A New Take on 50/50

When you hear someone say “fifty-fifty” you might think of splitting the cost of something between two people.  You might think those are the chances of someone getting what they want.  It might even make you think of those 50-50 Draws that are so popular at fundraising events.

I love to knit.  I love to crochet. I love to create with yarn.  I taught myself how to knit when I was a child and over the years, I’ve kept it up.   And over the years, I’ve picked up more than a few patterned knitting stitches including rice stitches (which are also known as popcorn stitches), moss diamonds and chevrons.  All told, I probably know about 300 different patterned knitting stitches.  And then, of course, there’s the crochet stitches on top of all those knitting stitches.

I find that I do some of my best thinking while I’m knitting or crocheting.  The slow, rhythmic cadence that’s the heart of this activity establishes an unhurried pace where one can’t help but become more reflective and pensive.

My close friends know that I love to knit and crochet and so it’s not unheard of for one of them to show up with a small bag of yarn and a big grin on their face, with the announcement that their grandmother was going through her stock of yarn and asked if they knew of anyone who could make use of this bit or that amount of yarn.

Back in September, I came into possession of 4 balls of variegated yarn with colours so hideous — to the untrained eye — that it was absolutely understandable why no one had ever knitted or crocheted anything from these balls of yarn.   I felt the weight of the yarn and within minutes, I began to knit a sweatercoat of my own design.  I finished it in time to take it with me to the Hospital for Sick Children in October when Lewis had his surgery done.   The funny thing is that once it was knitted, it was rather nice to look at and it was wonderfully warm to wear.

Two days ago, I sat down in my favourite comfy chair and thought about that last little bit of yarn from that project.  It sat dejectedly in my knitting basket (yes, I have a knitting basket just like your great-grandmother probably had back in the day).   There appeared to be just enough yarn to make a scarf for a toddler.  And since it was there and since my 4.00 mm crochet hook was right there as well, I started to make a scarf for a toddler.

Now, I don’t have a toddler and I don’t know anyone with a toddler.  Still, it didn’t deter me from crocheting a scarf for a toddler.  With happy albeit strange colours, it’s the sort of yarn that is certain to keep a toddler intrigued for minutes at a time.

By the time I reached the halfway mark on this scarf, I knew this was a winning 50/50 situation for all involved.  How so?

My idea is to knit or crochet 50 scarves for toddlers and infants in 50 weeks (taking us to just before Christmas 2011).   Along the way, I hope to find at least 50 sponsors willing to sponsor me at $10 a scarf.  If 50 people sponsor one scarf each, that means we’ll raise $500.

Then those 50 scarves made in 50 weeks and that $500 raised thanks to the generosity of 50 sponsors would be donated to a homeless shelter.  Why?  Because people sometimes forget that there are children who find themselves homeless when their parents become homeless. 

Don’t those children deserve something nice and warm that’s theirs and theirs alone that no one else has ever worn?  Of course they do!

And don’t homeless shelters need donations in the form of financial help to assist them with staying open, especially during the cold months of winter?  Of course they do!

So every week, I’ll be posting an update on my “50 Scarves in 50 Weeks” project with a photograph of the scarf I either knitted or crocheted that week. 

And if there are others out there who would like to create their own “50 Scarves in 50 Weeks” project to help the homeless in their community when Christmas rolls around in December, then let me know.  We could post photographs of ALL the scarves made in 50 weeks

And maybe, just maybe, we can change the world for the better just one stitch at a time.

UPDATE on January 10, 2011:  “50 Scarves In 50 Weeks” has its own blog site at http://www.50scarves.wordpress.com.  Check it out and pass the word along to others!

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