I can't seem to get anyone around me excited about KAS.
I was at a country fair on the weekend. One of the buildings was Commercial Exhibits. I strolled in to kill some time while I was waiting for my husband and son and the first booth I saw was selling knitted scarf kits. I got to talking to the guy behind the table about the difference between knitting and crochet. I waited for an opportune moment to mention KAS. His reply: "That's the one where you send over squares and they make them into blankets." I was thrilled that he had heard of KAS but then floored that he had no interest in joining the cause.
It seems that everyone I talk to about it, whether they're a knitter, crocheter or non-crafty type, is blase about it. I can feel my eyes light up whenever I talk about it, explain what I've made and how it's being put to good use but no one seems to bite.
No!! It is not just you at all. It had been my experience as well and it was really sucking the joy and energy out of me. There's a thought that loops in my mind during these experiences - "Seriously?? I mean, come on...... bump the neurons together!" And of course the other is "If you've got nothing nice to say, say nothing" so I'm always well behaved on the outside with my words and expressions. On the inside my head is just spinning. There is no other way to describe it. And when this happens to a person often (ahem... like me) it can leave one feeling a little lonely in the world. That is why this forum and the Rav group are essential to KAS in my mind. Being surrounded by people who 'Get it' recharges the batteries.
AND THEN.... the most amazing thing happened. Monday at a guild meeting I spoke to a new friend about KAS and just happened to have the KAS on 1 page leaflet to give her. And then the very next day I met another knitter who asked me what I was knitting. We had just spoken about double knitting and intarsia. I said to her "to be honest, I've got nothing on the needles for myself right now. I'm just very into KAS and have been making 8" squares like crazy." She seemed interested and had also heard about it vaguely. I pointed her to the Rav group b/c I know she's on Ravelry.
I suppose each need to hear something a certain number of times before it clicks. Could be that first time, like when I heard about Women for Women, or it could take a few tries to sink in.
Last Thursday when I met a S. African woman (at a pricey wine event) who was blase about the issues surrounding the children in S. Africa I was just floored. I honestly had to say to myself repeatedly "behave appropriately or this will look bad for KAS". In that way we are all like ambassadors and must handle these situations with grace and dignity. (easier said... I know) I asked this lady about the wine industry even though I know nothing about it, or even care. I had gone to this event with a friend as a favour. I spent the rest of the night nodding my head about wine and trying to really hear what she was saying. Not that much fun. But now I wonder if she will go home a little different b/c of things I said to her. Example - when she told me J'burg is dangerous and I simply said "that may be but the children are so beautiful inside and out. They are so full of potential I wouldn't miss the chance to meet them."
I guess this is my rather long way of saying I do get what you're thinking and feeling. It may just be inevitable that we have these experiences now and again. The best I can hope for is the times when the experiences are positive.
If I could afford to buy yarn every time I had a blase experience I would have dozens of blankets worth! LOL. I just try to keep my chin up and vent to my DH a lot.
I used to work for someone who was from South Africa. He had the same attitude as the woman you met. I think it's all in how they were raised. If you're brainwashed from the start that you should ignore a certain class of people it's going to take a lot to change that way of thinking. Think back to the slavery days. How far we've come!
Thank you so much for taking the time to write your thoughts. You made my day! :o)
You're welcome Andrea. Reading this thread has helped me as well to feel less alone on this point. I love to hear the stories of others who are spreading KAS, being supported and received well. It honestly didn't occur to me that others might be having less than wonderful experiences, like me. In that sense it is helpful to know none of us are alone.
I'm going to a new knitting group tomorrow night. All I'm planning to do is learn a new technique from a friend and then I'll be darning in the ends of about a dozen squares. Maybe it'll start a conversation?? (fingers crossed)
Whilst I have been absolutely blown away by the generosity of all you lovely people (especially the Canucks, Americans and Europeans) I have to tell you that I have been disappointed by the reaction of a lot of my fellow Aussies. Don't get me wrong the Aussies that are involved in KAS are WONDERFUL but the Aussie you meet on the street just doesn't seem interested. In fact I've had the odd occasion to whisper to my Mum in defeat "I don't think these Aussies are a very charitable bunch!".
Still I think it's true that one finds it easier to remember the negatives then the positives. I just have to think about Gorgs in Daylesford with all the lovely people who contribute and then EVERYONE here in the forum, on ravelry and even the people we haven't met who are knitting and crocheting away and I feel better.
I think what's important is that you don't stop talking about it for fear of people's reactions. It's so tempting but if every one in 10 people is interested that's better than none hey?
Glad to see that others are having the same experience!!
Also I hope I haven't upset any of my lovely Aussie mates, great bunch really! x x x
I understand too - I think some people just have the "caring for others" gene and others don't. A lot of my friends and neighbours are helping all they can - others are so disinterested. Of course we never know if some people just donate money to charities and never do anything more obvious - but some don't seem to care at all. One friend always says I am good for doing things - but it never seems to occur to her to try to help in any way. I never ask people to do stuff - just let them know what I am doing and hope they will join in. We just have to cheer our hearts with those that do join in. Those that don't are certainly the losers - we all know how much joy we get from helping KAS and other charities.
"One friend always says I am good for doing things - but it never seems to occur to her to try to help in any way." YEP. As you all say we gotta love them anyways and keep going. I agree that coming here recharges my batteries. Every time.
What we're raised up to believe sure can hinder us later. There's a chunk of people where I live that have awful opinions about First Nations Peoples. Drives me nuts. There's white people I'm not exactly thrilled with y'know. Not every First Nations person is like you say they are. Baloney! Sigh. I've met First Nations People that I highly respect and admire, they are "salt of the earth" and wonderful to know. In fact I prefer them to a bunch of whites I know. So tired of racial stereotyping or class distinctions, all of that. How one's upbringing, just accepting the prejudices one is taught, can muck one up eh? On we go, speak positively of all and I smile too every time I hear of somebody who is interested in helping their brothers and sisters across the globe. Working together is truly what it is all about.
Jeanne, I think you're right on the money. And Pam, I totally agree with the "caring for others" gene. I worked with someone who always said if he won the lottery he would only share his money with family. I've always said if I won the lottery I could help so many homeless people get back on their feet and I would become a foster parent. Don't even get me started on how much help I could provide KAS!
Thank you all for reminding me that these things happen. I hope I didn't dwell too much on the negative but rather offered a way to remember there are positives as well. :o)
I've had varied responses to my enthusiastic attempts to recruit new supporters for KAS: some have shared my enthusiasm for the project but haven't offered to actually DO anything; some are almost certainly in the "what's it to do with me?" category and one or two have agreed to knit some squares but I don't know if they have or not. However, I now have a story to show that it's worth persevering. My mother-in-law was staying with us for a few days when I was making a Go-Over. She was crocheting a blanket for her granddaughter at the time but, when I explained what I was doing and why, she thought she might like to start making squares when the blanket is finished. She suffers from arthritis in her fingers but likes to keep them mobile by crocheting for short periods at a time so squares would be ideal. She took away a few flyers and subsequently asked me for more because she wanted to hand them out to her WI friends as well as putting one up in the local church. She phoned me last night to say that one of her WI friends has already started knitting squares and is busily recruiting her own knitting friends. So, take heart, if you drop a pebble in the water……….
"What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." Mother Teresa
I have no words of wisdom or comfort for the 'it's not my problem' people of the world as they make me want to scream and if I start I surely will not stop. It's just an 8" square. Every knitter I know can practically do that in their sleep.
I think you've dropped a very large pebble in the water and will see many ripples as a result.
Thanks Dawne. I love the quote - very appropriate. I was so thrilled that my exhortations had finally landed on fertile soil that I just had to share. I always stress the utter simplicity of the core idea of KAS - most of the best ideas are the simplest.
"CreateCare Global has set itself two tasks. The first is physical: to bring hope, support and comfort to children for whom poverty and loss are everyday tormentors. The second, and in our view equally important, is to spread the message to the world."
Our thanks to CreateCare Global for supporting the Square Circle Forum and helping to spread the wonderful work that KAS does.