What You'll Get
- A simple, effective way to regulate your nervous system through knitting
- A calm mind that can come from the meditative practice of knitting
- An online knitting circle and community
- Connection and shared fun with fellow knitters from around the globe
- A virtual space to go each week so you don't feel so alone during the COVID19 pandemic
- A sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as you can knit multiple hearts in one sitting.
- The opportunity to be of service and give the gift of loving kindness (your knitted hearts) to others
What We Are
A movement and community to display and deliver knitted totems and love notes to thank, appreciate, comfort and love up our health care workers, grocery store employees, delivery folk, first responders, friends, family, isolated neighbors—and ourselves. Anyone who could use a burst of open-hearted goodness.
What It Is
A knitted heart-shaped softie to keep or give away that can be hung in a window at home, worn as a pin, or draped around a rear-view mirror to serve as a comfort object and symbol that we are all facing the same fears and concerns about the coronavirus and its effect on our lives.
By displaying or passing on a loving bit of yourself embodied in a knitted heart, you are helping us all remember that we are #KnittingKindnessTogether.
The Knitting Kindness Together Community
We can’t be together, but we can knit kindness together.
The Knitting Kindness Together Community is a weekly two-hour virtual knitting group that offers the comfort of community and demonstrates the health benefits of knitting.
Every session will include:
- A loving-kindness guided meditation
- Short discussion about the research and basic neuropsychology behind why knitting is such a good wellness and mental health tool
- Group sharing about who we’re knitting for or why
- Real-time project trouble-shooting
- Access to special resources including video tutorials, Knitting Kindness Together downloadable stationery, reading list about the positive role and meaning of knitting in a full life and much more!
What You Can Do
1. Knit a small, bursting heart. You'll receive two patterns (beginner and advanced patterns) when you join the knitting kindness community. Or, you can knit your own favorite heart pattern, if you prefer.
2. Display your heart as a symbol of togetherness, compassion and hope in your home or car window, on your person, your dog, or wherever you choose. Then post a picture on social media when you share this emblem of hope.
3. Send your knitted heart as a gift. Write a note to your recipient about why you are sending them this token from your heart. Encourage your recipient to display their heart and post photos on social media #knittingkindnesstogether. “Knitting Kindness Together” downloadable stationery available in the Knitting Kindness Together Community.
1. Do I need to know how to knit?
We won't be teaching you how to knit in the Knitting Kindness Together community. But we will help you during our virtual gatherings if you need real-time assistance with learning a new stitch or correcting a knitting mistake. If you know how to cast on and create a knit stitch...you'll be good to go.
2. Is it safe to give someone a knitted heart?
Scientists don't know whether the virus can live on fabric. They do know that it survives longer on smooth surfaces than it does on porous surfaces like fabric. We recommend blocking (washing) your hearts after you've finished knitting, which is what we do with all completed knitting projects anyway.
If you are concerned, send your recipient a note alerting them that you have a special gift that commemorates your gratitude to them during this troubled time that you will present in safer days.
3. Can I participate if I don’t join the online Knitting Love Together Community?
Yes! Our virtual community is a way to compensate our virtual support and hosting expenses while also raising money to help during this crisis. 25% of every payment will go to Together Rising, which provides funds to people in crisis. Already Together Rising has helped provide personal protective equipment to health care workers and feed children who are no longer getting breakfasts and lunches at school.
4. We’re all freaking out and a lot of us have really big problems that a knitted heart won’t solve. Why do this?
Most people feel really powerless right now so whether it’s bringing a meal to an isolated senior or knitting a heart and writing a note of appreciation, you can empower yourself by taking positive action. Brain imaging studies show, too, that when we give to others the pleasure centers of our brains light up and our happiness is boosted for a couple weeks through the simple act of giving. Plus, knitting elicits the relaxation response, which can reduce blood pressure, stress hormones, while improving our well-being and our immune systems. And, who doesn't need more of that right now?
5. Do you really want to start a movement?
Yes! How great would it be to learn (and use) therapeutic knitting as a way to regulate your nervous system and reduce anxiety, depression during this pandemic and beyond. Even better, how wonderful would it be to see people you know and don’t know touched by the knitted heart-shaped softies that you created with your own hands in loving kindness.
6. How long will you be doing this?
As long as we need to. Right now we're dedicated to Knitting Kindness Together beginning on April 8 and continuing through May 31, 2020, but if there's interest and ongoing quarantines, we'll keep the love flowing.
Jolene Park founded Healthy Discoveries, a corporate wellness training company, in 2001. She gave a TED Talk in 2017 about Gray Area Drinking. As a functional nutritionist, health coach and somatic yoga for stress and trauma instructor she helps high achieving professionals add useful habits and easy routines into their days to reduce anxiety, boost energy and build emotional resiliency. She knits as a way to self-regulate her own anxiety.
Leslie Petrovski is a lifelong knitter and writer who has written for Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Wild Fibers, Yarn Market News and many others. She has taught beginning knitting in after-school programs and in yarn shops and to corporate groups throughout Colorado. She is an amateur knitwear designer and long-time yogi. She believes that if you have a question in your life, knitting is the answer.