I was disappointed by the negative and even spiteful comments about people who knit for charity. There's enough vileness in this world already without adding to it.
It's not about ego or "ugly yarn" it's about doing something to make the world a better place.
Indeed, most of the latecomer comments are in this vein, e.g.:
I never thought I would see the day that there would be some sort of "controversy" or argument over charity. Especially the comment about a friend (with good taste?) who recieved a prayer shawl and her saying she wonders what he did with the "acryllic wonder", wow, I would be ashamed of that comment. A lot of love and hope for wishing him well went into that shawl, and hopefully he came through all right, and came through with a sense of thankfulness that strangers were thinking good thoughts for him.
This is WHY we need a book like Knitting for Peace (charity, etc) because peoples hearts have become so guarded, jaded and self interested, that we NEED instruction books for being kind and giving humans. :(
I have to say that this perplexes me a bit. There seems to be a sentiment that simply because the topic of the book is "charitable," any objective review of the book, particularly any criticism, is mean-spirited, and, likewise, that since charity knitting is A Good Thing, any discussion that is not all hearts and sunshine and :)s is mean or cynical.
Does a knitter have to participate in knitting for others to be a nice person? Or is it possible to be a kind, giving person concerned for others who simply does not to wish to participate in knitting charities? Maybe you'd rather give money or do things for people who live in your own community, like work in a soup kitchen, rather than knit stuff to mail halfway across the world. Does that make your giving acts less "good"? Or maybe you have limited time to knit and feel you'd prefer to knit for yourself or your family and friends. Does that make you selfish? or just someone with limited time who prefers to knit for her/himself or her/his family and friends?
If you do choose to participate in knitting charities, isn't it entirely appropriate to keep your focus on the intended recipient of the knitted item? Isn't it possible to say "Yes, I like to participate in knitting for others but only where I know the item will be needed and useful"? If you knit lacy pink hats for The Ship's Project, when they tell you over and over again that they can't use lacy pink hats for the mostly-male recipients and the coordinator ends up throwing them in the trash, is the fact that you knit something for someone else all that counts? If you knit scarves patterned like the American flag, and some kid in Afghanistan might get shot for wearing it, is that okay because, well, beggars can't be choosers, or because we're all being "too politically correct" these days? And can't we discuss these issues without being accused of cynicism or "vileness" -- or without being judged harshly by those who like knitting for charities?
I guess what I'm trying to put my finger on is the narcissism that I sometimes (of course, not always) see in the context of knitting for others (not to mention the heavy-duty judgment being laid on those who don't believe such causes are worthwhile or who simply choose not to participate). Knitting what you want to knit rather than what is needed. Sending stuff to get rid of it, or because it isn't "nice enough" to give to someone you know. Ignoring the guidelines or requirements that the organization sets out because you assume everyone in the world thinks like you -- or because it makes you feel all rosy inside because you're Doing Something For Others. If you are going to participate in knitting for others, then oughtn't you do it right? Or is it still all sugar and spice and everything nice when fifty lacy pink berets end up in a trashcan?