Velones in action: social commitment and love for textile arts

Yarn bombing for premature babies, copyright Velones In Action

Italiano (Italian)

The following is an in-depth look at the initiative of a group of volunteers who are passionate about handicrafts and textile arts and who, through their actions, combine aspects of social commitment with the desire to contribute to the dissemination of the culture of fibre art. The founder of Velones in Action, Maria Davou, tells us the story of the group and its objectives and the great appreciation that this project is gaining.

At a time when knitting and all forms of crafts have begun to break free from the stereotypes of the past, a group called Velones in Action (VIA) was born highlighting the collective dimension of such activities in the most moving way. The Velones in Action team has used its needles in a series of social activities, crowning perhaps the voluntary knitting lessons it has begun to deliver to the mothers of children hospitalized at the “ELPIDA” Children’s Oncology Hospital.

 

Elpida Hospital, copyright Velones In Action

Elpida Hospital, copyright Velones In Action

Elpida Hospital, copyright Velones In Action

Elpida Hospital, copyright Velones In Action

But let’s start from the beginning.  Velones In Action belongs to the large family of Stitch ‘n Bitch, women’s knitting groups created in the 1940s and to date numbering over 1,460 registered groups in 289 cities around the world. It was founded in March 2019 by a woman who loves knitting and crochet and believes in its multiple power, Maria Davou, with the valuable help of a craftswoman and graphic designer, Chrisa Petroutsou, in designing the group’s logo.
Its purpose is exactly what its name describes: “To get in touch via the internet but also via our meetings, to share experiences and ideas, to be informed about what is happening in our city, to be a team and to offer social work, with many initiatives “.

Velones In Action meeting, copyright Velones In Action

Let’s get to know the group through the words of its founder:

The Velones In Action (VIA) group was created in March 2019, and it is composed of all of us who knit, crochet, embroider, felt, sew, and weave our threads, yarns, colors, and use techniques in our projects. We carry the passion for handicrafts, following tradition, but also new fresh ideas. We are the ones who gained knowledge from our mothers or grandmothers but also from seminars, books, magazines and of course from the internet. We are the ones who love our needles (velones in Greek), whatever kind they are.  Velones In Action (VIA is our flag to put into practice all that we love, design, and are ready to accomplish. Our goal is for Velones In Action (VIA) to be exactly what our name describes. To get in touch through the internet but also physically through meetings, to share experiences but also ideas, to be informed about what is happening in our city, to be a team, with joy, with development, and to offer social work. The word “action” is associated with volunteering and our social work.

Yarn bombing for premature babies, copyright Velones In Action

Indeed, since its inception, we have carried out several important initiatives.

One of these is our “Voluntary knitting lessons to the mothers of children hospitalized at the ELPIDA Children’s Oncology Hospital, that started on October 7, 2019. It was a special day for us full of light and love, where despite the cloudy weather, in the faces of mothers who participated we saw the brightest smiles. Our action was embraced with enthusiasm and in the process, apart from the mothers, children also started to participate. It is worth watching the video:

https://www.facebook.com/VelonesInAction/videos/1319616781567130

Today, the conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic no longer allow us to continue our lessons in presence due to social distancing. For this reason, after consultation with the Social Service of the ELPIDA Association, we prepared a series of instructions and videos for learning knitting and crochet so that as many mothers as they want and why not children, can watch them and start experimenting by themselves. In addition we have prepared a series of instructions and videos for the macramé technique and we will prepare a series of instructions and videos for learning the patchwork technique and decorative stitches. In the future we will try to include other techniques that have as a medium thread and fabric.

Elpida Hospital, copyright Velones In Action

Elpida Hospital, copyright Velones In Action

To get to know our group a little, watch the video regarding our meetings & actions for 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOihmGkhK58.

We have also created the Velones In Action Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/VelonesInAction .
The original purpose of its creation was to inform our group members about our meetings, our actions and to present articles on the techniques of all kinds of needles. However, realizing that the art of fibers and textiles is experiencing a new kind of popularity at this time, we decided to start presenting textile artists from all over the world covering all techniques (knitting, weaving, sewing, felting, crochet, embroidery, patchwork-quilting), with a detailed biography of the artist and with lots of photos from his / her works.  Before this millennium shift, the art of textiles rarely appeared in contemporary art (for example, tapestry was unjustly considered by many to be just a craft and not a serious art). Although this requires time and a lot of research, it was worth it. Soon enough our FB page started to be liked and followed by textile fans from all over the world.  At this moment the page has already more than 34000 followers and is on its way very soon to reach 33000 likes”.

Velones In Action meeting, copyright Velones In Action

Velones In Action meeting, copyright Velones In Action

Velones In Action meeting, copyright Velones In Action

Velones In Action meeting, copyright Velones In Action

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