake, and everywhere you can see places to donate to relief funds.  Including on Ravelry*.  Designers with patterns on Ravelry have the option of a portion of their patterns sales going to charity, and they’ve made it easy to find these patterns by grouping them all together under a ‘help-for-Haiti’ tag.

But it’s the fundraisers that really blow my mind.  I moderate a group there (called the Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Swap Group, an offshoot of the Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Group, based on, well, trading yarn.  Fancy yarn), and one of the other moderators had the idea of starting an auction.  Instead of just donating money to an organization, she would offer up a skein of highly desired yarn and let group members bid on it.  The highest bid would be donated to the organization of her choice, the winner would send her a receipt, and she would send them their prize.  It quickly snowballed from there to the point where we had 3-5 auctions occurring in each time slot.

And then came Claudia.  Claudia, the dyer of the elusive, hard-to-get, Wollmeise yarn.  Claudia offered not only a skein of laceweight from her stash (and the laceweight is even harder to get than the sock), but she also offered to custom dye a skein for a winner.  Shop owners and other indie dyers followed on, offering exclusive colorways or custom dyes.  More and more members wanted to offer up hand knits or fancy yarns or projects they had made themselves.  It got to the point where we had to turn people away because we couldn’t run auctions during the day and we were already filled up to the end of this week.

In less than a week, the generosity of knitters has raised over $16,000.  For those of you who have recently been car shopping, that’s about the price of a car (depending on year, make, model, and mileage).  And we still have 4 days of auctions left.  We’ve gotten such a great response we’ll probably start things up again after a much-needed sanity break, but I’m amazed that the members have managed to raise so much money is such a short period of time.

So if you start to feel cynical about the situation of the world, think of the knitters and the rest of the people out there trying to make things better.

a side note for the couple of non-knitters who may stop by here: Ravelry is like Facebook for knitters/spinners/crocheters, but so much more.  It’s a place where you can find patterns, keep notes on your own patterns, keep track of how much yarn you really actually have (and now that translates to miles of yarn), and of course chat with other knitters in forums and groups

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2010 10:48 pm

    wow I didn’t know that was happening on CPAASW! awesome.

  2. January 20, 2010 2:42 am

    amazing. that is amazing. 16 grand can go so far for the people who need it. awesome.


  1. knitting for Haiti « Feather and Fan

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