The Ultimate Global Peacemaking Phenomenon in Knitting: Knitting4Peace

Worldwide peace pods come together to create peace, warmth, and harmony through the unique knitting charity Knitting4Peace

“Peace will never happen until women get actively involved in radical new ways.”

This message, from an American Benedictine nun named Sister Joan Chittister, haunted Knitting4Peace founder Susan McKee when she first heard it in July of 2004.

In the year that followed, the message continued to haunt her until she returned to the place where she first heard it, the Chautaugua Institution in Western New York. And that was when, and where, she first began to develop a vision of women creating peace together.

The vision started while she was knitting a simple prayer shawl for a friend, and over the next few days she continued to feel revelations and visions. As she says on the Knitting4Peace website:

It felt as if something was nudging me to create a vehicle for women to prayerfully remember other women in global areas of conflict while simultaneously engaging in intentional, nonviolent action for peace.

There was also an overwhelming feeling that we needed to symbolically incorporate the three Abrahamic faith traditions; if we could “knit together” the Abrahamic family I believed we could actually offer tangible hope for peace among the entire global family.

Susan McKee, Knitting4Peace
Knitting4Peace
Photo: Knitting4Peace

The Mission of Knitting4Peace: Handmade Comfort Items for People in Places of Conflict

The people who come together under the Knitting4Peace provide handmade comfort items to people living in “places of conflict” both locally and globally.

Locally, such conflict could be the twists and turns of fate, such as illness, injury, loss of a loved one or job, victimization from violence, or homelessness.

Globally, the conflict in question often (sadly) comes in the form of war or institutional poverty. Comfort items have been delivered to a long list of nations worldwide:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bolivia
  • Cambodia
  • Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • Domincan Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Kenya
  • Nepal
  • Palestine
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

… along with many others not listed here.

You can find a lengthy list of delivery stories, arranged chronologically, on this page. This will give you a strong idea of what sorts of items are delivered and how they help folks in beleaguered parts of the world.

You can also find a list of Knitting4Peace partners here!

How You Can Help the Knitting4Peace Mission

One of the things that makes Knitting4Peace unique is the formation of “Peace Pods.” Peace Pods are groups of knitters and crocheters that come together to create the comfort items to be distributed (with the help of the partners in the link above, as well as others).

On this page, you can look to see if a Peace Pod is in operation near you. As you’ll see, Peace Pods exist all over the U.S., in Canada, and even virtually via Ravelry!

And if no Peace Pod exists near you, Knitting4Peace can help you create one! On this page, you’ll find basic steps to creating your own Peace Pod. You can, of course, always email Knitting4Peace for more specific questions and information.

You can also become a Delivery Agent for Knitting4Peace! This is an especially powerful way to join with the Knitting4Peace community while creating (and delivering) items to pockets of need in your own area. You’ll find directions on how to do so on this page.

To find the items that are most needed by Knitting4Peace Peace Pods, you’ll want to visit their patterns page. This page not only describes the items needed and provides links to patterns that will work, but it also gives valuable guidelines like “the element of 3.” (The video below explains this concept beautifully.)

You can join the Virtual Peace Pod on Ravelry; you can also enjoy the many activities and donations of Peace Pods around the world on their Facebook page.

To those of us committed to help bring about life changes in the world around us, joining or creating a Knitting4Peace Peace Pod is a beautiful way to craft for comfort. ❤️

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