Strangers connect by tying up loose ends

Posted at 3:41 PM, Aug 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-30 15:41:45-04

Strangers from coast to coast are spreading love one stitch at a time.

It’s through a project called Loose Ends. Co-founders Jen Simonic and Masey Kaplan match fiber artists called finishers with people who have projects left behind from loved ones.

“In the first month we got about 150 finishers of different crafting styles, knitting, crocheting, quilting, and we had about 5-10 projects,” Simonic said.

Now they have more than 16,000 finishers and 1,000 projects.

“To be able to bring that what can feel like an overwhelming burden of bad news into a small gesture of handwork and have that be something that makes somebody else feel better, I think that it's having a very healing effect for everyone, including us,” Kaplan said.

Illinois resident Kim Resnick sent in her mother’s blanket that was supposed to be a Christmas present for her sister.

“When she was put into hospice, obviously she wasn't able to do it anymore," Resnick said. "And she said to me, ‘I didn't finish Kristen's blanket’ and she got very emotional and I said 'I'll find someone to finish it.'”

She got paired with Julie Kay who lives in the same city, and lost her mother around the same age. Both ladies agree it was beautiful and emotional.

“You know, it's an heirloom," Kay said. "You could think of it as an heirloom and something that will be treasured by the family. So I hope, you know, I've contributed to that."

“In a big way," Resnick said. "It was truly a gift what Julie did. It was just a gift honoring my mom by taking on the project, but by finishing it, you gave my sister and me a gift that, you know, my mom wanted to do so badly and just couldn't.”

The co-founders say they’ve heard from painters, songwriters, woodworkers, and jewelry makers wanting to help, but until they expand, they’re sticking to fiber arts right now like knitting, crocheting, and quilting.

If you want to submit a project or become a finisher, you can sign up on Loose Ends.
Right now, there are many more finishers than there are projects, so they’re eager to get more projects submitted.