Loose Ends, a not-for-profit US-based project, pairs skilled volunteers, known as ‘finishers’, with people who have found unfinished knitting or crochet projects left incomplete by their loved ones when they died. Founded by Jennifer Simonic and Masey Kaplan, the project began in September 2022 when the duo supported a friend who had recently lost her mother and discovered two unfinished blankets amongst her things. Having finished one each, they saw an opportunity to provide comfort to others grieving for lost loved ones and to demonstrate community and generosity.

The project has since amassed around 17,000 finishers across 60 countries, matching people with finishers who often live locally to reduce the carbon footprint and shipping costs while preserving the tangible expression of love that an unfinished project often represents. While some find it challenging to send sentimental items in the post, for others, seeing their loved one’s project finished evokes powerful emotions, often resulting in new friendships between finishers and those who submit items.

Many projects that come through the project are heartbreaking, and yet some stand out in particular, such as the tale of a young man called Alfredo, whose sister had passed away violently, leaving behind a crocheted leaf that she had wanted to incorporate into a blanket. Loose Ends matched him with a nearby finisher, who helped him design a blanket that would represent his sister, incorporating the crocheted leaf in the middle. The finished project brought great comfort to Alfredo.

For the women behind Loose Ends and its multitude of finishers, the most rewarding aspect of the project is witnessing the emotional responses of people who receive the finished projects. Personal DNA woven into every stitch means that the finished item carries a tangible expression of love; for some, it feels like being held or hugged by the loved one whose project they have cherished. It is this emotional connection that has inspired the women behind Loose Ends, as they offer comfort to the grieving while engaging communities in tangible acts of compassion and kindness

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