“Mom, these socks are already too small for me, and I won’t wear this scarf anymore either.” Nine-year-old Yasochka held those warm things in her little hands and looked at her mother with big, bright eyes. “We need to unweave them and wind the thread into balls.” “Why?” her mother asked. “They are needed to knit socks for soldiers…” I couldn’t hold back tears.
My phone rang in the evening, and I did not know that number. A bright child’s voice asked if they could come to see me tomorrow. Of course! And in the morning, little Yasochka stood in front of me with balls of yarn in a bag and a pair of knitting needles. “Will you teach me how to knit socks? I also want to knit for our soldiers,” Yasochka timidly said.
And there was so much urge, love, and faith in her eyes! Later, the girl’s mother called me and told me how our Warm Front project inspired her daughter to take such a step, and she was happy that the little one was already so acutely aware of our cause’s importance at her age!
Talking about Yasochka, Ms. Kateryna does not hold back tears. But these are tears of joy! The woman has been weaving warm things for the front for nine months, sharing warmth with Ukrainian defenders. Caring people help her with the yarn, just like Yasochka the little volunteer. And in order to support this good cause and add a bit of warmth, Goodacity provided a microgrant for the “Warm Front”!
“When I found out that I received a microgrant,” Ms. Kateryna says, “I went to the store where Yasochka’s mother worked in order to talk to the girl. Yasochka, thank you for your small, but such a big heart! This story of goodness began precisely with your four balls of yarn! And now we can purchase ten kilograms of yarn with the funds from the micro-grant, to make even more defenders warm with our care!”
“I will knit as much as I can!”
Ukraine. Sumy region, Okhtyrka district. Velyka Pysarivka. Three kilometers from the Russian border. “We are under shelling all the time. We spent the whole of March in the cellar and there was some time when our house was completely without windows, without heating,” Ms. Kateryna talks about the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion. “But we live and try to help our defenders as much as we can…”
Knit, purl, knit, purl — the knitting needles flash, the thread stretches loop after loop. Ms. Kateryna knits warm socks for the soldiers at the front. She knits at home and on the road, in daylight and by the light of a headlamp, she jokes that she can even knit even with her eyes closed, as she has gotten so used to it over the years. Every so often her hands get tired, and they hurt… “But they hurt a bit and then recover, yet it’s much harder for soldiers there, in the trenches,” the woman says. “Help during the war is so precious now! Our people help the front as much as they can, and I am also doing what I can. I have been volunteering since 2014. I knit, make embroideries, make motanka dolls, teach children decoupage, and we hold charity fairs to sell our handmade items to buy necessary things for our defenders.”
“From the first day of the full-scale invasion, I made a promise to myself that I would knit warm things and help our defenders as much as I could and as long as it would be needed. And that’s what I do, without putting my hands, or rather, my knitting needles down. [she laughs]. I will knit as much as I can!”
“You would say that it is just a pair of warm knitted socks, what could be special about themit? But when knitting the socks, I put my soul into them, a drop of home warmth and confidence that everything wil be fine. It is like news from home for them…”
While the knitting needles flash, Ms. Kateryna, as a person of many talents, composes poetic lines:
Like a sister-mother, for our every fighter!
The moon brightly shining, everything deeply slumbering.
But I can't fall asleep - the needles whisper to me.
I weave until the dawn, balls and balls of yarn,
I call upon the sky, so it protects our guys!
“I want these things filled with the warmth of our heart and soul to be a kind of talisman for our defenders,” the woman says. “They are not afraid of anything in the world, they are unbreakable and tough, but even they need our attention, sincere feelings, and care! We also have a defender in our family, we love him very much and wait for him! If a person stays warm for at least one night, it means that my work has a purpose! Help during the war is our common goal!”
Warm Front warriors
“We, Ukrainians, are all closely intertwined now like knitted threads! That’s why we hold the defense together and make each other warm!” Ms. Kateryna says. “I knit socks for those who protect us; thanks to generous benefactors like Goodacity, I’m able to purchase the yarn for this, and thanks to our incredible defenders I’m able to be home and do what I do! But I could not do much myself, so most of all I want to thank our girls on the ‘warm front’. My greatest respect and gratitude to them!”
“Some of us knew each other before the war, and we got acquainted with others through the warm front. I knitted things for our soldiers and posted photos on my social network pages, and people wrote to me that they were also eager to join, so we came together as the soldiers of the warm front. I bring yarn, the girls knit, and once a week, we collect the warm things and I hand them over to the front.
Our most respected embroiderer, Lyudmila Yakivna, is 77 years old, her health, and strength are not what they used to be, but she says that she cannot stand aside and instead knits warm things for the front.
My 75-year-old father Oleksandr made us a special device to rewind threads — so he helps and supports our warm front too! And we have Raisa Akhmetivna, who devotes her every free minute to knitting, Iryna, Olena, Natalya, Svitlana, Larysa from Kharkiv, Ukraine, — I am proud to be part of such an incredible team!”
“Our warm front united all corners of Ukraine; we got knitting materials from Zakarpattia, Kropyvnytskyi, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Kyiv, even my colleague from the Netherlands sent us some yarn! However, knitting is not the only thing we do. We also have projects for sewing blankets, pillows, bedspreads, making special mats for sitting, and composing tea sets. Warmth is not only in the things we knit, it is firstly in the heart! Everything starts within it…”
“We sincerely thank everyone who makes it possible for us to be useful to our country and our defenders, and to everyone who has supported us with materials throughout the war! Our sincere thanks to Goodacity for help during the war and charity work! Together to Victory!”
So that all our soldiers, safe and sound would be.
Thread by thread unite, obedient and bright.
The fire of my heart burns against the night!
May it warm you now, bring down all worry
That's how I “divined”, till the Victory comes!