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!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Growing Bigger - with great reasons!

We've decided to broaden our efforts!

We are still happily collecting for the September shipment to afghans for Afghans. And, after that, we will be collecting for two groups. One is the Next Generation Guardians in Natuashish, Labrador, a group of women who are helping to heal their community through teaching life skills, Innu language and culture. This is a community that was relocated from Davis Inlet after a series of tragedies.

The other group is the Dulaan Project. A great group who are knitting to warm Mongolia. This is their website: http://www.fireprojects.org/dulaan.htm And a link to their flyer. http://www.nwkniterati.com/movabletype/archives/MossyCottage/DulaanFlyer2007_color.pdf

So, why are we doing this? Four generous women, really. One is here,

http://notjustaboutcancer.blogspot.com/, who wanted to give us something that didn't fit the criteria that afghans for Afghans need to keep, in order to be helpful in Afghanistan.

The second wonderfully generous woman is Mags Kandis, of Mission Falls fame. Mags actually designed us a knitting pattern!!! A great cap, called Hugs and Kisses. This made us think about trying to help some of the children in Canada who need help, like the Labrador Innu.

The third generous woman is Kathryn Thomas from Fleece Artist. She has donated her pattern, Amelia, to this campaign. We are also big fans of Fleece Artists - both of us were born in Nova Scotia, so we love to support all the great things going on there. And working with Fleece Artists yarn is very fun! I have a lovely capelet that I knit from a skein Anita brought me last summer. And I hope to visit in August, myself.

And the fourth is the amazing Shoshana Teitelman of the Creativ Festival. This is a huuuuge crafters festival in Toronto. Because of her heart and generosity, we will have our own booth (#909). Knitters and crochetters will be able to donate newly knit sweaters and afghans on site, and receive free admission to the festival. We will also be offering everyone the opportunity to "knit a square" on site, with Moda Dea Merino Superwash contributed by Coats & Clark.

Sadly, I have to get back to work now- I have been stealing time this morning, and can't figure out how to post these great patterns!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

First, a correction - Kate has 12 squares done, 24 to go - I read the counter backwards, as she pointed out, with very good humour. It has been that kind of a day. I dropped the girls off at their camp pick up, heard my phone ring and my husband announcing that their lunches were still at home. I think quickly and head for the nearest Tim Hortons for bagels and juice. Return before the bus arrived, and I think I have turned my luck around. As I am driving to my office, the phone rings again and Bill has discovered M's epipens at home. Not cool. But, a lovely camp volunteer was heading in late, so I just had to go home, find the epipens, meet up with the very kind Allison and her partner, and get back to work in time for a meeting. Aargh. My new manager is not in the office today, so she will just have to find out later that I am a bit scattered, and that stuff comes up sometimes at home

I am hoping to have time to knit this weekend. A very good friend is turning 40 and is in for a few major surprises at her cabin. No, not a cottage, as she is from northern Ontario. The part of ontario where having a sauna at the cabin comes before having running water.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Working on it!

Kate, http://katekastsoff.blogspot.com/ is up to 24 squares! Go, Kate! If you need more yarn, let me know - I have some wool in my stash. This is great!!

I have 2 wee hats just about finished, from that lovely ball of yarn I picked up at The Loop in Halifax. The girls on M's soccer team (6 and 7 year olds) have tried a stitch or two, but I don't think any of them will take up knitting any time soon. They are getting used to me knitting on the sidelines now, and sometimes come over and fill me in on a great play I have missed.

My other daughter has crocheted a square, so we are working on a blanket. Our goal is to finish it by labour day - a baby blanket. I think I will hope for a 25/75 split on the squares with her.

And... stay tuned for a very special development that we will unveil shortly!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Updated info at Afghans for Afghans

Here are photos of some knitting Anita has been doing - hats and a vest. We will have to find a new home for the vest, I think.

I just had a look at the Afghans for Afghans website. They have some pictures from their last trip to Afghanistan delivering knitting. The focus now is on baby items - hats, socks (not booties) and blankets.

I bought a lovely ball of yarn in Halifax (at The Loop) and have one hat so far, and another on the way. I"ll post photos soon - the camera is hiding somewhere at the moment. This is a ball of Lucy Neatby's yarn which I brought back for Anita. Celestial Merino in Maple - colours that always remind me of Anita.
That's all for now - I have to get the children's lunches ready and bathing suits, hats, towels and sunscreen for camp tomorrow. Hard to believe after a very grey, rainy weekend. M&M were good sports about playing soccer in the rain.


Saturday, July 7, 2007