Disclaimer: This post is written by Robin and reflects my opinions and my opinions only and not necessarily those of Kim or Sylvie and Grumpy Sheep, Happy Llama as a whole.
Anna, of the YouTube channel, AnnaKnitter, was mentioning a non-profit, pro-life foundation she works for in eastern Germany which supports new mothers. To use an older, outdated phrase, new ‘unwed’ mothers. These new moms receive a pair of socks for their new babies to encourage them in their new role. Anna put a call out for knitters to make some socks in newborn size using natural fibres such as cotton or wool.
I remember feeling so unsure of myself when my son was born and I was not only mature (38 years old) but I had all the support in the world. Yet I still waited for that instruction manual to come out with the placenta. I was ecstatic yet worried about screwing up. Empathizing with these moms and babies, I wanted to lend a hand and knit socks. Lots of socks.
At first I thought I would knit four or five pairs and mail them off. But these wee socks are kind of like eating potato chips! I had to change my goal to a dozen. Then I thought I would knit and mail the socks in one-dozen batches. I completed the first batch and posted them three days ago. These socks were knit with yarns leftover from my and my son’s socks. Fond memories played in my mind as I knit these socks for these wee babes new to this world.
When I posted this picture on InstaGram, a woman I know to be a very kind person and an avid sock knitter wrote to me wondering why she hadn’t heard of this sock knitting request. I provided her with the information and her reply was that she could not support this charity as it is pro-life.
I replied to her that I am pro-choice, too. I feel that there are different circumstances such as health, both physical and mental, that may lean towards abortion as the best option. It also may depend on how the baby was conceived. If it were by violent means, the idea of a live birth and possible adoption may be too much for the pregnant woman. These are choices I believe in and I think a woman and her control over her own body need to be respected and protected. I also told her that, as a woman who had to ‘practice’ for fifteen years before finally being able to conceive, I lean quite heavily on the hope that most will choose life.
The main thing that stuck me was that making socks for newborn babies is not the place to choose a side, for or against. The babies are already here. It doesn’t matter how they got here and these new moms need hope and help. They have a tough road ahead because they chose life and had their babies. I suspect they have been ostracized by their families and communities for becoming pregnant in the first place, let alone choosing to go to term. And if they give their child up for adoption? Oh, the heart-ache…
Whether I am pro-choice or pro-life is irrelevant. A decision has already been made. These babies are coming or are already here. They are being brought into this world by new frightened moms, many/some/all of whom may have been pro-choice and opted for life. It is not for me to judge how they got here but to support them now that they are here.
9 thoughts on “Charity Knitting”
Non-political sock knitting works for me. But knitting blue and pink socks for boys and girls signals gender bias and offends me…..oh wait….I’m just kidding!!! The world has become a strange place! I love this article even though I have never knitted a baby sock in my life. <3
Thank you! Who says who gets the pink socks? My son’s favourite colour until recently was pink. He would play Grand Theft Auto with this fancy car that was an appallingly bright hot pink. Thanks for taking the time to comment. ~Robin
Agree with you in so many ways!
Who says pro life and pro choice have to be in opposition anyway? As a feminist, I choose not to buy into that dichotomy which was forced on society by the patriarchy. If single mothers weren’t so stigmatized, but rather celebrated as any mother, this wouldn’t even be a thing. More support for single parents via any channel can only make the choice to continue a pregnancy more viable. I was very lucky to have excellent supports when I became part of the “unwed mom club”, but not many can say the same.
Thank you, Wendy. I love your comment.
I agree with you. The babies are here and they and their moms need support.
Well said…supporting humanity is always a good thing especially when it comes from the heart.
Thank you so very much much for your love and work you put into all the socks (which already arrived in our pregnancy help center in Augsburg). It means a lot to me that you knit for our women although you are pro choice. I think pro-lifers and pro-choicers have much more in common than both sides would like to admit 🙂
Through our emergency hotline for crisis pregnancies we learn a lot about the real circumstances in which women think about abortion. Truth to be told: most women think they have to have an abortion because the partner doesn’t want the child. That is the number one reason. After that: financial problems. Here we can help out and we do. We support them as long they need it: financially, mentally and with help like babysitting etc.
Most women want their baby but think they can’t. They often feel a huge pressure from society. They think they have to prioritize their carreer to be a good modern woman or they get told they are too young and should make more out of their lifes than “only being a mother”.
Every kind of help is needed here and that’s why I am very grateful for your support!
Thank you, Anna, for your informative response. I am glad your centre is there to help these women and I am very glad to help. I am relieved to hear my socks arrived as there was no way to track them. Bolstered by this news, I will continue knitting pairs 13 through 24 with their matching newborn hats!