I have recently returned to using public transportation to commute to work. I enjoy it for multiple reasons: It’s good for the environment, it’s economical, I never have to worry about rush-hour traffic, it’s fairly stress-free, and I get more exercise walking to and from the station each day. My favorite part of my commute though, is the time I get to spend knitting or reading on the train. I have to sit there anyway; I may as well be doing something I enjoy.
Socks are my favorite travel project: they are small, easy to put down and pick up again, and don’t require a pattern for plain ones once you’ve got a “recipe” you like. I’ve been working on a pair since starting this new job a week and a half ago. I usually knit two at a time using magic loop, and this morning as I was finishing the heel on the 1st one I realised that I probably knit them a bit too small for my own feet. It’s hard to take off your shoes to try them on as you go if you’re riding public transportation. And really, who wants to be the lady taking her shoes off on the train? It’s bad enough being the weird woman with pointy sticks.
I needed to come up with someone to send these to once they’re done. I could send them to my boys; they’re likely to fit one or both of them, but I’d need to send two pair in order to be fair. I thought about how it’s too bad the Red Cross doesn’t ask people to knit socks for troops any more, and then I thought about the Occupy movement’s protesters. Specifically the protesters who are occupying a public park in Denver with no shelter, sitting under blankets in the snow. They could certainly use some warm wool socks. Some hats and mittens too.
There’s a group on Ravelry, and on Facebook with details on where to send donations for the occupiers. I’m not able to leave my work and join them myself, but I can show some support and solidarity with the occupiers by knitting them something to keep them warm, especially in the colder parts of the country like Boston, New York, or Chicago. They are working to change the imbalance of power in the US. For me, the occupy movement isn’t about a redistribution of wealth, but of redressing the power imbalance we have in the political and justice systems. When a corporation has more rights and protections in the law and more influence over law and policy than I have as an individual, I become the 99%. I can’t stand with the occupiers, but I can send them toasty warm socks to stand in.
I would encourage all my knitter friends (and we are an amazing community) to knit for the 99% as well, if you are so inclined. If you can’t knit, or join the movement, you can donate here.
Edit: It’s not just socks that are needed. Warm hats, which are quicker to knit, are also needed. Scarves, mittens/gloves, anything that can help people stay warm when they’re exposed to the elements. The Boston Occupy movement has asked for 99 hats by Dec 2nd. There’s a Free hat pattern here designed by Naomi Parkhurst specifically for the Ocupy movement. She only asks that if you use this pattern, you donate something to your local Occupy: knitted goods, food, books, money, first aid supplies, etc.