Sunday, December 2, 2007

Arrived in Natuahsish

I had a note from Mary Jane, who is with the Next Generation Guardians - The PSW's have received your boxes and are going to start making gift bags for the new babies that were born this year, I want to say Thank you on behalf of our community. They will be greatly appreciated for those that do not have enough during the holdays.

Great to know the items have arrived and will be distributed very soon. Winter has arrived early in many places, and there are many cold people out there.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dropped off in Montreal

This is the shortest post ever. We dropped off the boxes at Cargo Zone in Montreal today, and they will be shipped tomorrow by Air Labrador to Labrador, then to Goose Bay and Natuashish respectively. Turns out we had 82 pounds, not the original 60 we had planned, and Air Labrador and the groovy Morris agreed to up our weight quota.

Here's a picture of me and The Boy weighing the shipment in Montreal, and a shot of the warehouse with the boxed items wayyy up high.

So we've still got Mongolia to work on - thanks for everything and keep on knitting!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Over the top!

Well, we are over the top! In so many ways... The stack of boxes to send to Labrador is taller than me, and we really had to sit on them to get them closed. We have exceeded the allowance from Air Labrador. But, when we told Morris, he came back with an offer to send it all for us. We love you, Morris! Here's what we're sending this time.
Would you believe...
48 hats!
30 sweaters!!
34 pairs of mittens!!!
26 blankets!!!!

And, we are excited that we had a dozen pairs of knitting needles and a box of lovely Washable Merino from Moda Dea, so that the community members in Labrador can knit for themselves!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jeannine's Makin' Socks and May is the Hat Lady

Jeannine Turcotte and May Chow have got to be some of our power-knitters. May, we'll get pictures up of your stuff ASAP. Jeanine dropped off some beautiful sockies and a hat. The socks will go to Northern Labrador and keep some Innu feet warm at night. We hear that they are really looking forward to the shipment. We also received a couple of pairs of mittens from Ruth - Ruth, thank you, they are beautiful. Apparently, once they get shipped up north, they will be fitted with a caribou shell and will be worn during many of those cold morning walks to school.

By the way, I stopped by a little store called Knit Knackers on James street today. It is unbelievable! They've got bins of bits and pieces that I absolutely could not resist. We're talking Debbie Bliss and Rowan for $2.99 per ball. I went bananas.
Here's a sample
Some other good news: Amy and I have all the beautiful stuff you've sent us spread out on the floor in one of my rooms. We realized that I way underestimated what we've collected so far. We hven't done the formal tally yet, but we're thinking that between the items we've already shipped and the ones we've received so far, we must have hit the 300 mark. Shocking! Keep on knitting, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal, and we'll nail 500.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Toronto to Ottawa, the first leg

The boxes, bags and baskets of knitted and crochet things have arrived! Joyce brought them this afternoon, the first leg of the journey from Creativ to Labrador. Thanks again, Joyce! And Alice - I will return the rubbermaid bins, promise! I am really not sure how we would have made the train otherwise! It was hard enough to go to work monday morning after such a weekend, I can't imagine if we had missed that train!

So - what's next? Hmmm - finishing stitching and crocheting squares into blankets - a task that we were able to get a good start on at the show. We'll post an inventory and more photos before packaging the items and getting them to the waiting hands at Air Labrador, and on to the communities in time for Christmas distribution.

It is lovely to see the pieces again - I have great memories of Dani working full speed to help us get packed up and kindly encouraging us to make a plan and get to Union Station! The packing job was great, Dani! And Lori - anytime you want to pick up squares to stitch together, just call! There are lots!

I was showing my parents this evening, talking about the amazing kindness - one knitter with 20 hats and a hat&sweater set. A lovely fan and feather afghan. Sitting with and being inspired by the women from the Angel Hugs Network. Denise's beautiful mitred squares - no wonder she is Dr. Knit at the DKC! An old friend of my mother's is waiting for an appointment with an oncologist, so I packed up a bag of items for her to see - Wanietta's knitted contest square, Stephanie's square of crochet which she did at our booth (I have to say the yarn at the booth was far superior!), some hats and some of the lovely sweaters. So, even before they head to Labrador, the knitting will bring warmth!

On a separate note, good luck to Liz tomorrow at the Giller Awards!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thanks Creativ and Happy Birthday to Us

The Creativ Festival was incredible - we had the pre-show jitters ("What if no one comes? What if they think its lame?"). Any of those thoughts completely disappeared within 1 hour of the show opening. We had 10 -15 people at our booth at all times, asking questions, knitting squares, offering donations, and generally cheering us on. We met some of the rock stars of knitting, Mags Kandis, Lucy Neatby and Wanietta, as well as many altru-knitters.

An incredible number of warm hearted people came over to the booth with donations, kind words, questions, and great skills. Many, many thanks to you who sat with us and knit and crocheted during the weekend. We won't soon forget the sight of sometimes a dozen people, hands busy, working on squares or stitching squares together into blankets. There were times when people had to sit on the floors because chairs were overflowing! The yarn and needles were donated by Moda Dea and Susan Bates, and we got many many compliments and questions about the materials - gorgeous to knit with. We finished 4 blankets at the show, and we'll have a few more before we are through. We'll post photos when we have them - Anita and I carried what we could on the train, and Joyce is bringing the rest on the weekend for us. Thanks for the rescue, there, Joyce.

So, back to the show - our first night, we met up with Dilys (Sew Be It Studio) in person for the first time. And, who should be knitting at the next table, but
Wanietta, Canada's fastest knitter. A great knitter, and wonderful, funny story teller. Stephanie, we'll be pulling for you as fastest crocheter next year. This contest will stick with us, because they donated the strips and squares that were produced during the contest to us, and we'll be assembling them into blankets.

At the show, we met
Mags Kandis in person. She was lovely to meet, and donated some of her sample items to our cause. Thank you, Mags, once again. She even signed my copy of her book. Her booth was across from ours at the show, beside Rose Haven Farms. What lovely yarns they have! Our neighbours were alpacas. No, really, they brought in some live alpacas to the show. At the end of the show, I caved and bought some black alpaca yarn. That will be a real pleasure to work with.

Then, there were the women of the
Toronto Downtown Knit Collective. We feel like we were adopted for the weekend! Denise, Joan, and all the others - you were wonderful! Your generosity is well appreciated, and we both wish we could get to a few meetings. What a resource to the city, and to our project this weekend.

And we met Lucy Neatby, who was very kind and interested in our project. She hasn't heard the last of us, I am afraid!

Check out the pictures of the show. We can't go too far without mentioning our amazing sponsors (you can link to them on the right sidebar): The Creativ Festival (of course), Air Labrador, the Toronto Hilton, Fleece Artist, Susan Bates and Moda Dea yarn.

Many people mentioned that they'd like to drop off additional items - that's great. We're looking for things before December 31st. You can leave them at any of our drop-off locations in Toronto or Ottawa (see right side-bar for addresses).

So here's what we learned at the show: Knitters and crochetters have hearts of gold. Even the rock stars of knitting and other booth owners came took the time to come over and cheer us on, grabbing a ball of yarn at times, and knitting us a square at their own booths. People we had only met by e-mail came, gave us their time and energy, and made our cause their cause.

People are good.

And finding that out was the best 40th birthday present you could have given us.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Amy and Anita

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jeanine's Knitting and Peter's flying

We're heading to Creativ tomorrow and we're completely psyched! Its insane how excited we are about the whole thing. Don't forget, the show starts at the Metro Toronto Convention centre on Friday and ends on Sunday. Its huuuuuuge and very very fun if you're even vaguely crafty. If you're a hard-core knitter, beader, spinner, etc, you will lose your mind, guaranteed. So come! We're at booth #909 - Mags Kandis is right across from us, and she'll be signing copies of her books. Mention the blog so we know that you're reading.

Check out Jeanine Turcotte's mitten rainbow - very cool. She also made a bunch of hats and sweaters in a variety of sizes. Jeanine, we'll be sending the bigger sized items to Mongolia - Dulaan tells us that the larger items go to young adults or parents which helps the go to work and bring income into the family - everybody wins.

On another note, my buddy Peter took me flying on a two-seater last weekend. There's nothing like flying 3000 feet above Ottawa to make you say, "I love this city". Check out the pics of Peter and me (my lid got a bit crazy with all the wind), and the shot of the Gatineau escarpment by air. We also buzzed little Stevie van Harper on Parliament Hill. Only in Canada can you fly over our government in a Cessna and not get nailed by snipers. How lucky are we?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pie night and knitting

Another grey day with wierd weather. I sent the kids to school without raincoats. Maybe taking a minute to look out the window in the morning would help... especially since the leaves are hanging on pretty well this year. Our maple tree is still quite green and the birch tree is quite yellow.

I picked up some beautiful sweaters, hats and scarves this week from Yarn Forward. A big thank you to the knitters, including Madeleine! And thank you to Yarn Forward for continuing to be our drop off point here in Ottawa. We know there has been much more delivered than we ever thought!

We are very excited to be shifting gears and gathering for the Innu children and families now. We sent over 150 items to afghans for Afghans over the summer and through September. What an accomplishment! I mean, knitters are great people, but this really has passed my expectations. Again, it is too bad there isn't a way to show how these items feel - there are some lovely yarns here, and very well knit!

On a lighter note, it was pie night this week! The apples have been so great this fall, and now there are six pies in my freezer, six more at my partner in pie making's freezer, and one for a yet-to-be-scheduled girls night.

And, Creativ is just one week away! Yikes! Where did the time go?!! We are both looking forward to meeting more wonderful knitters, and seeing how many blankets we can put together at the show! Come and see us! We will have some beautiful Moda Dea Washable Merino to make into blankets at the show, and a spot for to sit and knit with us. Or crochet!

This is a rainbow we spotted from the window of the Wakefield Steam Train. It is was quite close to our friend Ron's house, so we are hoping the gold at the end of this rainbow will be his return to full health very soon. Here's to Ron!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dinner, and a little planning

What a nice evening! Anita and her family, and an old friend with hers, came over for lasagne. A meal where I can sit and enjoy a visit instead of cooking. I don't have one of those kitchens where someone can have a glass of wine on the other side of the island while I finish cooking. When we say, "please don't help clear the table" after dinner, it's because there is no room left on the tiny counter for another thing.

Anyway, we are counting down! 11 days until Creativ! We won't be in Toronto in time for Mags Kandis' book launch, sadly, but we are set for some fun at the show! We're hoping you'll drop by and knit a square with us - or crochet one, or bring a donation. And stay for a chat.

Time to tuck some children into bed. They want to visit their webkinz first, now that they have seen the computer on.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Creativ Festival News

Just thought I'd repeat the post on the Creativ Festival Guidelines for those who are knitting to a deadline:

1. The Creativ Festival is North America's biggest crafters festival, and will be held in TO Oct 26 through 28th this year. It will be at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

See the sidebar to our site under drop-offs for a link to them. If you're into knitting, scrapbooking, crochet, sewing.... and more, you should go! Tons of exhibits, tons of raffles and prizes, contests for the fastest knitter, and (best of all) you can buy enough stuff to feed your crafty desires through the winter months.

2. The Warm Hands Network (that's us) will be there. We have booth #909. You can drop off your newly knit items to us at the show - we're collecting mainly for the Innu kids shipment, and the need is for any size - hats, sweaters, mittens, socks, gaiters and blankets. We'd love to meet you and thank you personally for your contribution.

3. Creativ offers free admission to anyone who brings in a newly knit (hand-knit) sweater or blanket for our project. I'm putting emphasis on the newly knit for two reasons: first, these items are going to be holiday gifts for the kids in Northern Labrador - we think that each kid deserves something new. As the recipient of many a hand-me-down, I think my little sister can attest to the fact that there's something really sweet about opening up something that was made especially for you. Secondly, its part of our deal with Creativ - we're only taking in new stuff at the show.

4. Because they are warmest, we're trying to focus on natural fibres or natural fibre blends. Please avoid 100% acrylic or poly.

5. Come by and see us at the booth, and knit a square! We're being sponsored by Moda Dea yarn and Susan Bates needles so we're going to be knitting blankets all during the show. Come try out the goods.

6. We're going to have a cool little raffle for a Fleece Artist kit - see our last post for more info.

Can't wait to meet you.


big or little

Big or Little is a popular book with my 3 and 1/2 year old son. It's about a child who knows that sometimes he is big, and sometimes he is little.

I have finally gotten over my fear of intarsia and knit the Mags Kandis Hugs and Kisses hat. I still love working with Mission Falls Yarn! But, I have always been more of a stripes or texture gal - I have knit a few christmas stockings with intarsia, and still have a half knit one which I had to pull out so many times that the white from Santa's beard was pink from rubbing on the red. But, this came together nicely, no irritating parts to pull out and start again, and no lumps left. I will have to sew up the sides - I was willing to adventure into intarsia, but not knitting in the round, yet.

And, since the Parent Support Program in Shesashuit tries to give a baby shower to the new moms in the community, I played with the pattern and came up with Little Hugs and Kisses. I think it will fit a baby. So, Thank You to Mags Kandis - this is a very fun hat, and I hope you don't mind that I played with it.

By the way, we just got the yarn for the Fleece Artist kits. They are Elmira patterns and in three different colours (one swatch below). The yarn is Blue Face Aran, which is incredibly soft. The Elmira kits give you one Amelia hat pattern and one set of gauntlet gloves (check out the picture below). Here's the deal for the kits: drop off an item at our booth: you get a raffle ticket; sit and knit a square: hey! another ticket; don't have time to knit or drop off something? make a donation (you choose the amount), and you get a ticket. Sweet? We think so.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Let's Go, Toronto!

Here are the first donations from Toronto! Yay! Beautiful scarves, beautiful hats, some lovely surprise sweaters and a georgeous sweater and hat set.

Thanks to Alice for picking them up and bringing them to me. They are going to go to Afghans!

And, a press release went out from Creativ talking about our campaign.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

14 Days to Creativ!

Well, the countdown to Creativ is a short one! Just 2 weeks from tomorrow, we will be getting on the train and heading for Creativ! We are getting some "doodads" ready, and hoping that knitters and crocheters will come by our booth and donate something they knit or crocheted, or make a square for us at the show and we'll make 'em into blankets. And, don't forget, it's free admission if you bring a newly knit/crocheted blanket or sweater for the cause! The doodad preparation has been fun - we were at a cottage in Haliburton this weekend, and I brought the stuff. Thanks to an old friend, Nancy, and my mother in law, Joyce ( for giving a helping hand.

So, please come by and say hello. Stay a while, sit and knit with us. Try out some great yarn, Moda Dea washable yarn.

And, I can't resist a big congratulations to Liz Hay for being on the shortlist for the Giller Award, for her new book, Late Night on Air. It's a great read.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

On the way!

I packed up the boxes for afghans for Afghans last night, and they are on their way today. As you can see, that first box was just not enough! It was amazing to fill these boxes with all the generosity and to think of the children that might be wearing these, keeping them warm. These items will arrive in time for their deadline to send items for their collection for children and youth. The CURE hospital in Kabul, and the children's rehabilitation programs in Kabul and Bamiyan are the destinations for the beautiful items that have been donated. For more information, see the afghans for Afghans site.

So, as it is my birthday today, my husband is taking me on a trip for a few days. We're going to Santa Fe, so we will take the boxes across the US border ourselves and ship from New Mexico to the afghans for Afghans collection point in San Francisco. The deadline there is October 12, so there is plenty of time for it to arrive. For once, I will be bringing home less than I take on a trip! Thank you again for all your beautiful knitting, and for entrusting us to get it to where it will be needed.
Our efforts now will be in collecting items for the Labrador Innu communities of Natuashish and Sheshashu. Creativ - Here We Come!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Let' Hear it for the generosity of the Montreal Knitting Guild!!!

We had a note from Carol at Yarn Forward yesterday, that there had been a delivery from the Montreal Knitting Guild. What a delivery!!! I was about to ship a box of hats, with Kate's blanket and the sock yarn blanket, and now ... I need a much bigger box!! Thank you! You are a generous and talented group! There has been much discussion at my house about talent and kindness this evening, I have to say. My three children picked favourites, and then changed their minds again and again. I wish I could post the textures so that others could feel the warmth and softness in these blankets. Thank you again and again!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Check out our Creativ Sponsors, the Hilton Hotel and Fleece Artist

Okay, everybody should stay at the Hilton Toronto, our all time favorite hotel. We contacted them and told them that we were coming in to town for Creativ from Ottawa and had nowhere to stay (sad, I know), and they came galloping to the rescue.

There are two women we need to thank here. First, Sherry Rampersad in sales who listened to my long story and said, "I think I can help you", and secondly the fantastic Denise Ethier, Director of Sales who picked out our project from the stack of requests sitting on her desk and said yes. Ladies, come by the Creativ Festival and introduce yourselves, and you will get a big in person thank you from us!

Our second big news is that we're having three Fleece Artist giveaways at the Creativ Festival. Drop by the booth for details. We absolutely love Fleece Artist, for lots of reasons:

1. They're a bunch of Easterners, and who doesn't love a Nova Scotian?

2. When we started the project, they put their hands up immediately, and said, "count us in for a pattern" (hey, by the way, we'll still send you a copy of the Amelia pattern if you drop us a comment and request it).

3. Their kits are absolutely amazing. I love the Amelia hat (made one for myself), and their thrum socks and mitts are the cosiest things every. I keep the leftovers in my stash and then sort of accent everything else I make with a little strand. Okay my fingers are itching now - I'm yanking out my baby alpaca and startin' something.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Kate's great blanket! A bundle of warm, soft hats! Picked up and ready to send to Afghans for Afghans! This is just wonderful. Kate - the blanket is georgeous - even better in person! You did an amazing job with the knitting and all the wonderful finishing touches. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And to the hat-maker, this is a wonderful donation - warm comfortable hats that will look good and keep kids warm when on the way to school or playing outside. Well done!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Creativ Festival News

Hey, we can see that more of you are accessing the site, especially since the columns in the Metro and the Toronto Star. We're guessing that you want more info on the Creativ show, so here's the skinny:

1. The Creativ Festival is North America's biggest crafters festival, and will be held in TO Oct 26 through 28th this year. It will be at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. See the sidebar to our site under drop-offs for a link to them. If you're into knitting, scrapbooking, crochet, sewing.... and more, you should go! Tons of exhibits, tons of raffles and prizes, contests for the fastest knitter, and (best of all) you can buy enough stuff to feed your crafty desires through the winter months.

2. The Warm Hands Network (that's us) will be there. We have booth #909. You can drop off your newly knit items to us - we're collecting mainly for the Innu kids shipment, and the need is for any size - hats, sweaters, mittens, gaiters and blankets. We'd love to meet you and thank you personally for your contribution.

3. Creativ offers free admission to anyone who brings in a newly knit (hand-knit) sweater or blanket for our project. I'm putting emphasis on the newly knit for two reasons: first, these items are going to be holiday gifts for the kids in Northern Labrador - we think that each kid deserves something new. As the recipient of many a hand-me-down, I think my little sister can attest to the fact that there's something really sweet about opening up something that was made especially for you. Secondly, its part of our deal with Creativ - we're only taking in new stuff at the show.

4. Because they are warmest, we're trying to focus on natural fibres or natural fibre blends. Please avoid 100% acrylic or poly.

5. Come by and see us at the booth, and knit a square! We're being sponsored by Moda Dea, so we're going to be knitting blankets all during the show.

6. We're going to have a cool little raffle for a Fleece Artist kit. Stay tuned!

So that's the dealio so far. Every knit item you drop off will warm a little one this winter. We'll post more as time goes by, so please keep hitting the site. Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

We're going to be on the Radio!!

Well, that was exciting. We just taped an interview for CBC Radio in Labrador! The host, Cindy Wall, is very kind, so it was pretty easy! I don't think we'll be able to link to a transcript of it or anything, so you'll have to take my word for it that we were great! Just kidding - but, it was a nice opportunity. I am, once again, taken aback by the support we've had for this project.

I'll try to add more photos later. The batteries for my camera need a re-charge and the charger is in hiding. And, we may have advance notice of when the piece is going to be on the radio, so we can tune in through live streaming.

I will have a short diversion from knitting for a few days of pickling. It is that time of the year! Dont' tell my dad that I will be using a purple cauliflower in his mother's relish recipe. (He's very computer savvy but probably doesn't read blogs, even mine). We also have to harvest and make jelly from the grapes in the back yard. They are wine grapes, but still make good jelly. We lost most of our wild grape along with the oak tree, but I know it will come back a-plenty for next year. Is it wierd that my children listen with excitment for that popping sound when the lids of the jars seal?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Wonderful Women!

A wonderful woman I work with has put Warm Hands Network in touch with a women's shelter in Sheshashiu. There are two Innu First Nations in Labrador, the Mushuau Innu First Nation located in Natuashish and the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation located in Sheshatshiu. So, Warm Hands Network will deliver items to both of these First Nations!

The Rose Gregoire House is a women's shelter, named after a very strong Innu woman, Rose Gregoire. You can read more about her at She played an important role in her community, helping families and her community in many ways, working to help her community heal.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Mentioned in Metro!

The word is spreading! We had a lovely mention in the Metro Newspaper - Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver editions! Cheers for the very kind Nathalie-Roze, Frugal Fashionista! Anita has certainly been busy while I was on holidays. Back to life in Ottawa now, though - kids starting school, my new job starting for real, and soccer season (finally) coming to an end. Why they need to keep it going till the first week of Sept., I'll never know! I mean, it's fun and all, but a bit of a challenge to keep it up once school started this week.

And, back to knitting. I did take some time for crafts on our trip, and met a wonderful rug hooker. Deanne Fitzpatrick, an incredibly talented woman you can read more about here Check out her stuff! Turns out she knew my grandmother and wrote a bit about my Nanny in her last book. It was a real pleasure to meet her, and I am enjoying a new craft. And I have been working on more striped hats. Next stop, Hugs and Kisses Hats.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Suzanne Atkinson Designs

Suzanne Atkinson, a local knit and crochet designer, dropped off this beautiful crochetted baby blanket at Yarn Forward on Bank last week. Its made entirely of sock yarn. I wanted to show you a close up because every time someone comes over, I pull this thing out and say "sock yarn, can you believe it???". I'm going to hustle Suzanne a bit (like I haven't already) and ask if she might want to share her pattern.
Ahhh the Saturday before school starts. Bittersweet but mostly sweet. We decided that each person in the family gets to pick one thing to do. So my boy picked aerial trekking in the Gatineaus - nice. My girl picked the Midway - gross. I think I'm going to pick a visit to Home Depot (I looove that place - right now, I'm repointing the basement. I just discovered a part of the store called the tool corral - never knew there were so many kinds of sanders, but I'm getting me one.)

By the way, check out Mags Kandis new blog, my wabi sabi country life. Am I the only moron who didn't know what wabi sabi was? She'll be at the Creativ Festival in October (and so will we, so don't forget Torontonians, drop off you hand knit sweater or blanket for free admission, Or come by our booth (909) and drop off a hat or mitts. Or come by and knit a square for our blanket, or just say hi.

Finally, shout out (I think kids don't say that anymore. I don't care, I'm bringing it back, along with Haley of Knitomatic's "coolio") to Martina Gloss of the Lion's club. She's taken up the cause with the Lion's and sending out the message to her knitters.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

We Hit 100 for afghans for Afghans

Yay! We will be shipping our 100th item for afghans for Afghans in our next box. Thanks to all the contributors - give yourselves a collective pat on the back! By the way, we'll still be collecting items for afghans so that we can put together one other box in September.

Our next initiative is for the Innu kids - the holiday project.
I posted a picture of the afore-mentioned goober above.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thanks May!

May Chow dropped off 9 beautiful hats last week, which we will include in the afghans for Afghans shipment. Here's a photo of one of them. I hung the hat on my hops vine - planted it this year and its already growing like crazy. Don't know why the morning glory doesn't do the same thing - its in the same place. Anybody know?

What else? Oh yes, we got a dog. Well, borrowed a dog from our neighbors for a week, as a pilot project. Let's just say he's not going back home in the mint condition in which he arrived. Is it possible to over-love a doggie? We've lived in the dog park for the last week, he now sleeps on the bed (sorry, Christine!), begs for scraps and kisses the kids all the time. I will post a picture of the goober later.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We Love Air Labrador

I contacted Morris Earle, Cargo Manager with Air Labrador to ask him if there was some way that he could get our hand knit items to Natuashish, our Innu Community.

Within 24 hours, I got a response back telling me that he would put it forward to the Executive Committee, as (in his words) "we always take these requests seriously, and we will be a helping hand."
The Executive Committee gave us a thumbs up, thanks to Mr. Earle. He and his crew will be shipping our boxes from Montreal to Natuashish, where they will be picked up by the Next Generation Guardians and distributed.
My friends, for us, this is huge. This means that we might actually be able to move beyond shipping only hand knit items at Christmas. Maybe we can send some snowsuits, maybe some books, maybe toys...Amy and I will be contacting the community to see what the kiddies need the most. In the mean-time, if anyone out there has a lead on some kids items (preferably new) that we could ship, drop us a line.
Air Labrador flies out of Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador and ship cargo as well as people (charter and scheduled flights). Thanks, Air Labrador, and Morris!

Monday, August 6, 2007

a bit of knitting

I played hooky from a number of things this weekend, but I did enjoy myself! We spent time at a friend's cabin, and then at my parent's place. A friend is knitting a hat, which is just about finished, and I have been working on a few things. Here are some WIP pictures. I am thinking I need to get better at knitting in the round, or on DPNs - I stick to regular needles and then have to sew up the sides. Short seams, though, on hats for little ones. Here is my little one trying on the hats. He now has extracted a promise from me to knit him a hat. My mother in law just gave me a georgeous green yarn - I will ask for a reminder of the source because it's beautiful. So, he will have one, in due course. Knitting small hats works for me just now - I am keen on projects I can complete (in direct contrast to projects at work which seem endless)!
I couldn't resist the sailing picture - the men were sailing while we sat with gin & tonic on the dock, lifeguarding the children and knitting on an absolutely glorious day.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

First Shipment Sent!!!

Anita has sent our first shipment. Many, many thanks to all the knitters who contributed. We shipped almost 60 items to afghans for Afghans! We'll keep an eye on their website and blog to hear about when the shipment goes on to its final destination.

Meanwhile, keep knitting! We'll send another shipment in about 2 weeks, around the 17th of August, to make the afghans for Afghans deadline, and then start collecting for Dulaan and Natuashish, Labrador.

I have a few hats myself that just need to be sewn up. Those baby hats do go quickly, but I am not good working with DPNs, so I am always needing to sew up that seam. If I could locate my crochet hook, that would be a quicker way for me, but I think I carried it around too long, making headbands for my daughter.

Keep knitting!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Suzanne's Winter Princess Hat

Suzanne knitted a whole wack of these hats for afghans. I liked it so much that I knit two of them this weekend. I'm a slowwww knitter, and I can honestly get one of these done in 4 hours, start to finish. Love it! You can do it in 2 strands of worsted weight, to get that lovely tweedy look, or 1 strand of bulky. Perfect for the novice knitter. Thanks Suzanne! Here is the pattern:

Size - fits 4-8 year old child
Materials: smooth worsted-weight wool - use up your odds and ends, 6.00mm circular needle and double-pointed needles, wool needle (aka tapestry or yarn needle).
Note - hat is knit in the round on circular needles, changing to dpns when the work gets too small to fit on the circular needle.

With circular needle, and two strands of yarn held together, cast on 64 sts. Join, and mark beginning of round. Work k2, p2 ribbing around for 1 1/2" (about 4 cm). Change to stocking stitch (knit every round) until work from beginning measures 4 1/2" (about 12 cm). Begin top shaping - *knit 6 sts, k2tog, rep from * around. Next round - *knit 5 sts, k2tog, rep from * around. Continue as established, decreasing 8 sts each round until only 8 sts remain. Break off yarns leaving several inches. With wool needle, thread yarn through remaining sts and pull up. Weave in ends securely. Block hat if desired. This little hat lends itself very well to using up oddments of yarn, stripes, or a simple knit/purl pattern. Have fun!

We have a logo!

Here it is, our logo! We are very excited (we're pretty excitable, really). So, you will see this different places where we are out and about - we'll be at the Ottawa Knitting Guild's Knit Out, and, of course, at Creativ in Toronto.

I will try to figure out how to make a button, so that others can add us to their website.

Meanwhile, back to work...I mean, lunch, then work. I can tell from the smell of other people's lunches, that I should eat too. The noises from my stomach and the temperature of the coffee left in my mug should be clue enough, really, but food smells travel when the walls are only 5 feet high between offices and most people eat at their desks. Memories of yesterdays' potluck highlights are better - quinoa and black bean salad, selected cheeses from quebec...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Infant Items Needed Quickly

Today was a great day for a picnic of civil servants down by the Ottawa River. Imagine, July 23 in Ottawa with very minimal humidity...who knew?!! I finally found the nerve to organize a potluck for my office, after about 10 months there. Luckily, it was the most perfect day for a picnic. The only problem was the amount of goose poop everywhere. I do like geese, I just prefer them farther away, and in smaller numbers so that you can put a picnic blanket down without thinking about whether to wash it about 8 times or just burn it after the picnic. I work with a bunch of nutritionists, so the food was excellent. There were enough of us standing around one picnic table that the people at the other table gave us their table. A lovely gesture, and much appreciated. And for those of you in town, the stone builder at Remic Rapids is back, and has different stuff from last year. I will try to get a photo and post it.

Back to the knitting stuff... a call has come from afghans for Afghans, looking for infant items to be shipped very quickly to them. We have a few infant items, but we are happy to ship more! We will send a shipment on August 12, with all the infant items we have by then. (Dont' worry - if you have donated other items for A4A, we will ship those as well.) I'll try to take a photo of the ones I have been working on.

Here is the call from afghans for Afghans:
If you prefer to knit small items in the summer heat, we'd love to haveyoujoin us in knitting wool baby items to be sent to Afghanistan. Good waytouse up oddballs of wool yarns, too.The CURE Hospital in Kabul has asked us to send these specific itemsfornewborns: baby hats (head circumference of 10" - 15") baby socks (footlength of 2.5" - 3.5"/no booties, please) baby blankets (minimum 40" x30")Please do send these baby items to us as soon as you are ready. We'dlike toship several boxes as soon as possible in the next month or so. Thehospitaldelivers newborns every day.CURE is one of the few hospitals that serves very sick babies in theirneonatal unit. Although, please keep in mind, we do not need itemssized forpre-mature babies. Just the sizes above. (Anything larger that we receive will be sent with our next delivery to older babies and children, so not to worry.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ottawa Generosity

I went to Yarn Forward today, and picked up an incredible collection of items knitted by the Ottawa community: 21 hats, 6 pairs of socks, one huge afghan and an itty-bitty cardigan that makes me smile when I look at it. I grabbed a bunch of munchkins from the 'hood to model them for the blog. Thanks so much to Suzanne Atkinson for the beautiful afghan and a bunch of the hats. Shout out to Tannis' dad as well, for 2 beautful cappers. And finally, Kelly of Hedgehog Knits, looove the sock yarn hats (see baby Dana) and sockies, which is required for the new CURE hospital shipment in Afghanistan.

Afghans will be warmer because of you, Ottawa!