I don't even have words to talk about what's happened.
Nothing I can say will take it back, will lessen the cruel sting of daylight for 26 families this holiday season.
I can't fix it. I can't undo it.
But I can't do nothing.
And I know that knitters, demonstrably some of the best people in the world, can't do nothing either.
Today, I'm starting Knitters for Newtown.
Knitters for Newtown is our way -- and by our, I mean every knitter in the world who wants to help -- our way of showing these families that we love them.
That we grieve with them. That their children, sisters, brothers, moms, aunts, and friends are not forgotten.
That even though the night is dark, they are not alone in the darkness.
This is for Charlotte Bacon.
This is for Daniel Barden.
For Olivia Engel.
For Josephine Gay.
This is for Ana Marquez-Greene.
For Dylan Hockley.
And Madeleine Hsu.
This is for Catherine Hubbard.
This for Chase Kowalski.
This is for Jesse Lewis.
For James Mattioli.
This is for Grace McDonell.
For Emilie Parker.
For Jack Pinto.
And Noah Posner.
This is for Caroline Previdi.
And Jessica Rekos.
This is for Avielle Richman.
For Benjamin Wheeler.
This is for Allison Wyatt.
And for Rachel Davino, Dawn Hochsprung, Nancy Lanza, Victoria Soto, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, and Mary Sherlach. They will forever be their mother's babies.
I can't do everything.
But Knitters for Newtown is going to show the world what knitters can do. I haven't just seen it, I've experienced it.
Knitters for Newtown is going to raise at least $10,000 for the families of the victims, and for the community of Newtown. And we're going to knit at least 26 blankets, one for each mother's child who died.
It's not everything. But it's something.
I made this colorway. It's the tiniest candle in a vast ocean of darkness.
I made this one too.
For the next six weeks, you can order these on our site, and I will donate 20% of the sales price directly to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, and other charities set up to help the victims' families.
That's not 20% of the proceeds, that's 20% of the sales price.
These colorways were difficult to make, but I'm glad I did it. Doing something helps. I think you'll find that doing something -- even a small thing -- helps you too.
Love Wins is a gentle rainbow. A reminder of the innocence of childhood. A declarative statement that evil doesn't get to win, love does.
The Giving Tree was inspired by Sandy Hook Elementary's mascot and school colors. Their mascot, an eagle, is subtly represented by the browns, blacks, grays, and golds. And their school colors, green and white, are there too.
You can also make a donation here, and we'll add it to our efforts to donate $10,000. Every penny we collect will go directly to the charities -- we are not keeping any of it. Even $5 makes a difference.
Soon, we're going to need help knitting squares for 26 blankets. The squares can be knit from your stash, or from one of these colorways. We'll have more details on that, including where to send the squares, very shortly.
So how can you help?
1. You can pray for these families. If you don't believe in praying, send them love and healing.
2. You can like our Knitters for Newtown Facebook page, where you'll be kept up to date on our fundraising and blanket making efforts.
3. You can post about this on your own blog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed.
4. You can tell all your friends.
5. You can join our Ravelry group.
6. You can make a donation or purchase yarn, which will help us reach our $10,000 fundraising goal.
7. You can knit a square. (More on that soon.)
8. You can hug your own family members. You can tell them you love them. You can spread as much joy and kindness into the world as humanly possible.
Darkness doesn't drive out darkness. Only light can do that.
Knitters: let's do this.
If you prefer to mail us a check, contact us, and we'll give you our mailing address.
More information on knitted squares:
Q: Do the squares need to be a certain size?
A: Yes, 8”x8”, please.
Q: Do they need to be from a certain colorway or yarn?
A: No, definitely not. Feel free to use your stash. What matters is the love put into them.
Q: Would you prefer a certain fiber?
A: Washable wools and acrylics, please. We don’t want anything ruined in the wash. Cottons tend to stretch out too much in large objects.
Q: Do they need to be in a certain stitch?
A: Garter stitch makes it easy for seaming. If you’d like to knit a design into the center, that’s great. Please put garter stitch around the edges, if you can.
Q: Can I crochet the squares?
A: Yes! Just please make sure they’re 8x8.
Q: Where shall I send the squares?
A: Here’s the address:
Three Irish Girls
Attn: Knitters for Newtown
PO Box 161165
Duluth, MN 55816
Q: How many blankets are you making?
A: At least 26. If we collect enough squares, we’ll make more. There are lots of siblings and grandparents who would love a memorial blanket, too.
Q: Do I need to sign up to participate, or can I just send them to you?
A: Just send them our way. The more, the better.
Q: Do I need to put anything else in the package?
A: Please include your name and email address in case we need to contact you.
Q: Should I block the squares and weave in the ends?
A: Yes, please. That will make seaming much easier.
Q: What is the deadline?
A: March 31, 2013. That means we have time to do this right. Families will appreciate the gesture down the road, after the media attention has died down. It will let them know they’re not forgotten.
Q: Should I wait and send you the squares in March?
A: Send us the squares anytime. We have a 15,000 square foot studio and have already designated a special spot for them here where they won’t be lost or forgotten.
Q: Will you post pictures of the squares and blankets?
Q: What weight yarn should I use to knit/crochet the squares?
A: It doesn't matter, as long as the squares measure 8"x8".