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Monday, November 03, 2008

Chicks with Sticks

A friend of Zahava (Okay, she's my friend too!) recently sent me an email about a worthwhile project that she and some of her buddies have been working on.  The group is a knitting circle calling themselves 'Chicks with Sticks'

They get together about once a week (if I'm not mistaken), and knit while swapping family stories and gossip.  For this reason, some of those who know them have dubbed the group 'Stitch & B*tch' (behind their backs, of course).

Anyway, one of the more noble projects these industrious women have taken on is the task of knitting black knitted winter hats for IDF combat soldiers. 

At first the group would send the finished hats with one of the women's sons who was on active duty.  But now that he has finished his service, they've been distributing the hats via an organization called 'A Package from Home' that sends care packages to soldiers serving in combat units... especially to 'Lone Soldiers' (immigrant soldiers who don't have family living in Israel).

Now that this thing has really taken off and the demand has gone up almost as fast as the temperatures have dropped, my friend thought it might be nice to invite knitters from around the world to participate in this wonderful project. 

In her own words:

Hey hat knitters,

Winter has come and all the hats you sent in recently have been a *huge* success .  About 175 hats were distributed through Barbara Silverman's fabulous organization, "A Package from Home" and went mainly to units serving in the Golan, where it's nice and cold now.

Another 25 hats were personally distributed in Hebron recently, where it's been cold and raining, as well as tense on the military front. The soldiers were delighted! It seems the hat that is now included in the basic clothing set the soldiers receive is made of a synthetic fleece-type fabric that's really not warm and snug enough for outdoor duty in the winter. The knit stocking caps are exactly what they want and need, and we would like to try and get many more of them to soldiers this winter.

Here are some photos of your hats in action just last week:

Hats_4_soliders_009_2   Hats_4_soliders_013

Hats_4_soliders_019   Hats_4_soliders_026

Hats_4_soliders_027  Hats_4_soliders_028   Hats_4_soliders_032_2   

As you can see, your hats are really out there, being worn by people who need them. You are providing the physical warmth and emotional support our soldiers crave.

Thank you.


So, for any of you knitting aficionados (both chicks and non-chicks are welcome to participate) out there who'd like to knit a hat or three for an IDF soldier, Click Here  to download a Word document that spells out everything you need to know.

If anyone has questions or trouble downloading the document, just leave a comment here and I'll get back to you right away.

Brrrr.... it's getting chilly out there.  What are you waiting for?

UPDATE:  Hmmm, I need to talk to my wife more often.  It seems Zahava designed the nifty label that gets sewn into each one of these hats before they are given to the soldiers.  Here's what it looks like:


[Loose translation: Knitted for you with love and warmth. From The Connecting Thread]

Posted by David Bogner on November 3, 2008 | Permalink


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It is deja vu all over again. A little known historical factoid, but in 1947-1948, Israeli girls/women where encuraged to knit woolen caps for the soldiers fighting to establish and protect the state of Israel. When the cold weather passed, the girls/women had so gotten into the mode of knitting that they continued knitting/crocheting in the spring and summer months, only now making kippot (yarmulkas). This was the beginning of the Israeli custom to wear "kipput srugot."

Posted by: raz | Nov 3, 2008 4:19:53 PM

Oh, wow, yes. I am so in.

Posted by: Rahel | Nov 3, 2008 5:02:51 PM

Agg! I don't know how to knit!

Posted by: Sarah | Nov 3, 2008 5:16:48 PM

Sarah, it's easy enough and this project is an excellent introduction. Email me and I'll help you get started.

By the way, my mom used to crochet granny squares for soldiers' afghans back in the day, and coordinated the afghan project for her class. I'm happy to continue in the family tradition!

Posted by: Rahel | Nov 3, 2008 5:35:49 PM

Very cool.

We have several groups (here in the States) that knit, crochet, or sew similar things for American troops. Soldiers' Angels has "Blankets of Belief" and the "Scarves Team" that hand make blankets and scarves for the deployed troops. They also have "Blankets of Gratitude" and "Blankets of Hope" that make blankets for the wounded that are in hospitals. (More at the Soldiers' Angels website.)

It's really nice to see that "Chicks With Sticks" has taken up the same cause for the Israeli troops.


Posted by: Paul | Nov 3, 2008 5:43:28 PM

I need to find the right yarn, but I'll be knitting one. Also, most Stitch and Bitch groups wear the label with pride. :) In Haifa, that's certainly what we call our knitting circle.

Posted by: Maayan | Nov 3, 2008 6:12:00 PM

What a wonderful project. Though I have to admit I am far more intrigued by the Tavor rifle!

Posted by: harry | Nov 3, 2008 7:47:44 PM

i think this is amazing! i just wish i knew how to knit :-( .

Posted by: nikki | Nov 3, 2008 8:16:04 PM

Thanks for advertising our group (we only meet about once a month actually) anyone in the Gush Etzion area is welcome to join us.

Shelley (aka wife of British academic)

Posted by: shelley | Nov 3, 2008 10:36:14 PM

What a great project - I'm IN! I love to knit but living in Florida, there are only so many scarves and mittens we need - this is a wonderful project. Thanks for sharing - you're such a giver :)

Posted by: orieyenta | Nov 3, 2008 10:36:31 PM

I asked channah how to label the package so that she doesn't have to pay mechas. She emailed back to write "gift under $50" on the customs form.

Posted by: lynne | Nov 4, 2008 12:46:44 AM


David, I was IN YOUR HOUSE for an ENTIRE SHABBAT and you never mentioned this?!

Do you know how many hats I could have made by now??!!

Excuse me while I go dig through my yarn stash for black yarn...

Posted by: uberimma | Nov 4, 2008 2:34:23 AM

This is great. I will try the pattern and the next time I'm "up north", I'll fill my bag with the hats. We have the best wool in the world in Kiwiland

Posted by: Noa | Nov 4, 2008 8:54:21 AM

Rats. I was hoping it was a female drum corps... yum.

Still -- thanks for the post; I am continually renewed in my (half) opinion that humans are great beings.


Posted by: Wry Mouth | Nov 8, 2008 5:19:06 AM

Here's the power of the web for you. Completely missed this post about knitting (knitting!) on your blog, but found a link to it on the Interweb's current most popular knitting site/forum/addiction "ravelry". Hesher Koach to "Chicks with Sticks" and everyone else for contributing and carrying on the tradition started by our defunct guild.

On a personal note, our youngest has recently been fitted out by his mom.

Posted by: Jennifer | Nov 16, 2008 12:15:54 AM

Here you see well aspects of solders life..
They are one who protect us ,they not care of weather..either its cool or hot..

Posted by: Elderly Alerts | Dec 14, 2011 5:26:13 PM

Here's the power of the web for you. Completely missed this post about knitting (knitting!) on your blog, but found a link to it on the Interweb's current most popular knitting site/forum/addiction "ravelry". Hesher Koach to "Chicks with Sticks" and everyone else for contributing and carrying on the tradition started by our defunct guild.

Posted by: business angels | Dec 18, 2011 10:01:51 AM

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