Saturday, January 12, 2008

StitchCraft - United Methodist Women

We're packing up prayer shawls to send to the next of kin of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's part of a national mission called Prayer Shawls 4 Fallen Soldier's Families.

StitchCraft is a group I co-founded two years ago as part of the local United Methodist Women's organization at First United Methodist Church of Oak Park. It's interesting how a group that was started with one intention evolved into another group that serves more of a purpose than originally thought of.

StitchCraft was supposed to a knitting group that made items to be donated to community organizations. We've done that: we've donated baby hats to Children's Memorial Hospital and we have plans to do other things, but this has turned into quite a social group as well. We have knitters and crocheters, but also sewers, stampers, and even an artist! We also decided to sell our wares as a way to raise money and raised more than $1000 in 2007 with no sign of slowing down.

This knitting circle has become an important part of the organization and an important part of the church because we make afghans and prayer shawls for members who are ill, for members who get married, for children when they are baptized, and to our senior high schoolers as they go off to college.

We meet once a month and then plan some special get-togethers when we need to have extra sessions. We don't have a set structure on what we make: everybody makes what they feel like making and we always seem to have an abundance and variety of items to sell. We price our items to serve both the organization and the community. We set a price so that we can recreate the exact same item again and then put in a percentage more to go towards our mission work. We never charge for labor because that's part of the love and the mission. It has served us well as we have been a very successful group. Being a part of a knit group is a way to serve and have fun at the same time.
Contact me if you're interested in starting one. Contact me if you're in Chicago and interested in joining our group. We'd love to have you.

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