Friday, March 23, 2007

Sustainability (and how to get more contest entries)

Sustainability. It's a word you hear a lot these days, mostly in terms of environmental issues. Since I've managed to sustain this blog for over almost a year -- and actually have at least a few of you who are regular readers -- I got to thinking about how sustainability could play on a more global scale in relation to our chosen craft, knitting. (If you keep reading, you'll find out how all this fits in with getting more entries into my blogiversary contest.)

That led me to Heifer International, an organization I've contributed to in the past and one that, I think, fits perfectly with the sustainability of the cycle of life that surrounds knitting.

Heifer has a fairly simple mission: To work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. You know that saying, "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime"? Heifer embraces that spirit by providing families and communities with a source of food and income rather than short-term relief. In return, recipients promise to "pass on the gift" by sharing their animals' offspring with others – along with their knowledge, resources, and skills. The result is a an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance that reaches around the globe.

It's sort of like our community of knitters on the Internet, really. I mean, we each learn the basics of knitting, then we come to the Internet and share results, designs, techniques, and general love of the craft. We are teaching each other every day and sharing the joy of our craft with others as we go.

Anyway, since it's almost my blogiversary, and since I've been pondering this sustainability idea in relation to knitting, I decided to tie the two together.

Yesterday, I posted about the contest and how you get an entry into the drawing for the blogiversary prize by leaving a comment on any post between now and Monday at 5:00 p.m. PDT. Here's a way to increase your odds of winning.

I've set up a Knit for Joy registry on Heifer's website. From there, you can choose a fiber-producing animal to donate towards. A donation of $10, for example, can purchase one share of a sheep. Heifer will take care of the rest, including sending you a receipt that you can save for your taxes next year, since all donations are tax-deductible, and letting me know how our flock is growing.

Once you've made a donation, send me an email at maxfun AT comcast DOT net (you know the drill about replacing the words with the symbols to make that work) letting me know that you "added to the flock" and I'll add another entry for you in the contest. I know you are all trustworthy folks; your word is as good as a cashmere fleece with me. :)

Oh, and that animated button in the left-hand sidebar (under the Knitters Giving Back banner) will always take you right to the registry page. As donations come in, I'll post updates about the size of our flock underneath the button.

Wouldn't it be cool if we could pool our resources and supply someone, somewhere in the world with a flock of fiber-producing sheep? That Manos del Uruguay yarn some of us love is produced from exactly the kind of community that Heifer creates.

To me, sustainability in the knitting world means passing along our craft, learning from each other, and helping to create the next generation of wool producers, spinners, and knitters. With Heifer's help -- and of course, yours -- it seems to me that we can play a small part in completing the circle of life that sustains the fiber arts.

At least, that's what I like to think. :)


Monika said...

This is a good thing, which needs to be supported!

Casey said...

What a nice idea! Heifer is an awesome organization!

Moirae said...

What a great idea! Too bad I didn't find your blog in time to invite you to join the Earth Day Yarn swap, but maybe next year.