The Newtown school massacre -- call it what it is -- is still with me, like it is with so many. A month on, I'm angry and sad and disgusted.
We need to do something about guns. We need to do something about mental health care. No, I don't know exactly what that is -- but what we have now clearly isn't working.
And while we thrash through what ought to be done, with the conversation growing increasingly toxic, I do what I seem to do when the national discourse is so fraught and sorrow so fresh, which is knit until I have a better sense of how to move forward.
You may do the same. And for “knit,” feel free to insert the word of your choice, like “golf” or “exercise” or “rant.” We find our own ways to cope.
Shortly after I heard about the Newtown shootings, I saw a picture of a Norwegian tree made entirely of hand-knitted mittens.
No one can argue against the inherent loveliness of mittens. (They could, of course, because people can argue about anything. But I think we can all agree that the mitten-haters have larger issues.)
The mitten tree gave me a strange kind of hope and, because I don’t respond well to strange hope, it caused a plan to percolate in the back of my head. How cool would it be to line the shop windows in my town with mitten trees? My town could be any town, frankly. It could be Newtown. It could also be your town, if you adjust for scale.
Will mittens save the word? Reform our gun laws? Bring kids back? No. But they might start a conversation. We work with what we have.
I’d like to have help with making the mittens or funding yarn for others to make mittens. I’d like to plant mitten trees in other places, too. After the holidays, the mittens would be donated to local charities. Or, maybe, auctioned off for the Brady Center? I’m still in the planning phases on that part. (I'm also planning a book about mittens and fiber and knitters and sheep - but more will be revealed later.)
Right now, I’m more interested in seeing who I can rope in for the journey. Would you be willing to help me out with a blog post? Or a re-post? Some mittens? Corporate support? Cupcakes?
Actually, the cupcakes would just be for me. I plan better when there is frosting.
If you're ready to start, here are the details: make your mittens any green you'd like. Make them of a size to fit human -- kid or adult -- hands. Wool would be nice but not required. Knitted would be nice but not required. Send me an email and I'll send you a mailing address.
Spread this post far and wide. Let's see what happens.