Threads of Solidarity: Tasmanian Knitters Unite for Ukraine
by Peta Hen
A group of local women have taken up knitting needles to help raise funds for those affected by the war in Ukraine. Tassie for Ukraine is a community knitting project determined to make a difference.
Tell us about Tassie For Ukraine. Tassie for Ukraine is a community knitting project that aims to build community connections and raise money for Ukrainian causes. We have been selling knitted and handmade goods donated by our community members to raise money for Ukraine for quite a while now. However, a couple of months back we decided to gather frequently to boost our knitting effort, teach each other knitting skills, and consistently make more products that we are able to sell to support Ukraine.
How often do you get together? We gather as a group – at the moment we are 10 Ukrainian women – to chat, knit, and inspire each other to create. We love the positive feedback about our project from the Tasmanian community. We are hoping to expand and have more Tasmanians join our effort.
Where is the money raised used? The money we raise mainly goes to U Help, a fund established by the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO). The focus of this fund is supporting Ukrainian defenders with food, medical aid and technology. Most international organisations focus their support for Ukraine on humanitarian needs. We, as a community, believe it is also crucial to support Ukrainian defenders. Having a strong defence helps us prevent a lot of humanitarian consequences of the war in the first place. Many of us also have friends or relatives fighting on the frontline, the initiative is our way to send the love to people we care about.
What do you make? Our main focus is mug warmers that are very handy in winter to keep your drinks warm and stylish! Each reflects the personality of the person who made them. We also make mittens, snoods, scarves, as well as non-knitted goods such as shopping bags.
You hold knitting rallies at Parliament Lawns every Saturday. How has the response been from the community? The rallies supporting Ukraine have been going on for 15 months, ever since the full-scale war in Ukraine began. At the moment, they are weekly rallies, happening every Saturday at 10am. Our goals are to maintain awareness about what is going on in Ukraine and raise money for Ukrainian causes. Anyone can join us at the rallies. We welcome people to stand with us delivering important messages in support of Ukraine.
How can people get involved with Tassie For Ukraine? Any support in helping us organise fundraising events would be much appreciated. If someone loves knitting or wants to learn how to knit, we are happy to welcome more people to our knitting community. We also accept donations of yarn, buttons, and other knitting and handmade tools. And of course, the easiest way to support us is to buy one of our gorgeous mug warmers! To find out more or get involved, check out @tassie_for_ukraine on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org.