My Mom Making: a difference

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“I’m more of a behind-the-scenes person” insisted my Mom when I asked if I could write a piece on her knitting for social good. I’m persistent and she relented last week after I described how this might encourage other people to do what they love for a cause.

Before the term “maker” achieved its newfound meaning and popularity there was my Mom, Pat White, making things. She made excellent Halloween costumes. She made curtains and clothes. She knotted jute into macramé things. She knitted for the church bazaar. She did it all before YouTube and before you could order your supplies online. All this while running a household, starting a nursery school, and working all sorts of nursing jobs. She imprinted me with a model of working in the world and I grew up thinking this is what everyone did.

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These hands are never idle. Mom’s latest project are these (hold your snickers) Twiddlemuffs for people living with Alzheimer’s. People with dementia are often restless and like to have something to keep their hands busy. Mom would know this from first-hand experience: she cared for her mum, my Gram, for seven years through Alzheimer’s.

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So this muff, a tube of knitted yarn, offers something visual and tactile…

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in the way of buttons and different yarns and sequins to occupy those restless hands.

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It turns out that there are a lot of other people in the world who are also volunteering their skills and materials to make a difference: to contribute to a social good. A lot of them don’t have blogs or Twitter accounts. A lot of them like my Mom are quite happy to stay well out of the spotlight.

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I’ve seen making for fun and making for profit. I’ve seen making for learning and making for talent retention. I’ve seen making for economic development and making for community building. This post is simply a shout out to all you makers out there, quietly going about your work and sending your made things out to the world in hopes that they do some small good.

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I should also mention: Mom just applied to Maker Expo to teach a little crocheting…

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turning yarn…

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into a simple bracelet. If she gets accepted and if you want to help her with your crochet-fu, then just shoot me an email. The goal is just to get people… ahem… hooked on making.

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Mom, yer a peach…

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Always have been.


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4 Responses to My Mom Making: a difference

  1. Jess myrphy says:

    Love love love this!!! So many makers just making without anyone knowing of their brilliance! You’re so talented in photography and the telling of stories I just loved this and now can’t wait to meet your mom at maker expo!! How awesome! Thank you Pat, for sharing and stepping into the light for a little bit!

  2. Phyllis Smith says:

    Hi Pat, what a great idea. Have known and know people who could benefit from your Twiddlemuff”. Hope you are successful getting into the Expo. Would be something I`d like to attend.

  3. Dianne O'Rourke says:

    Lovely story, beautiful photos of your Mom.

    (Mom of Jennifer and Stephanie (O’Rourke) Browning)

  4. Glenda Kerr - one of her Bible study friends says:

    Inspiring story Darin, just like your Mom. She is an excellent example of someone who lives out her faith. So privileged to know her!

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