If you’re Rhinebeck-bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night–details here.

Tea Party in Afghanistan!

Dear Kay,
Go ahead and settle in with a cup of tea, because I’ve got the best little video clip to show you.
Remember the shawl-knitting you did last summer for Afghans for Afghans?
The good folks at A4A put out the call for shawls that would be appropriate for the women of Afghanistan, and by golly, the knitters responded.
Your shawl was great, a Rowanspun/Noro combo with a little ruffle, but I have to say, I remember it especially because of the model you coerced into showing it off:
Well, Afghans for Afghans is going to be hosting a very special tea party in Kabul, for the 91 brave women who are members of Afghanistan’s National Assembly, their parliament. Each member will receive a handknit shawl and also delicious tea. A4A director Ann Rubin explains:

“The purpose of the gift of shawl and tea party is to express our admiration for these courageous women, encourage their strength, and warm their hearts. We wish to do something kind and personal for these women leaders working hard — and under tremendous hardship and obstacles — to serve their constituents so that the people of Afghanistan can rebuild their war-torn country. These women lawmakers are powerful role models to many Afghan women and girls. These women need TLC, too, so they can continue taking care of their citizens.”

Here’s the news story from San Francisco, which gives a peek into the famous Afghans for Afghans Basement of Luv, where mountains of handknits are sorted and packed for their trip to Afghanistan. HIGHLY recommended viewing!
I wanted to see what the Afghan National Assembly looks like. I think this photo, showing the legislators in session, really made me think about the role women play in governing:
“We hope the shawl-tea story can be used to tell more North Americans more about the well-educated, strong, and professional women legislators of Afghanistan. Our effort is about promoting understanding and support, from women to women.
“Please make a cup of tea and symbolically join in from wherever you are.”

And please contribute to help cover the costs of making this event happen by contacting Afghans for Afghans.
In closing, here’s a fact for you: The Afghan parliament is 25% female. The U.S. congress is 17% female (96 of 541 Senate + Congress). Isn’t that peculiar?



  1. These are women of SUCH courage! Wonderful role models for all girls – especially American ones.

  2. Wow! It makes you realize that we take sooo much for granted here. Hooray for women who are willing to serve not only their country but their families as well. And a big WOO HOO for all the cool knit goods!

  3. It´s not often you see your handknit on TV. Congrats 🙂

  4. The shawl project was such a brilliant idea. Caregivers do need recognition. It doesn’t take much to be big-hearted, but your shawl was the icing on the cake. Well done, you!

  5. nice to see a different kind of tea party in the news these days!

  6. The shawl project was such a brilliant idea. Caregivers do need recognition. It doesn’t take much to be big-hearted, but your shawl was the icing on the cake. Well done, you!

  7. Don’t try to get the percentage of women on boards of US companies, it will probably make congress look feminine!

  8. And Afghans for Afghans is accepting donations for tthe tea party – so ask your non-knitting friends to to support this wonderful effort!

  9. I’m impressed by those women. I’m glad someone’s recognizing/rewarding their effort.
    I’m more impressed by the women who marched in protest of the new “men can do almost whatever they want to their wives” law. They deserve something too.

  10. Now *this* is a tea party I can get behind.
    The women who occupy them are brave beyond measure, and deserve every encouragement and accolade given them for their service.
    But on the point of comparing the percentage of women in the US Congress and the Afghani parliament, you should know that by law the Afghan parliament *must* be 25% female — those seats are reserved for women. This takes not a single thing away from these remarkable women, but it isn’t a clean comparison with their US counterparts.

  11. Thanks so much for the “morning tea” inspiration. My favorite part was viewing the basement…seeing all the donations of “knit goods”. What an amazing amount of power for good we knitters hold! Look what we can do!

  12. Perhaps we should be doing this for the US congress women!

  13. An update to this great story: Ann Rubin of a4A just announced that the shawl-offering and tea party was hosted just last week, on April 9. As a basement volunteer, I can attest to the beauty of the shawls that were sent to Kabul. Thank you!

  14. This is an example of feminine power. I’m sure I saw your shawl in the “ready to send” pile.

  15. This is an example of feminine power. I’m sure I saw your shawl in the “ready to send” pile.

  16. Dear Ann and Kay (or Kay and Ann):
    Why does that not surprise me about the percentage of females in both countries’ bodies of government? Do I have a coherent explanation? No. But it’s a good point for us to consider.
    In addition, just wanted to mention that your column/article in The Knitter issue #3 was highly enjoyable. “Feather and fan” is the only lace I feel competent to execute and you made it seem positively chic.

  17. This is a great story, almost as good as the Tea Parties all across America yesterday. I am proud that I went and proud to be an American who does not drink the koolaid.

  18. Luckily, our 17 percent has the right to choose, right to marry whom they choose, don’t have to endure stoning deaths because some a(&&* hole decides they are embarrassing them (boy I’d be dead years ago), don’t risk genital mutilation and don’t risk their lives by doing their jobs.
    I’d say our 17 percent has a better deal – but I agree, it should be at least 51 percent!
    Take care,
    Joan a/k/a FSK

  19. What a GREAT picture of both shawl and model!
    The strange thing is that I was remembering Carrie wearing that shawl just the other day. Then to open to that picture today was quite a surprise for me!
    Interesting that the Afghan law requires 25% of their parliament to be female. I was wondering if they have the full governing privilages (but no majority) that their male counterparts enjoy. Joan’s (aka FSK) post put the plight of the Afghan women, sadly, into perspective.
    Feling very lucky, indeed.

  20. Okay, I may ruffle some feathers by saying this, but many Middle Eastern countries still have very oppressive ideas about the role of women in society. I recently thumbed through a copy of the Qu’ran (Out of curiosity), and saw right there the statement that basically said that women are “lower” than men.

  21. how lovely for you all

  22. STUPENDOUS achievement!!!

  23. I sent a shawl too at the time and am not sure it got included, as they had extra (which is good!!)
    A4A is probably my mostest favoritest charitable organization to knit for….

  24. Ok I just watched the video…huge lump in my throat watching Ann Rubin and all the beautiful volunteers in that basement. So. Much. Work. Done cheerfully and with love and respect.
    Must go and brew a cup of tea.

  25. Thanks for giving more publicity to this wonderful project. That video totally made me cry.
    And I’ve always loved that photo of Kay’s shawl – Carrie is rocking the Old World beauty, whether she means to or not!
    (ahem – yes, that’s a URL – ducks & runs….)

  26. DUDE! My shawl is on the news! (For a second.)
    So great to see those volunteers in the basement. All that good knitting.
    xoxo Kay

  27. DUDE! My shawl is on the news! (For a second.)
    So great to see those volunteers in the basement. All that good knitting.
    xoxo Kay

  28. Nice story.

  29. What the heck is wrong with the US that Afghanistan has more women politicians that we do?
    I will be sure to drink some tea and consider running for office.
    In other news, you have to check out redshirtknitting.com If today’s post isn’t snippet-worthy, I don’t know what is!

  30. i love knitters. thanks ann for these links:: you ladies are the best. mwah!!

  31. That’s great, though it makes me sad that there are so few female legislators in the United States. Given the grief that many people have given to Hillary Rodham Clinton and other women leaders in the States, it isn’t surprising, just sad.

  32. That is such a nice news story! When the woman described how a person feels while knitting something for an unknown recipient, it brought a tear to my eye. So true.
    I didn’t spot Kay’s wonderful shawl, though. Where/when is it?

  33. …the power of knitters, unleashed on the radio!
    see: the video about mo rocca and the v-neck. priceless.


A bit of news from us, every now and again.

(Your email is safe with us.)