December 2010

Scarf of Hope

We all know and agree that all crafts, especially knitting and crochet, have a calming effect. That is one of the main reasons we love what we do. Many people begin learning to knit/crochet when they are depressed. For many who suffer from depression, learning to knit or crochet is recommended.

Recently, I read an article about women in Peru who are using their knitting to grieve. In the Peruvian rebellion in the 1980s, more than 200,000 people were driven from their homes and more than 15,000 were killed or went missing. These women do not know what has happened to their loved ones or if dead, where they are buried.

As a result, many of the women who do not have a place to grieve have decided to knit a "Scarf of Hope" to respect the memory of their loved ones. In September 2009, they started knitting their scarf. They are hoping the scarf will be 1 km (0.6 miles) long. Each woman chooses a color and knits a block the size of an A4 piece of paper, which represents an epitaph, and then embroiders the name of a lost person with the date they were last seen. Some even add a picture of the lost person.

In August, thirty women wearing their traditional garb quietly started knitting along the fence in front of the Palacio de Justicia (Hall of Justice). However, the police asked them to move. So, they took their knitting across the street, and received a lot of sympathy from the passersby, many of whom were asked to participate. The ones who were caught in the violence use the opportunity to heal and tell their stories. The last session of group knitting in Lima attracted more than forty knitters and hundreds of observers. They hope to reach their goal of 1 km by Christmas and display the scarf in the municipality of Lima's San Isidro district.

To learn more about the scarf of hope check out:


May no one ever need a "Scarf of Hope".

Happy Holidays!

Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

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