Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Pile of Boxes

In Ottawa, its a gorgeous, balmy day.  Today, I got a message from Gjoa Haven that said that the current weather is -4 degrees and folks are looking forward to winter.  Give me a taste of that optimism!  So boxes have been piling up, and many of you referenced the Vogue Knitting article about Warm Hands.  Cool.

So the result is we've got some new Warm Handers (welcome - stay awhile!) and some old friends (Bonnie, Vivienne, Lois, Esther, you know who you are.

Status update (very briefly):  First Air is in again - we love them so much.  My emails to them are about 3 pages long, and their email reply to me is always 2 words: "No problem".  You can tell they are written by a strong northern man (Ed, this means you!). 

On another note, looks like Gjoa Haven and Rankin Inlet are in again - we got a great letter from Hannah in Gjoa Haven which Carlene posted on Ravelry.  I was touched by the details of "life of a kid" on the island.

Last week, we sent a box of knitting up to Baffin Island with a physician doing a locum there.  She is using it as a calling card, in the hope of engaging another community health worker to partner with us.  We will also be shipping to Igloolik in Baffin, through an amazing Inuit woman who has "gone home" from Ottawa, as she was hired by the Gov of Nunnavut to take an oral history of her people.  She notes that there are many kids (orphans) living in over crowded housing to whom she will distribute your beautiful goodies.  Every kid deserves new stuff, and that's what I love about you guys - its not just warmth you're sending - who knows which child is getting your pair of socks, or mittens, what his or her day was like, and how they are receiving your message which is "you are not alone.  We see you".  Making the connection and gaining the trust always seems to take more time than I expect - this year, we'll be shipping but I'd like to reserve some of your beautiful things to use as "calling cards" - whenever we can get at someone who is traveling up North and who will come in contact with kids in need.

Finally, I'll be meeting with a physician who will be going up north in September to run a clinic.  She goes back and forth all the time, and I'm very interested in hearing her stories of the north and maybe we can tickle her a little bit to give us a hand...

...because all in all, if there is one thing that I've learned from you Southerners (and that's how Hannah of Gjoa Haven sees all of us who aren't within the arctic circle), is that the network of strangers with a single vision is a sweet and powerful thing.

This set of 100 hats was contributed by a lovely knitter from Davenport Road in Waterloo, ON.  Thanks Davenport!

Peggy Wallace (thank you for the sweet note!) of Oakville Ontario - this photo doesn't do your knitting justice, so I did a closeup below, so everyone could see your intricate stitching.

More from thelovely Peggy - the red scarf on the bottom is cashmere and feels "like butta".

I had to model these fingerless mittens.  Peggy, I can picture these being worn inside some of the houses, where central heating just isn't available or inadequate.

These mittens are from Yvette (rav name rowsandrows) from Moncton NB.  Thanks Yvette!

Carla Lesh of Kingston Ontario sent these three warm wool blankets.  Carla I like the colours!

Can you not picture a couple of little girls wearing these slippers contributed by Annette Johnson of Knoxville IL (cecileann on Rav).

Esther!  I hope everything is good with you.  Thank you so much for the little Octopus doll.  Esther has been contributing for a long time, and was our Ravenswolle connection.

Vivienne Shishakly (rav name Muffey) of St Lazare QC sent in these socks and a pair of mittens.  Thanks for once again being part of the WH team, Vivienne.

This itty bitty sweater and other knits were contributed of Paggy Prestage of Nevington CT, who wrote "I saw the Vogue article about your organization.  I knew I had to knit for your cause."  Love it.

Carolyn Maize of Knoxville MD is also a first time contributor to the WHN.  She made the cute stuff above (Carolyn, we will make sure the dog sweater gets to a good cause), as well as the sweaters below.

Vests vests vests from Bonnie Belanger - Wow Bonnie, thank you so much - these will warm a lot of chests!

Lois Manton of Montreal QC, thank you so much for the 50 sets of mittens.  They were so beautifully labeled and tied that I didn't want to open each one for a photo, but as you can see, I couldn't resist opening just one, below....