Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Socks For Soldiers

I keep forgetting to post some knitting, this is after all partially a knitting blog. Anyways, some of what I am knitting I can't post because certain people who read the blog would see the projects and that wouldn't be good.

First of all, yes I know the picture is rotated wrong. For some reason Blogger keeps doing that and I can't seem to correct it so we will have to live with it. Sigh.

So, what is the picture all about. Well, I will tell you. I knit socks (like you didn't already know that). I would knit socks all the time I love it so. But, after a period of time you have to do something that is for someone else. Almost a year ago I was surfing around on the internet for sock knitting groups. This group, "Socks For Soldiers" popped up. Hmmmmm, that sounds interesting I said to myself. Socks for Soldiers is a Yahoo group that you must join to participate in. We knit wool socks for our soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. We don't talk politics, we don't gab too much about off topic subjects (except for health concerns and certain other issues), we stay on task and we love it. There are 1300 of us around the country who are passionate about this particular thing. We knit socks for soldiers.

You might be asking if there are really any soldiers who want these socks. Well there are! We currently have a waiting list of almost 1500 soldiers who want socks. That is a lot of knitting especially since these socks are BIG and LONG. It takes me a month to produce a pair and I am a fast knitter.

So, how does Socks for Soldiers work? You have to join the group first. That is fairly easy, you just have to tell our fearless leader Kim why you want to knit socks (or beanies) for soldiers. We ask that you make a commitment to knit 20 minutes a day on these socks. If you do that, even if you are a beginner or slow knitter you will complete your socks in a month or so. I should let you know that when you make this commitment you also commit to using the approved yarn list and the approved sock pattern. Kim has taken the time to liason with the different branches of service to make sure that the sock pattern, yarn and colors are all "regulation". If you don't use the approved pattern and yarn then the soldiers can't use the socks, it is that simple. I should also say that when we aren't knitting regulation socks we might also be knitting "leisure" socks which can be knit from whatever yarn you want.

Once you have finished the socks then you send them off, along with a note to your soldier, to Kim Opperman who is our fearless "Sarge". This woman is a DYNAMO and totally committed to the cause. She started Socks For Soldiers when her son was sent to Iraq a number of years ago. It just kept growing from there. She collects all the socks and the other supplies, checks to make sure that everything is in proper order, boxes everything up and sends it out. There is also a list of other supplies that you can send if you so desire along with your sock. That isn't a necessity but many of us do. We don't just send socks we send boxes, LOTS of boxes, filled with all sorts of things. It is cool.

So, if you are a sock knitter or want to be one then this is a group for you. I don't know what I would do without these ladies and I can't imagine not knitting socks for soldiers. In fact, after I finish sending these socks to Kim I am going to cast on for my next pair. I haven't gotten my 20 minutes in yet today. Can't slack off, there are too many soldiers waiting for socks!


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