Long Thread Podcast: Masey Kaplan and Jen Simonic, Loose Ends

Season 9, Episode 7: If you couldn’t finish your needlework or craft project, what would become of it? A volunteer organization founded by two knitters wants to make sure it gets into the hands of your loved ones.

Anne Merrow Jun 1, 2024 - 6 min read

Long Thread Podcast: Masey Kaplan and Jen Simonic, Loose Ends Primary Image

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When Jen Simonic and Masey Kaplan’s friend lost her mother, she had the challenge of going through her mother’s things while grieving her loss. Among her posessions was something almost every crafter has at least one of: a work in progress. Jen and Masey had each finished projects for bereaved family members before, but neither of them could take on this one, a pair of crocheted blankets for two very tall sons.

If the two of them were happy to finish a loved one’s unfinished craft project, they thought, other fiber artists would be willing to do it, too—fiber artists with a variety of craft skills. And there must be families of deceased crafters who weren’t lucky to know someone personally who could take on the task but would treasure having a finished item that their loved one began for them. So began Loose Ends, an organization that Jen and Masey think of as matchmakers for heirs and finishers of uncompleted works,

Loose Ends, which was established in May 2023 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, set out to build a network that connects volunteer crafters with local families to complete projects that were left unfinished by death or disability. Hanging flyers near their homes, Jen and Masey quickly found finishers and projects in crochet, knitting, and quilting. Loose Ends currently seeks finishers in any textile handcraft and matches finishers with projects across the world. Projects under way include weaving, embroidery, and beading, as far afield as Alaska, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Their informational flyer is now available in 12 languages.

You may be surprised to learn that for about 2,000 projects in process, 25,000 volunteers have signed up as finishers—so crafters far outnumber craft projects at this time. But Loose Ends is always looking for more volunteer finishers, both to cover a variety of crafts and to match families with nearby finishers when possible.

Any of us who love making things with our hands hate to think of our work in progress going to waste, languishing in boxes or (worse) winding up in the trash if we’re not able to finish them ourselves. By matching finishers and unfinished works, Loose Ends brings solace to families of deceased crafters and honors the work of their loved ones.

Links:

Loose Ends Project website
Sign up as a finisher or request help with a loved one’s project on the web forms.
Help families and finishers find Loose Ends by hanging flyers, which are available in several languages.
Visit the website to make a donation.

This episode is brought to you by:

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