Knitting in Kenya

About a month ago I recieved an email from a woman who works with the organization I. N. Network International Needs USA. She told me that she had recently used my beginning knitting pattern “Its a Cinch Head Wrap” to teach some women in Kenya how to knit. I was so excited to hear more so I wrote her back asking for details and another woman from I. N. Network sent me the whole story. I was so moved by the email and photos she sent me that I thought I would share. It is so overwhelming to have something I created used to help women in need. Thank you, Terry, for sending me your story.


“Hi Elisa,

I am the I.N. Network employee who took the team to Kenya in June. Knitting is a new passion of mine and I thought it was so very funny when the leadership in Kenya asked if we could bring some new ideas for ‘woolen products’ to teach to the ladies who meet to do crafts. These women are called ‘women of Grace’ and meet once a week to create small items (knitting, crocheting, soap making,etc) to sell as a means of support for their families. Their stories are varied but I heard them referred to has the HIV/AIDS women and as widows. Many are former commercial sex workers who have been trapped in the horror of the worst sort of poverty. All were mothers and wanted the hope of a different life. “
“I did a tiny bit of requesting for help and received more yarn, needles and ideas than I could possibly imagine.”
“All of a sudden my house in Wisconsin was filled with knitting supplies from Michigan, Seattle Washington and beyond as women wanted to participate in the collecting of blessing. I made copies of your pattern for the ladies in Kenya, packed up and got on the plane for Nairobi. “
“I hoped to begin with knitting on day #2 as we had also brought some sewing/craft kits that the volunteers at Living Threads ministry.

had put together for us to use. BUT, No! New yarn was the excitement of the day for these 25 members of the Women of Grace. They gathered in a tent set up on the grounds and began to tackle the headband pattern immediately. There was not a lot of English spoken, so your pictures were perfect for explaining how to sew them together and also how to make the ‘cinch’ pattern. As Margit shared, there was one very frail woman who was struggling with the concept of knitting. I could tell that she was not getting along very quickly and needed extra help. I was concerned that Ann would be discouraged. When I went around the circle to help her again, I asked if she was understanding any of it. The smile back at me was stunning. She told me in perfect English, “I am so happy!”
“A bit of yarn, a pair of needles, a clean tent with friends. Even a break for morning tea time.

Yes, Ann, I am so happy too. To have met you, to have seen your joy, to have caught a glimpse of God’s grace in sending some practical love across the globe to a dear beloved woman of Grace. “
Wow! I feel so fortunate, to have had an unknowing impact (in a small way) on a few women’s lives. I am thankful that Terry included me by sharing the impact her non-profit had and the part I was able to play. If you want to have a stab at the pattern yourself I have included a link below. I am happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the pattern but as it includes video tutorials you probably will have a lot of luck with a couple of needles, some yarn, and a good movie. Enjoy!

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