"Blanket For The NeverBorn" is a powerful project to recognize the dignity of children who never had the chance to be born.
Knitting is back in fashion as a creative and relaxing activity. It was always creative and relaxing, of course. Working with your hands stimulates your intellect, which is a benefit of knitting, and many good ideas are triggered while we’re doing very concrete things. Dedicating yourself to a project with a precise goal but without the pressure of professional activity, simply as a pure hobby, reduces anxiety and stimulates positive thoughts — more benefits of knitting and crocheting.
Chesterton already taught that wonderful works could be born from the passion of amateurs. I saw proof of this a few days ago, when I shared a photo of a relaxing moment of mine while I was knitting on Facebook. The result was a chat with my friend Laura, who told me about an incredible project called Blanket For The NeverBorn.
As soon as she mentioned something about this project, I was impressed. Laura was kind enough to chat with me on the phone to explain what it’s about and why she also chose to contribute. She got involved after she found a knitters’ Facebook group where she learned about the idea. On the project’s Facebook page, we can read about its origin:
“While knitting a blanket for my college grandson, I thought about a blanket that can have a knitted stitch for every baby that was not allowed to be born in America.I’m calling them the NeverBorn.The estimated abortions performed in the U.S. since the controversial Roe V Wade was passed in 1973 is rapidly approaching 61,000,000,000. Yes, that’s SIXTY-ONE MILLION.
“It looks like just a number that takes up barely an inch on the page. I had just finished an afghan that had 90,000 stitches, so I thought it might be manageable as my personal cause. Then I started crunching the numbers and suddenly the task seemed immense. There was no way! It would take me 9 years—working 24/7—to knit that many stitches.”
She recognized that creating a 61-million-stitch handmade blanket was an impossible feat to accomplish on her own, but it was a magnificent idea that could be shared. Thus, the big project was divided into many small projects: the pattern of this large blanket is made up of white, pink and blue squares. Anyone who wants to join this project can knit or crochet a few squares, following the directions on the website, and then the pieces will all be put together.
The goal is to display this huge blanket in a significant place, or even take it around on the occasion of the March for Life; then it can be divided into many blankets to be donated to hospitals. The idea is to make visible an absence that weighs heavily on our society. I immediately thought of Psalm 139, and that beautiful and very famous passage on the creation of each person, in which one speaks of knitting:
“For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
My friend Laura has decided to participate in the project, and in her words I find the best invitation for all of you:
“I decided to contribute a few squares, and every time I work, I can’t help but pray. With a Hail Mary I can make about 50 stitches, so it’s very little work when you think about it: I can’t dedicate a whole Hail Mary for each child (which corresponds to a single knitted stitch). Someone objected, saying, ‘Why spend money and time on unborn children? Wouldn’t it make more sense to make a blanket for those who were born, and are so poor that they can’t afford it?’ I think this work makes sense not only as a reminder of the presence of these unborn souls, but also for their mothers who didn’t manage to welcome them. As time goes by, even these women, consciously or unconsciously, will return with their thoughts to that child, and maybe they will miss not having made that blanket, not having given that hug. Part of the discourse about abortion is also to recognize the dignity of these children who are no longer alive.”