Sunday, February 27, 2011

September 2011 Campaign and Other Stuff

Okay, so here is what has happened lately:

1. Carlene and I went to the Pauktuutit Annual General Meeting. What an amazing group of northern women. Basically the AGM gathers Inuit women from all over Canada, and they meet for a week to talk about the issues of the day. The President introduced us, and three communities approached us to start thinking about working up a project with them - nice! One of the ones that really struck my fancy was an Inuit daycare and safe shelter in Rankin Inlet. Immediately, I'm thinking, hey, if we could give every child in that daycare a blanket for naptime wouldn't that be something. The really amazing thing was that Pauktuutit thinks that they can hook us up with the head honcho's at First Air so we can coordinate the shipping. (First Air, if you are reading this, we really really want to work you).

2. We spoke with Sheshatsuit this week. I love those guys - its taken a few years but I think that they kind of know "the knitting ladies" now. They tend to laugh when I'm talking (I get a bit excited and start speaking wayyy to fast) and they are much more direct, as in: "we need the following", rather than, "oh, anything will be fine". It really is a totally different culture. Whenever I get off the phone with them, I feel like such a Type A personality. Oh, wait a minute. I am a type A.

So this is what they said: the stuff that we sent in October is loooong gone, distributed pretty much as soon as they got it. They had enough lap blankets to distribute to all the new babies, the kids and then some, so they gave a few to the elders who are wheelchair bound to use as lap blankets. They have held back 10 blankets which they want to keep for new births - fine by me.

For the next campaign, we can send everything that we usually do but they would LOVE to receive lots of socks and sweaters, and they would be very happy if we could do some in the larger sizes.

3. The shipment to the Moosonee Native Friendship Centre went off and we are waiting to hear back from them that items have been received and distributed.

4. The website is now up, thanks to Carlene! Check it out at

5. The handwash dilemma is solved (well, partially)! We talked to Wool-aid and here is what we are doing: we are buying sew-on tags which we will sew into all blankets, sweaters and vests that are not machine washable (it would be great if you could attach paper tags letting us know if your stuff fits this criteria). We will attach the tags before we send the items out. According to our discussions with Moosonee, Pauktuutit, and Sheshatsuit, folks there are well aware of washing rules re wool, but its always best to remind (given that I have shrunk many a handwash myself).

So the September 2011 campaign looks like this:

1. We are once again shipping to Sheshatsuit for the Innu kids (and now elders too). Same parameters BUT things have changed up there, so we are adapting a bit as well:
- machine washable is preferred for sweaters and blankets. If your item is handwash, let us know and we will sew on a tag.

2. We are shipping to the Cree kids of James Bay. These items will be shipped up to Moosonee, and distributed through the headstart and pre-natal programs there. As well some boxes will go up to Keshashewan via Air Creebec.

If you have a preference for where your items should go, please give us a heads-up.

Deadline: September 30th as usual.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Carlene Frieda Claudette Suzanne Jeanine Lynn (in no particular order)

So the ladies came over last night (and chococupcake skyped in which was amazing - I looooove technology!) and we packed and talked and taped and talked some more. First, to the left are the socks of the fabulous Lynn W. Lynn has been helping us out pretty much since the beginning - she is our graphic designer on staff. Here's her blog, Minding my Own Stitches

And the green blanket below is hers too - you can't tell but the pattern is incredibly intricate!

And below we have Jeanine, Aubergine's mommy who is holding up a beautiful sweater she made - there are some socks below that she did too - pictures don't do them justice!

More cute socks by the sheep lady, along with some tunicky things (Jeanine calls them "Wimples" which makes me laugh).

And mittens by Jeanine as well - she is prolific, this lady.

The hat is also J's. I wanted to get a photo of the tag because its so cute - it says "DouceAubergine" and the picture is of a sheep.

An open half-full (not half-empty) box of Carlene's blankets. Carlene it is very fun to watch you crochet and you are definitely coming to my place some time to teach Shyla and I.

More of Carlene's blankets (my favorite one is the one that looks like Gatineau Park).

A photo of the fab Carlene herself, propping up stacks and stacks and stacks of blankets. Carlene, both you and your blankies are very photogenic!

And this photo is of Claudette (aka Marie-Claude on Ravelry). Claudette, the blankets (esp the grey one) were beautiful. Thanks to Suzanne for picking them up!

Here is a beautiful Claudette blanket - I took a separate pic because I liked it so much.

Very pretty very girly jacket sweaters all crochetted by Carlene.

These socks are by Frieda! She wrote us a sweet letter saying this was her first contribution. Welcome to the club!

Suzanne and Jeanine are showing off one of Suzanne's blankets - I think it looks like the ocean somewhere hot (only 3 more months of winter - yay!).

This is Suzanne's magic balls blanket - made from squares sent in from all over - Ravellers do you see your squares?

Jeanine and Suzanne are stretching out my favorite of Suzanne's blankets - it looks like a team hockey sweater to me (but maybe that's just me...)

And yet more of Suzanne's great blankets.
Ladies, from Amy and me to you, we think you are amazing - you do so much for the project, from keeping the chatter alive on the different groups, to knitting, to brain-storming, to giving us a chance to ooooh and ahhhh - we are all Warm Hands!