WRAP WITH LOVE
By Wendy Buss
I knitted for Wrap With Love for several years and although I became preoccupied with other creative knitting pursuits in later years I must sing the praises of Wrap With Love activities and the wonderful work they do of bringing warmth and comfort and nurturance in the form of knitted quilts not only to the people all over the world in times of crises and need who are the lucky recipients of these labours of love but also some very tangible intrinsic rewards to the creators of the same
Wrap With Love whose head office is based in Sydney is a fraternity of kindly and caringly motivated people all over Australia contributing to making knitted quilts to send to poeple in counties of crises and situations of economic and practical hardship Anyone can knit for Wrap With Love . Groups of largely of women work all over Australia on making these knitted quilts.many women meet regularly in pubs church halls clubs nursing homes to get together to work on knitting the quilts ..Some schools and nursing homes and other charitable organizations also have their own groups contributing to the cause and many individual women especially housebound older women knit from home and then deliver their sqaures to the nearest Wrap With Love group to assemble into quilts for them
These quilts are then sent onto the Head Office inSydney who each year undertakes to send over thirty thousand quilts each year to people in countries of crises across the world including parts of Australia .
When I lived in the Blue Mountains I belonged to a Wrap With Love group called the Knit Wits who meet weekly at the Ivanhoe pub in Blackheath And in my more recent travels I have been able to connect with other Wrap With love groups such as the Woolgooga yarners and the Naambucca Knitters which provide for an instant sociable community of caring and community minded people pretty well wherever you go .WWL groups are always keen to welcome new knitters into their midst even if you are only passing through .
The Wrap With Love quilts need to be made to a 40 by 70 inch template to make for easier shipping overseas .Within this template though is scope for endless creativity of design .Many knitters for Wrap With Love prefer to knit the ten by ten inch plain knitted squares for good reasons .These plain square knitted in garter stitch are easy to make .
The plain repetitive knitting required for these makes for rhythmic therapeutic meditative activity that can be engaged in and enjoyed whilst watching TV .Especially throughout the winter living in the Blue Mts there was a pleasurable satisfaction for me as I knitted in knowing whilst you are curled up on the couch watching your fave shows on TV you are also producing something tangible which can keep someone in much less comfortable and well off circumstances warm and feeling cared about and provided for
The therapeutic benefits for people who knit for Wrap with Love is enormous .There is not only the healing therapeutic action of knitting but being a part of that wonderful shared sociability and laughs and good times which happens whenever a bunch of women sit down to craft together and especially when they are united in a shared purpose and their efforts are directed towards contributing to people in need within the bigger global community .
Many older people also working form the isolation of their own home can enjoy increased self esteem and a sense of purpose knowing that their efforts are making a positive contribution in the world
There is also as I have said scope for endless creativity in how the rugs are created whilst conforming to the 40 by 70 template and I have been dazzled and amazed and inspired at the endless creativity and artistic ingenuity represented in the knitted and crocheted quilts I have seen produced across three different Wrap With Love groups .There sure are some very talented women in our Australian community
Some women prefer to work in combining the squares they knit as a group to form quilts and others who like more control over the artistic design of the finished product like to work on their own quilts
I like to work on my own reasoning that peoples needs in times of crises to be surrounded by aesthetic and beauty that can lift their spirits and that also serves some sort of artistic form as well as function which can lift the spirits and inspire the senses and gladden the heart is also important
The first rug I ever knitted for Wrap With Love was this vibrant bright red and green quilt I figured people in Africa might go for these vivid cheerful colours …It was a miracle of creation to behold for sure .I thought so anyway .I would sit in a local park beautiful Rhodadendron park in Blackheath knitting and it was so bright it definately caught peoples attention . People would walk past and call out ‘Go the Rabbitos’ It made me smile as someone who doesn’t really know one end of a football from another
That first quilt seemed to take forever to make but I had a wonderful sense of achievement when it was finally finished . I like to imagines its vibrant hues have not only brought warmth and comfort but is elegantly gracing the form of some ebony hued African woman but hope it has served its purpose in bringing comfort warmth to someone in needy circumstance somewhere .I don’t know if it actually went to Africa as its not possible to track which country your quilts actually end up in .
I once met a lady on a bus who knitted quilts for her churches charitable mission overseas .One morning as the good ladies were watching a DVD of their missions good works overseas one of the ladies actually recognised one of the quilts she had made
ON THE BACK OF A COW ….
I relayed this tale to the Knit Wits .It cracked us all up .Some people might see cause to see their precious knitting relegated to the back of a beast in some mud filled paddock
But when you think about it since cows in India for example hold the stature as a Sacred beasts and it might therefore be construed as an honour to have your handiwork adorning the back of such a creature .Anyway the tale has become something of an urban myth now at Knit Wits……
When I was living in the Coffs Harbour district I used to go along to the Woolgoolga yarners group This was a large group of perhaps 20 or so women all of whom were working on their own quilts.Some of these were simply amazing and I was totally inspired by this groups individual artistry and in particular the beautiful crocheted quilts they produced .Equally inspiring were the morning teas this group offered .Imagine 20 or so older women many contributing a plate of beautiful delicious home baked goodies to a make for a delectable spread each week as good a morning teas as I have ever had anywhere for any occasion
Reason enough for me to make the two hour trek across Coffs on a Thursday .When I was in Coffs Harbour last year I worked on another quilt and Clancy the very bossy male cat who was the love of my life at the time had the notion that I was giving the making of quilts way too much of my attention and there was not enough directed his way so he solved the problem of making his presence known by wrapping himself up in the quilt as I worked on it
I have enclosed a photo of Clancy .I sent a copy of this photo to the ladies at the Wrap With Love office in Sydney thinking it might warm their cockles .I received a lovely Thankyou card back from Jayne Goodall The Coordinator herself a cat lover e who said ‘’Remember Knitting is the new meditation and preventative medicine ‘’
Shes absolutely right and when you combine these effects with the feel good camaraderie of being part of a social enterprise that brings so much comfort and nuturance to people in distress on a global scale it makes for a winning combination for both contributors and recipients ,
Anyone can take part in a Wrap With Love project and the head office can provide you with a list of groups happening in your area or you can start your own group
Contact details for the Sydney Office
Wrap With Love Inc
PO Box 10 Rosebery NSW 1445