Everything else can wait until I finish this row…

Tree of Life and Thousand Oaks

on November 12, 2018

I am so sick and tired of seeing our flags at half-mast so frequently because of another mass shooting.   It’s hard to think of what to write when so much has already been said by those who are much more eloquent than I in expressing their anger, frustration, fear, hurt, and so many more emotions that pierce us whenever the news hits and our flags are lowered again.

I tend to go numb now.  It takes me at least a day to sort through the emotions.  I see the headline once and then I shut down the news because I don’t want to go through the cycle of “how many victims?” “thoughts and prayers are with the survivors and families” “the shooter was a troubled individual” “a good guy with a gun could’ve prevented it”

That is when craftivism comes into help heal just a little bit.  Crafters come together and create.  The goal is to embrace a devastated community and shower them with kindness; to remind them that good people do outnumber the bad; to show that Love does conquer Hate.

When the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue happened in Pittsburgh it was a new blow.  Not just because this was “another” mass shooting, but because it was a blatant Hate crime.  So I stood in solidarity with the local Jewish community here in Connecticut by attending the vigil and I cried alongside them.  I was moved by words of Hope and I clung to that message when the newscycle continued as always has in the past.


Once I found out that Yarn By Design, a local yarn store in Pennsylvania, was quick to take action.  They are put out a request for knitters to create a square with a Tree of Life pattern so that they can hand out blankets to members of that congregation.  You can find out more information on their Facebook page, Ravelry forum, or on their website’s blog.

I was glad to jump on that bandwagon and quickly recruited my knitting group to make a communal blanket.  I volunteered to sew all the squares together and Linda, the wonderful owner of Knit New Haven, got Berrocco to donate yarn for us to accomplish this task.  So we’re all on it and here is my first square with a Star of David!


Similar to the Hearts for Vegas, another Facebook group was created called Jewish Hearts for Pittsburgh.  They are collecting ornaments that depict a heart in the center of a Star of David.  There is no limitations to the craft, it ranges from machine embroidery to crochet, 3D printed to kids’ Popsicle sticks, polymer clay to paint, etc.  They also have a Ravelry group.  Pictured above are three out of the five stars I’ve made so far with a skein of bulky yarn, and will send them off once I have the hearts completed.

Saddly, no sooner had these groups started that another mass shooting occurred.  I have not yet encountered a craftivism project specific to what happened in Thousand Oaks, but when I do I will be sure to share it.

Be safe and keep spreading Hope with your craft.



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