RedbankJames’s WineBlog – Blankets for Orphans

Last year, for something to do while watching television, I started knitting a blanket. I’m no knitter – peggy squares are about my limit – and the colours I chose for the squares for this blanket were inspired by our road trip around Scotland in July and August 2007. Heather colours, peat, smokey horizons, blue skies, dark green seas, golden pastures. I didn’t really have any clear idea of what I would do with this blanket once I’d finished it, the pleasure was in the creation. (Or, as my friend Hamster once said, why do women knit? So they have something to think about while they talk to each other.)

A couple of months’ ago, at Mum’s church in Martinborough, Barbara Cox announced the details about ‘Operation Coverup’, a charitable project which involved sending knitted goods to orphaned children in the Ukraine. They needed blankets, she said, because they are housed in freezing cold, concrete orphanages. What a dire existence – but a home for my blanket.

This week I finally finished stitching it together, and sewing a satin ribbon around the edge. It’s a pretty funky, funny-looking blanket, and I fear the child who receives it will gaze with envy at his/her colleagues being given the lovely, evenly knitted, bright colours of the other blankets, far better crafted than mine was. But at least it’s warm, and it was made with a great deal of love, if not expertise.

The blankets get packed into wool bales, transported to Auckland for free, then loaded into a container to be sent to these poor children on the other side of the world.

Go well, Scottish-hued blanket, made in Aotearoa.

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