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Knit for Spiti

  • Joan Pollock
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A lady called Janet came with me on a couple of my Spiti visits. While sitting in the jeep during the long road journeys, she knitted children’s sweaters while in the jeep as we travelled along the bumpy roads to Kaza the capital of the Spiti Valley. Another passenger, Madeleine was very taken by this idea and on her return to her home town Edinburgh she started up a knitting group. We put Janet’s knitting pattern onto our website and much to our surprise this sparked a huge response.

There was a huge resurgence in knitting throughout the country, retired pensioners dug their knitting needles out of the attic, others donated their left over wool. Knitting groups sprung up all over the country. In Edinburgh a psychiatrist encouraged her patients to knit for us as a therapy and this was a tremendous success. We received some beautiful sweaters of all sizes from so many groups.

One man explained to me that his wife joined a local knitting group and this and this relieved her depression. Sadly his wife of 40 years died soon afterwards. He decided to join the group and complete the sweater she was knitting. He sent the lovely sweater with a note saying “to keep a child warm” I was so touched by this that I kept the sweater in my ruck sack and found a child of the right size to wear it. I then took a photo of the child with the sweater on and sent it to him with a thank you note from the family. There are many other stories but this is the most poiynant.