I made my first Peace Pal while on vacation at Chautauqua in 2016. I went to one of the Knitting4Peace meetings to see what was new. I bought another sweatshirt with their logo on it because I wore the one I bought the year before all the time. I also bought a kit that they had preassembled — everything you need to make one Peace Pal, except for knitting needles. Fortunately, on different days of the week they have informal sit and knit sessions around the institution, and they had knitting needles for sale, so I grabbed a pair. (Of course, I had brought a knitting project with me, but it was a Blanket for Peace and used bigger needles).
Since we were there for two weeks, I had plenty of time to make my Peace Pal before the following week’s meeting (they collect items every week there). My 4 year old son Evan watched me make it, and when it was done, several days early, he started carrying it all around with him. He named it Pippin. I explained that I was going to give Pippin to the Knitting4Peace people, so he could go and live with some little boy somewhere who really needed him. Evan said OK, and said he wanted to go with me when I dropped Pippin off. He kept Pippin pretty close all week.
Well, we went to the meeting, though I wasn’t planning to stay for the whole thing. We just went in quick to see Susan’s husband before the main talk started. Evan gave Pippin a big hug, and then gave him to Hal. We left pretty quick. Out on the porch, Evan dragged up his shirt to wipe his eyes because he had started to cry. But not out loud, just sad, missing Pippin, tears. I hugged him and told him I was proud of him, giving his friend away. Now I know how much comfort Pippin will bring to the next little boy or girl who meets him. And Evan gets to pick a Peace Pal to keep, after I make some more.