Monday, December 29, 2008

The Count

In the midst of the Christmas crazies, I just wanted to post a note: the boxes are packed and here are our totals for the Innu kiddies and families:

Socks 44
Hats 151
Mitts and Gloves 141
Blankets 19
Sweaters 20


I pulled out all of the little tags and things with names on them, so you're all in the draw.

Thanks so much for participating in the project - I know how busy it is this time of year, and yet each one of you made time to make something and slip it in an envelope or box or bag and drop it off or mail it. You've got warm hands and warm hearts!

Anita and Amy

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Roll Credits 3: Linda, Louise, Jeannine and Kara

In the past week, we've had some fabulous contributions. I wanted to grab pix of the ones where you knitters provided us with an id, but there are so many that I've split them into three posts - if you don't see your stuff here, then check out the two other posts entitled "Roll Credits". If they aren't there, then post us a note.

So we got so much stuff from the OKG and the Toronto crew that we are going to have to open the boxes and start packing and unpacking. Okay if you're cool and 40+, as soon as you see packing and unpacking, you're humming "town to town, up and down the dial". Feed us the next line of the song in a comment, and you will be immortalized forever in the ledger of cooldom.

But I digress.

This hat was made by Kara of Quebec city (kalyle on Ravelry). I had to take a picture of it alone because its too cute.

These are all Kara's too:

The Ottawa Knitting Guild is at it again! The hats below were by our own sheep-lady Jeannine Turcott, and by Louise Moore.

Linda Williams of the OKG made these winners:

Roll Credits 2: Theresa and the OKG

Nancy, we love you for two reasons: you've been a great promoter of the project through the Ottawa Knitting Guild. Reason # 2 is that you knit with the hugs and kisses pattern (see the hats below), which is our very own, donated by Mags Kandis of Mission Falls. The hat on the bottom right is by Healther Albett:

Julia Yeung of the Ottawa Knitting Guild put together these juicy tidbits:

Deirdre Spann of the Ottawa Knitting Guild made pairs of mittens to go with each of these hats:

Daphne is one of our big-volume producers- she pops off a pair of mittens per day. Here's a sample of her work:

These beautifu hats are from Theresa Ladouceur who lives right down the street from me:

Roll Credits 1: Auriol and Rhea

The sweater below is from Auriol Rapin of Ottawa:

Angela Kiss sent us a wack of premie hats and booties:

Mittens, mittens mittens!

These three blankets, layered on top of eachother are from Rhea Hoare - beatiful and thick:

Friday, December 12, 2008

US Invasion - Very Cool

Here are some photos of some things that American Cindy sent us. Cindy you are our first, no wait, I stand corrected: second American contribution - very very cool (if you read this, comment and tell us where you're from!).

I see the Torontonians are totally stepping up - I love the photo below of Georgiana's stuff which is in the mail for us:

Okay the caption is American, and there's stuff from a Torontonian. One more non-sequitor (sequiter?): I'm Indian by heritage and my people are big on the scopes - usually I read the G&M Sally Brompton, which tends to be pretty negative (everyone's out to get you, you are doomed, etc.). A friend of mine recently pointed me to Free Will Astrology. Oh my gosh, I love him! Apparently I am a gorgeous genius - who doesn't need that kind of positive affirmation?

Okay back to my knitting - we're going to be busy this weekend packing boxes like crazy ladies 'cause next week is the rooooad trip! Wish us luck.


Lovely Lynn

On Tuesday, I picked up a box from Canadian Lynn. Lynn recruited some lovely people by providing them with the yarn and some patterns as well as beautiful handmade tags which you can see below. The knitters knit and then Lynn shipped. Lynn please pass a message of thanks on to Jan and Sita as well. The pix are above.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Great knitting from Toronto

Toronto - Thank you! My sister in law picked up the knitting from our drop off partners in Toronto, and Wow! She had to get more boxes! This is wonderful and inspiring. Thank you! We're setting up a date with Air Labrador for delivery before Christmas! More photos soon -

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Boxes - They Don't Stop

Hey guys,

Every time I go to the post office, the workers there ask me what Warm Hands is. I'm considering telling them we're a cult. Why can't I freak out a postal worker, instead of it always being the other way around?
Okay, here are some pics. The stuff comes from lots of people, some who send in their stuff anonymously, and some who proudly display their names.

Our favorite sheep-lady, Jeanine, dropped off her stash of stuff, mucho stuff, including six hand-sewn baby quilts (sample above and below.

My former librarian, Daphne, went to town on the hats this year:

Then there is Kathleen of Bedford Nova Scotia, who I will now refer to as the sock lady. 18 warm knitted things - the box was bustin'

And what about Sheri of Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Um, can I ask what's the story with all of you prolific eastern knitters?

These mittens came from she who shall remain nameless (lady, if you're out there, please post a note so that I can enter you in the draw). I'll give you a hint, your box looked pregnant. If you tell me what colour it was, I'll know it was you!
Thanks to all, and I'll post more as they come in.
Anita and Amy

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We're filling boxes!

Our shipping deadline is coming up! We are hoping you can drop off your items by Nov. 30, and we'll take it from there. I am already amazed by what you have contributed, and know from the Ravellers that there are more items on the way.

Don't forget about our draw!

I have been converted to knitting on round needles now - the hats go pretty quickly, and no seaming which seems to slow me down a few weeks at least! I was able to make a few en route to Vancouver this week. A nod to the lovely yarn of Penny Stewart on Granville Island. Next time, I will note the closing time - I had to settle for handling someone else's.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Les Chapeaux D'Alix

Here are some hats created by the lovely and talented Alix who knits out of Haley Waxberg's store, Knitomatic. My favorite is the green stripey one - I had to try it on - a perfect fit for my watermelon! Alix, you are in the draw nine-fold.
Here is a note from our sheep-lady Jeanine, who dropped off stuff earlier this month:
I have delivered a bag of knitted items at Yarn Forward on Bank Street this morning. They are for the Innu children. I will have another load for them before the Nov. 30th deadline. From January I will knit for the Mongolians.
I have seen a 2-hour documentary on TV5, a French channel about Mongolia and a reality show on the same channel where participants had to travel through Mongolia with a Euro a day. What a challenge! The nomads are poor but willing to share. When they can't live on the steppe they move their yurt on the outskirts of the cities. These are the ones who really need help. I will be pleased to knit for them.

Also, here's a pattern called "Sell Your Sole" from the very cool Heather, a supporter from out West. She let us post it here because she knows that the socks and I do battle (I am at the toes on sock #2). Heather has been the Writer-in-Residence for the Banff Centre for the Arts 5 times running. Here's what her current work is about:
"identify and distinguish among four contemporary world views (positivist, interpretive, critical, and post-modern) and situate a range of contemporary theories (structuralism, new historicism, hermeneutics, critical theory, reception theory, feminist theory, Marxism, postcolonial and multicultural theory, postmodernism, etc) within those world views."
Damn, Heather, I was working on exactly the same thing. Thanks for letting me post your sock pattern anyway.
Stuff is coming in as the deadline approaches, and I can see the Ravellers are doing great - talk again soon,


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Julia and Cynthia and others

Here are a few photos of stuff that is coming in. The first one is of some items that Cynthia, who publishes Knit Together sent us - love the fact that you used our signature pattern from Mags Kandis.
The second set, including the one that my girl is wearing are from Julia of Davis, California. She makes the most incredible felted hats.
Ladies, I've put your names in the draw - good luck to ya!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thanks for the Recent Arrivals!

Ok, Hallowe'en is over, so I have no more excuses for not posting photos! My littlest model helped out here. The cold weather is arriving, and so is the knitting! Jeannine B, and others, we salute you and your generous hearts and talented fingers. The socks are georgeous! And, I love the blanket, the hats, the baby blankets. The brown hat is even lined with fabric for an extra layer and softness.
And our continued thanks to our drop off partners, Knit-knackers and Yarn Forward for their support and storage.
Say, does anyone out there know if Afaloss Lopi will get softer in time? I'm keeping the hand lotion close while I am knitting with it and hoping for the best with this hat I am working on.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

We're Havin' a Draw!

I've been blogging about the Fleece Artist sock adventure, and I thought it would be great if we had a draw for something cozy and Canadian. So either we could raffle off Peter Mansbridge

or maybe Brent Butt

, or.....

we could have a draw for this beautiful Cross Cross Scarf pattern and yarn from Fleece artist:

The yarn is Suri Blue (50% Suri Alpaca/50% Blue Face Leicester) and I am sitting on my hands right now to stop myself from ripping the package open. The colour is kind of ocean greeny fading in and out - I'm no wordsmith so here's a picture of another item with the same colours:

So here are the rules, well not really rules, more just a general framework. Because if they were rules, then this would be a lottery, and that would be wrong:

1. Knit your stuff and either send it to us or drop it off at one of our LYS partners. To the bag, either give us an email address or a Ravelcrack name.

2. For each item you donate, we'll enter your name once in the draw.

3. The deadline is February 20th. You can knit for either the Innu kids or for the Mongolian kids - by the way, if you have a preference for your donation, just attach a note to your stuff and we'll make sure it gets there.

Easy peasy, lemon-squeezy.

But if you'd rather have Brent Butt as the prize, post us a comment and we'll see what we can do.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

She did it!

In the non-knitting side of her life, Anita ran a half marathon last weekend! Yay! Way to go! Now we know the real reason she wanted to start knitting socks - to soothe those tired feet! You looked awesome out there, my friend. Great job!

And, thank you to the crocheter who dropped off the many squares to Knit Knackers. And I loved the socks that Knit Knackers added. Very kind. I will be trying to find volunteers to make the squares into blankets, and will delve back into that myself. I made a poncho out of squares last summer, so I may try one or two of those as well.

I have been knitting little hats, working through leftovers in my stash. Photos later!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cool Lynn

Here's a message from our latest Warm Hands Maeven, Lynn, who found us on Ravelry (thanks to Shirley for being my Ravelpal and getting us set up with a group and all).

Good morning,As discussed, I put together some small kits for some of the seniors in my community - with the thought that the seniors would benefit from having wool supplied, and enjoy using their skills to create knitted pieces that would be valued by others.To that end, I obtained some large ziploc bags and put in: - 3 balls of Patons Classic Merino - 100% wool and enough to do a hat, mitts or both - a four page flyer of hats and mitts patterns for which the copyright allows duplication for charitable knitting - a letter describing your work and the guidelines for knitting - some tags that the knitters may attach to their completed projects to make it more personal.

I've attached PDFs of the letter and the tag - so that you may be assured that your name and your logo are not being misused, and that your work is not being misrepresented.

And I've attached a picture of a complete kit. Several of my friends have expressed interest, on behalf of their mothers, aunts and sisters who like to knit. And I left a sample kit with a group of seniors at my local community centre to see if they are interested - although a few of them looked as if I was trying to swindle them.

Overall I am hopeful of a good response and lots of nice warm woollens for the communities in Northern Labrador.Thanks for letting me take part in this effort!Lynn

If anyone wants a copy of the PDF to use in their own community, just fire me a message and I will pass it on. I must say, its our best flyer ever.

Thanks Lynn and Shirley!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Left Foot

Okay, one sock is done for the Innu project. And by that, I don't mean one pair. I'm so proud that I have to show it off right now though. Thank goodness, all of you are knitting too, or there would be some single socked Innu out there.

My kiddies admired the sock and tried it on. We've all taken turns modelling it now. I never knew the difference between handmade merino socks and the ones I buy from that W store whose name must not be spoken. Now I know.

The real trick was the grafting, though. The pattern I had was confusing in the grafting area, so I searched on the web. here is the most amazing video. Watch it once, and murmur to yourself "I will never have a ridge on my work again". The movie is provided by Heather

On a totally separate note, I got a lovely email from Merideth at FIRE (the Dulaan/Mongolia guys) last week. The organization is focusing its efforts and money on some great projects, including an orthopedic centre in the country. She wanted to assure us though, that they will continue to distribute hand-knit items, so anything we send to her will get shipped in 2009.

Friday, August 22, 2008

And then I Lost my Needles on the I-95

When we last left this soap opera, Anita was trying to do the work of 12 inch circulars with 18 inch. Knittin Kitten suggested two circs (thanks for the tip! I need more info though - how is that done? Do 18 inchers work?). As I was driving down the I-95 between North and South Carolina, trying to figure out how to do the 2 circs deal, my needles flew out the window.


Bottom line, if you see a pair of 2.75mm on the highway, they are yours to keep.

So after much begging and pleading, Ross drove me to a fabulous yarn store in Myrtle Beach. Its called Knit 'n' Purl. Here's a blog that talks about Phyllis and her crew. She doesn't have a website. Basically, you keep driving until you're sure you're lost - then you're almost there.

Phyllis, said, "Anita, you can do the dpn".

"I can't." I said

"You're doing it." she said. "The first row is the worst".

"Like "the first cut is the deepest"?" I asked.

Phyllis doesn't know Cat Stevens. That's okay.

So here are the results. This is a picture of my boy's foot, along with the yarn. I'm sure in 20 years he'll be explaining to the shrink about the day his mama (yes I'm in Georgia) made him wear girl socks. Right now we're in Savannah, and can't drive any further (thanks Tropical Storm Fay), so I have lots of time to knit.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Socks and the Sea

Right now, I'm sitting in a hotel room in NagsHead, North Carolina. I can hear the surf from my room, and its totally soothing. Before I left Ottawa, I bought some Fleece Artist yarn to make some socks. I know I should stick with what I know for the Innu project (hats and blankets) and leave the more complicated stuff to the experts, but its sooo tempting when you see the Fleece Artist stuff. The plan was to go with the two needle sock pattern, but I saw Fleece Artist's pattern using circular needles and I got a little cocky.

Here's a picture of the socks I'm making:

Note to self: when they say 12 inch circulars, they don't mean 18 inch, they mean 12 inch. Bottom line: I am stretching and stretching and stretching the 64 stitches to make it fit around 18 inches, and it won't fit.

Not pretty. I can't convince my family to take a break from our holidays to go on a yarn store hunt - imagine that.

So I'm frogging and going to go back to the 2 needle pattern.

Gotta walk before you run.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Check out the Size of the ...Needles on that Girl

The knit-out was a huge success.
Good weather - check
Lots of knitters - check
Free yarn, free patterns - check
Horse and piggy smell - double-check

One down is a pic of Jeanine - she's been my pal since last year - she's one of the first ones to send us stuff for the project. Jeanine makes me laugh. She had a hobby farm in Southern Ontario and kept sheep that she sheared, then she washed the fleece (wrecking her washing machine, I think), then spun it, then knit it. I told her they sell it already spun at the yarn store nowadays. Heh heh. Apparently I'm not funny. Anyways, this is JT spinning up yarn from her baby (well sheep-baby), Aubergine.

Plus there's a lady with massive....needles. I had to laugh.

We were there to spread the word about the project, and the Guild promised to help - yay, Ottawa knitters.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wool-Tyme in Ottawa is in!

We've got a new drop-off point in Ottawa - its Wool-Tyme. They have loads of great stuff - a warning: you won't be able to resist buying as you drop off.

Check out these over the knee socks by Kureyon - Wool-Tyme sells the yarn - I still think when you knit and it comes out stripey, there's some kind of magic involved.

While we're on the topic, I've found my first sock pattern - I'm overwhelmed by the dpn's - how can two hands knit with four needles? But this is a pattern that I found (shout out to all the Ravelarians who gave me advice.
What do you think? Is it a good pattern for a virgin sock knitter?
I'm going to start on it, just after the knit-out, I think (August 3rd, experimental farm, Ottawa) - I'm hoping to get a few strips going there, and then to strong-arm my mommy into helping me turn them into a blanket.
See you soon!

Friday, July 18, 2008


So I went into Knit-Knackers this week - that's our newest yarn store partner in Ottawa. I asked Sarita, the owner of the store - "how do I get the word out to knitters about our project?". One word:


Okay, I started using it 48 hours ago, and I've been on six times already. I foresee a big big problem. How can I resist when I sign in, and there are already 1400 knitters online?




Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Shortest Post Ever

Just to let everyone know, the Knit Cafe is again partnering with us in Toronto - so you can drop off your items there, or Nathalie-Roze, or at Sew Be It or Knitomatic. Thanks, Ivana, Nathalie-Roze, Dilys and Haley, you amazing women!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

We're Stripping on August 3rd

Well, actually we're knitting strips. On Sunday, August 3rd, we're going to be at the Central Experimental Farm, as part of the Ottawa Knitter's Guild Knit-in. The event runs from noon to 4:30 pm, and we'll have a little table and chairs set up, so come by and say hi.

You can even bring items to donate to the event, and I will gratefully accept them. We're going to start a bunch of strips, and keep on knitting until 4:30. I'm hoping that we'll have enough strips to assemble into a blanket, which I will do over my holidays.

By the way, Knitomatic, Nathalie-Roze and Sew Be It in T.O. just sent me messages lettng me know that they are in for another year. Thanks guys!

One more note: the stores mentioned that they are receiving items in the mail. Love to hear that we've got people sending in stuff remotely, but it would be great if you could send it to us directly. Here's the address:

The Warm Hands Network
240 First Avenue
Ottawa Ontario
K1S 2G6

Okay, I admit it, I'm watching Hairspray for the first time as I'm updating the blog. Some major classic lines, starting with: "Hair can't just hang there like a dead thing on your cheeks". I think I need a beehive hairdo.

Bye for now,


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Good Question, Amanda

Okay, here's an update for all you knitters:

1. Amanda asked what our deadlines are for this year. We're targetting the Innu shipment for Christmas, but honestly, it depends on the amount. We've got a second shipment going March 31st to Mongolian kids through the Dulaan project.

2. I got another email asking: "wool only"? Here's the skinny: we prefer wool because its warm and most of the communities that we ship to don't have washing machines. But if you've only got acrylic, knit with acrylic. If you've got cotton, knit with cotton. We'll find a grateful home for everything you make - money-back guarantee (okay no money but you get the point). The one request we have is no scarves please: socks, hats, mitts, blankets, sweaters - all those work perfectly.

3. We've got another drop-off location. The lovely folks at Knitknackers on James Street in Ottawa have agreed to be a collection site for us. I swear, you go in there, you won't be able to resist buying something. Single balls of Debbie Bliss for $5. Seriously.

4. We're going to be at the Ottawa Knit In at the Experimental Farm on August 3rd. We'll be knitting strips (stripping?), so stop by and say hi.

5. Air Labrador is in again (thanks to our lovely Morris).

6. We mentioned in our last post that we were knitting mainly for the 500 kids age 5 to 15, but we're also knitting for newborns (the blankets you all put together were deeply appreciated in the clinic last year). In addition to that, we've got another community that needs stuff for wee ones (the "under 5" crew) - the items will be distributed through a community outreach program.

Bottom line: you want to make a size 1 hat? We got a place for it. You want to make an adult sized sweater? We got a place for it.

7. When you drop off your stuff, leave a note with your name attached and I'll post a photo on the blog - you make not get your 15 seconds of fame, but your socks will.

And last, thanks to the lovely May, Kate, Jeannine and Amanda. Its great to know that I just need to send the word out into the cyber-void, and you all shout back, "we're in!". More to come.

AB and AB

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Here we go Again - Knitting here and away.

So two weeks ago, I shipped another 6 boxes of your precious stuff to Dulaan. Its going in a container to Mongolia in July/August. That brings our grand total up to (drum roll) over 800 items shipped to Afghanistan, Mongolia and Northern Labrador.

We mentioned it before, but in addition to the knit stuff, we wound up shipping mittens and snowsuits, donated by the good folks at MEC and through a Christmas mitten tree that we set up.

We've been getting emails from you amazing compassionate folks asking if we're going to continue. And the answer is (wait for it)


So here is the skinny: We are going to ship to Sheshatshiu First Nation. I just talked to the very cool Lorraine Rich, who is our contact there. They have 400 (!) kids aged 5 to 15 so that's the group that we're targetting. Here's what they need:

1. wool socks
2. mittens
3. hats
4. sweaters

They'd also like baby blankets for their clinic. Remember we shipped a bunch of blankets to that community last year? Well apparently they all got distributed and were much appreciated.

So what do you think? Post me a note on this site, and I'll get back to you.

Thanks for everything - you're help has made life a little sweeter,


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Janis and Me

The blankie on the left was created by Janis Cooper of Ottawa and the one on the right by me out of the beautiful squares that we had received. Amy also mde a blanket but my camera battery ran out before I got a chance to download it - more to come.

I just received a note from Dulaan letting me know that they got our big boxes (68 pounds) and that they took them over the 4,000 mark for their July 1 shipment (that's when they take everything to Mongolia). Sweet!

That being said, I've got at least two more big boxes of your beautiful stuff to ship. Thanks to everyone.


Saturday, March 8, 2008

300 + Shipped to Mongolia

Just wanted to let you know about the tally dropped off to Mongolia. Here's the route our boxes take:

Ottawa - New York - Flagstaff - Mongolia

Shipped in these boxes were (drrrrrrrrrrumroll please):

111 pairs of mittens
15 blankets
36 sweaters
146 hats

That, combined with 300 items shipped to Afghanistan and the Innu, gets us to 600. That's so crazy, when we were targetting 100.

I loved packing the boxes - I remembered where we had collected many of the items and the knitters who gave them to us. Each item is so different and so perfect, and I love the fact that we had such a variety of sizes, that we could warm entire families with our cozy stuff.

We've got 1 more shipment to go - with the deadline of March 31st. So if you're out there, go to town, and we'll make sure your stuff gets to Mongolia!

Thanks once again,

Anita and Amy

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Maria and Jeanine

Above are some items that Jeanine Turcotte just handed over before her trip to TX. I love the yarn on the sweater - its hard to see but its a dusty pink mixed with grey.

And here are Maria Koulis' things. Okay, I've never felted before, but I'm totally going to start, because the felted hats are a work of art. Check out the close-up of the hat.

My favorite part is that women have said they'll knit more. Isn't that typical of us women: "I gave you my blood, but wait, I found another vein!".

I'm busy today putting together boxes for Mongolia - big boxes, many boxes - I'll post a photo when I'm done. I'm going to NY tomorrow, and I'll post them to Dulaan from there.
Thanks everyone!