Monday, March 5, 2012
Knitting Is Helping Elderly Survivors of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami
Women at Yarn Alive, started by an American Christian missionary, confer over an afghan that is in the works.
The Wall Street Journal has an article (go to the slideshow or video) today on how knitting is helping older women in northeastern Japan, who survived the 2011 disaster in Japan and who are now homeless. A Christian missionary from Ohio, Teddy Swaka, who has lived in the area for 50 years, started Yarn Alive, with yarn donated from Australia and Ohio, to offer the opportunity to elderly women to knit. Swaka says that she herself goes crazy if she doesn't have something to do with her hands, and she had a hunch that knitting but be helpful to these women whose lives were ripped to shreds by the tsunami. Many of the women are widows who lost their homes or their businesses or both in the tsunami or who lost loved ones. Now living in makeshift temporary housing, they get together every Tuesday to talk and knit and learn new patterns and stitches. They are also crocheting afghans. The sharing of company and the knitting has alleviated some of the sadness and loneliness that these women feel--and also produced beautiful work!