Thoughts

Send us your thoughts!

I have asked volunteers to tell me a little bit about why they chose to participate in this project. Below you will find answers to these questions:
(click on the question to jump down to that section)

1) Where did you hear about Red Sweaters?
2) Why did you choose to participate?
3) What does Red Sweaters symbolize to you?
4) How has this project, war, or other current events affected your life?

You will also find some other thoughts and sentiments.

If you'd like to join in the discussion, please join our Yahoo! group. Go to groups.yahoo.com, login with your Yahoo! ID, and add the group "redsweaters". To email us, the address is redsweaters@yahoogroups.com
If you'd like to send the artist a private email, please send it to kitschi@whack.org


Where did you hear about Red Sweaters?

Newspapers
“My husband saw the Newsday article which was reprinted in the Contra Costa Times.”
“I read about your project last spring in Newsday (Long Island edition), and I’m proud to be a part of your project.”
“I saw your article in Newsday on March 30, 2005. I thought, ‘What a good idea,’”.
“There was a small article in our local newspaper, Newsday, on Long Island, NY regarding your Red Sweater project. So glad I saw it.”
“Having seen the article in N.Y. Newsday, I got my knitting group involved.”
“I read about your project in the Contrast Costa Times.”
“I read about the project in our local newspaper, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.”
“On Thursday, April 7, 2005, an article appeared in our Knoxville News Sentinel, telling about your art project. I found it quite fascinating.”
“There was an article about the sweater in our Lake Havasu City, AZ local newspaper. “
“I read about your project in Newsday on March 30th. I was immediately intrigued.”
“I read about your knitting project in the Youngstown Vindicator on April 19, 2005.

Word-of-mouth
“I heard about the project from my boyfriend who heard about it at a vigil for Cindy Sheehan in Mountain View, CA.”
“I told my daughters and mother about this project. These sweaters are from them.”
“I collected [these sweaters] from some ladies of the Long Island Knitting & Crochet Guild. I put a notice in our newsletter.”
“I heard about your project while reading a friend’s blog. I’ve passed the word to my knitting friends.”
“I have spread the word to friends and family.”
“I heard about your project through the Ample Knitters group.”
“I heard about Red Sweaters from a neighbor.”
“My daughter found you on the internet. I’m 91 years old and live in a retirement home.”

Magazines
“I saw the article in Vogue Knitting and was moved to contribute to this [project].”
“I saw the story in Vogue Holiday 2005.”
“I heard about your project in the recent edition of Vogue Knitting [Holiday 2005] and I immediately felt the need to help.”
“I read the article in Vogue Knitting and what a wonderful project you started!”
“When I read about your project in Vogue Knitting, I immediately got the materials together to participate. I dropped all my other knitting projects.”

“I saw [the article] in the Family Circle easy Crochet Magazine.”
“I saw your article in Family Circle Easy Crochet and thought it was great.”
“I read about [this project] in the Easy Crochet article.”

“I saw your redsweaters.org in a knitting [magazine] and thought ‘what a sweet way to remember our fallen soldiers.’”


Why did you choose to participate?

“Because people forget – and they shouldn’t.”

“I made these sweaters not having a firm stand against or for the war. But wishing and hoping people could live in peace and harmony without persecution of any form. Bless those that live in fear and those who have tried and died to create peace.”

“I participated in this art project because we seem to need visual reminders of the cost of war. It does not matter if the toll is 1500 or 20,000 or 1 – it is too high.”

“I knitted this because it’s the first sweater I’ve ever finished. I hope its lumpiness inspires other beginners to pitch in.”

“I am so opposed to this war, I’m seeing RED.”

“The reason I participated is because sometimes, we all need to be a part of something that’s larger than all of us.”

“I support our troops. I support their right to life. I am a mother. I have two sons. Every one of the soldiers who died in Iraq had mothers who are grieving for them. I grieve for those soldiers and their mothers.”

“I can remember watching the funeral procession of a local boy killed in Iraq. It was very upsetting.”

“I did these sweaters to support our troops and the war in Iraq. It was fun and interesting”.

“I made some sweaters because I like to knit.”

“Although I don’t support the war, I strongly support our troops.”

“I have been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.”

“My daughter has also done art installations.”

“I’ll be 80 in March. I knit a lot for charities. I had a great nephew that was in intelligence, in Afghanistan. He’s home now and well, so I’m sending a little red sweater for him and for all the boys and girls that are fighting, and for all the soldiers that lost their lives. I pray for them. I hope they come home safe.”

“I knit for the future of my grandchildren. May they grow up in a peaceful, just world where all are counted.”

“The reason I have been knitting sweaters is mostly in protest of the war. Also, I want to support you in spreading public awareness.”

“I wanted to participate because I want to express my objection to the war without hurting/making fun of the people that are fighting in it. IS this really worth our sons and daughters lives? Not mine!”

“I’ve never been a part of an art exhibit and I think your reasons are very sound. All Americans need to stay focused on this war and maybe it will end sooner. I have a 22-year-old son (he’s not a soldier) and I can’t imagine losing him to this type of war.”

“I strongly oppose the war in Iraq and feel that Mr. Bush is sending Americans to die in order to protect oil-money interests.”

“This sweater is for a very good friend of ours that just left for another round of duty for 2 years.”

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to participate in a project that causes people to remember the men and women in service for our country and their sacrifice.”

“I hope that the number of sweaters displayed will broaden awareness of what a tragedy this war is.”

“I think it’s a great way to bring attention to what I consider an illegal war and it will be a striking visual representation of the senseless death currently happening.”

“I’m doing this as a positive statement re: my frustration with our government.”

“I’ve been against this war from the beginning, but I support those troops who are giving their all. Many are there doing their job when they would rather not be there. That’s heroes in my book!”

“[I knit this sweater] in memory of [a soldier] age 33 of Bluffton, Indiana, lost his life 3-26-05 outside Kabul, Afghanistan. Married and the father of two children.”

“I like helping others”

“I believe we should be out of Iraq, but I also believe support should be given to those that are there and to those that have fallen. It is a disgrace that this support was not given to those young men that were sent to Vietnam.”

“Our sweaters are in honor of [a soldier], [who is the] son of a state Senator, a vocal anti-war public figure.”
“I am proud to help because my heart aches for all the families who lost loved ones in this war.”

“I am so pleased to take part in this artistic endeavor to make people THINK about war and all it entails and affects.”

“I was in favor of sending our troops over to Iraq and now I am in favor in bringing them home. It has been long enough!!”

“I look at my participation in this project as a fun way to make a political statement. I know that you weren’t intending for this to be political, but I can’t see it any other way. “

“My every stitch was dedicated to remembering someone who was killed or wounded in the war in Iraq. The people in this country seem to be hardly aware that there is a war going on. This project seems to tie all of my thoughts together. The people in this country need any way at all to be shown what is going on.”

“It’s good to have a visual reminder.”

“I grieve for all our young people who have given their lives in this insane war. I support your project because we need visible reminders of the loss of so man, and, hopefully, this will effect a change in people’s thinking.”

“I am participating in this project because I think the project is so beautifully conceived. It is important that the people of this country be aware of the lives that are being lost, and it is important that the work efforts and caring sentiments of people throughout this country be represented on the Red Sweaters tree. This installation should generate awareness among all who hear about it, and most certainly among those who will be lucky enough to see it.”

“I respect and support your project and I’m thankful for the opportunity to actively acknowledge and honor all those whose lives have been lost during this war.”

“Every Long Islander either lost a friend or family member in 9-11 or knows someone who did. We lost a cousin. I am disgusted with the government for using a national tragedy to sell their political agenda.”

“1 for each of my grandchildren!”

“I hope my small contributions will help everyone remember our troops and why we are involved in this war.”

“I was moved by the pictures of an exhibit of a pair of boots for each soldier killed in Iraq – it makes the numbers more real and more personal. I think the red sweater installation will have the same affect on people. That’s a good thing and I would like to be part of it.”

“I wanted to contribute some sweaters because it made me feel connected – yarn is such a great metaphor.”

“With each stitch I was reminded of the men and women you honor by this project.”

“I found the project really reflective and am glad to participate.”

“[Knitting these sweaters] provoked all the thoughts you want us all to think about. Thank you for encouraging all that thought.”


What does Red Sweaters symbolize to you?


“As well as keeping the soldiers in mind, [for me] each stitch also symbolized all the civilian losses since this war began.”

“My sweater is a ‘prayer’ for all who have died in this war in Iraq.”

“I thought these sweaters that I’ve made would show how much we really appreciate our freedom. These men have done so much for us and have asked for so little.”

“My thoughts were with the fallen soldiers and their families while I was knitting.”

“I knitted these for all the loved ones who grieve every day, who have holes in their lives where the soldier once lived…”

“I chose to knit these sweaters as a symbol of loss and rage for the lives that have been needlessly sacrificed.”

“I continue to be amazed at how many sweaters you still need. It’s a crazy way for me to put it in perspective, but when I hear the count every night I think that you will need that many more sweaters, and that each sweater represents one life.”

“I know this is not a war protest per se, but it is for me.”

“My three sweaters are to symbolize [my brother-in-law’s] three friends who died [in the war].”

“I suppose this first sweater is about detaching from the fear of what could happen to [my nephew in Baghdad], and honoring what has happened already.”

“To me, having [each sweater] differ in some small way was crucial, as it gave a face to each person. I never sat there and thought I was ‘just knitting’. There was always a person whose face looked out at me from behind the needles – an individual with a family, friends, and loved ones, all bereft at the loss of this person.”

“I thought of a drop of blood for each stitch I made. Knitting really focused my thoughts on the ever-increasing number of US service people dead. And the number seems to keep increasing every day.”

“Some people ‘get’ it and some don’t. Some think [the sweaters] are just cute and really don’t understand the symbolism. I think about how fragile life is; how quickly that bond can be broken forever and how many families have lost loved ones to a war in which we were deliberately mislead and misinformed. [I think about] how many people have been personally touched by these actions.”


How has this project, war, or other current events affected your life?

“It is such an interesting thing, how empowering this has been. This was is so awful. Our leaders have gotten us into such a muddle. Our young people are paying the price. The ultimate price. Being able to do something, even if it is only spending a short bit of time to create a red sweater, it is a statement and an honoring to our young people who have given their lives for their country.”

“This is only the second thing I’ve made since my first pair of lovely blue slippers some 32 years ago! Yet when I read about your project in Newsday, I felt so compelled to participate that I quickly began looking for a way to learn how to knit. All week long I simply felt this was something I had to do despite my knitting ability.”

“Colorado Springs has a large military presence – 5 military bases within a 20-mile radius. We are the home of the 3rd ACR and NORAD. Although I am not in the military, nor married to it, I feel the absence of our soldiers every day. My co-worker’s 20 year old son just left for Baghdad last month, and we all pray every day for his safe return next year.”

“My brother, ex husband, and current husband all served in Vietnam, so I know what it is like to have a family member fighting for our country.”

“I had a great nephew that was in intelligence, in Afghanistan. He’s home now and well.”

“This project has made me much more aware of the dead soldiers.”

“A very good friend of ours just left for another round of duty for 2 years!! He left his wife and 3 teenagers. I just can’t even imagine being apart for that long. I pray everyday that he comes home safe.”

“My brother-in-law is in the National Guard and is in Iraq right now. His current job is to guard the “airport road”, the one that everyone travels on to get to the Baghdad airport. He has been there since August 2004 and is scheduled to come back in October. Three of his good friends have died – he only has one good friend left there with him. He and his wife missed their 10-year wedding anniversary last fall because he was over there fighting.”

“We are a retired military family.”

“I had a young nephew (18) killed in the Vietnam war, which in many ways is like this one – pointless.”

“My 23 year old nephew is in Baghdad with the 184th National Guard. Like so many I believe he never imagined a few weekends a month, in order to afford school, would land him in war.”

“For about two years, several of us here in Knoxville have been involved in the Ships Project. We have shipped crocheted and knitted caps and slippers to troops serving on ships all over the world…As the caps and slippers appeared, word spread and commanders of different ships requested the hand crafted items. We had word that they wanted warm slippers to wear to bed aboard the cold ships.”

“I have a cousin who is going to Iraq this summer, after recently returning from a year in Afghanistan.”


Other thoughts and sentiments:

“God Bless all our soldiers and you for remembering each one lost”

“Thank you for doing this and for allowing me and others to be part of it.”

“[Enclosed is] my small contribution to your great effort.”

“Good luck!”

“We’re so happy to be able to contribute to your wonderful concept!”

“I love this project.”

“You are doing a terrific job!”

“I agree that with so much going on in this country – the weather, etc. – that people don’t seem to think the war is a ‘big deal’ anymore. But if you have someone over there, you think about it everyday.”

“Thank you for the opportunity to honor the dead.”

“I want you to know that I love everything about this project. I struggle to understand the war and it breaks my heart that so many people are still dying.”

“This knitting project is nice because it requires a small time commitment and [the sweaters] are adorable.”

“How inspired I am with your project.”

“I think your idea is fabulous and hope you carry it to fruition.”

“I feel blessed to be able to live where I do. I’m happy to be able in this small way to do something.”

“I know a sweater for each Iraqi death is too enormous to consider. BUT what if we did a white sweater for every 100 deaths – would that be doable?”

“This is such an enormous project you’ve taken on.”

“These sweaters were made from our hearts, with our prayers and thoughts to each and every one who lost their lives in Iraq.”

“Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. I’m very proud to be a part of this and prouder still of you for having the initiative and courage to do this. Thank you for your commitment! You’re doing a wonderful thing.”

“It feels strange to be pleased with a sad reason for a knitting project, still activism is like that.”

“These sweaters come with much thought and meditation on lost young lives.”

“Sewing the sweater together was so frustrating. Pretty pathetic on my part compared to the families of those there. A horror.”

“This is a wonderful projection. I’m honored to be a part of it.”

“We must not turn away!”

“Some [of these sweaters are] from an old knitter, some from a novice, all of them done while remembering our soldiers. Fly them in memory and honor!”

“What a wonderful concept.”

“The number of soldiers dying in Iraq just keeps escalating, and I’m wondering if we’ll ever be able to catch up.”

“Thanks for not only having the idea, but actually bringing it to fruition.”

“While I was knitting, my thoughts turned to the families that have sacrificed and are forever changed.”

“I just learned to knit in Fall of ’04 and really enjoy the craft. Very cool idea.”

“This is the 4th thing I’ve made – a new knitter with only scarves to my credit.”

“You are to be commended for making note of this loss to our country.”

“I loved the meaning behind this project – what a great soul you have.”

“Thank you for taking the time for all of us, to organize this project.”

“Thank you for the inspiration. I hadn’t knitted in over 30 years and took me a little while to get started, and I only know one stitch. But your directions were superb and I had no trouble following them.”

“I have enjoyed working on these Red Sweaters for this project. Every one reminds me of the people who are involved in the Iraq war – the soldiers, the civilians, and the families of all.”

“After one sweater, I was hooked. No pun intended. “

“This is a great idea and I thank you for coming up with it!”

“Thank you for the wonderful idea of the Red Sweater Art Installation. What a great idea. Thank you for letting others be a part of it.”