Tuesday, September 23, 2014

WarmHands with Igloolik

Hi everyone, before I start showing you the most recent pictures from contributors, I wanted to tell you about our most recent project.  I'm putting out the word on the interweb in the hopes that you may be able to help.

I spoke with Rhoda, an Inuit woman currently living in Igloolik.  She is an amazing "doer" who returned to Igloolik about one year ago to undertake a oral history project.  She has become very involved with several orphans living in the community - they are sweet kids who (some recently) have lost parents/grand-parents/caregivers and are doing their best to find their way in the world.  She talked about over-crowding in homes that have taken in these kids, the lack of shelters and safe houses, and the need for these kids to feel a bit of affection - she tries her best to track their birthdays and put aside a little hat or something small from our shipment so that they receive a gift.  Rhoda's real focus is on getting these kids some warm clothing and also it would be nice if they had something for Christmas.  She is currently trying to find donations of fur to make the kids fur liners for their boots as it is the only think that will keep them warm enough.

I know you WarmHanders are crazy industrious so Rhoda and I schemed and came up with 2 ideas:

1. Could we create a little gift-wrapped item for each of these kids?  Here are the details:

Claim your item by using the string on our revelry group called "WarmHands with Igloolik".  The post will list the names, ages, sizes.  If you put your name as the "Rav Santa" beside the item, and tag it with the child's name when you send it to us, we will wrap it and get it to Rhoda, hopefully by Christmas.  The drop-off date is November 10th.  As an FYI, if you're not on Ravelry, email me with the type of item you'd like to provide and we'll find the right child for you.

2. Could we do one other thing:  winter is long in Igloolik (the ponds are already frozen, it will be dark all the time in December and January, and snow will only leave in July).  These particular kids would be thrilled to get either a Christmas/Happy Holiday card and/or a Valentines Day card.  The challenge again is timing, so the deadline for the Christmas cards is November 10th as well.  Here's what I'm suggesting:  these kids for the most part don't read and write in English but they can read their names, and Rhoda is there to help out.  Her idea was to ask folks to send in a card with a kid-friendly picture on it, and in the card, simply write "To" - child's name, "From" - your name (City/country) you are from.  What better, simpler way to say to a little kid who has lost a parent or feels alone "I see you, you matter, I and my family wish you well".  Rhoda feels that these little guys will be thrilled by something like that and your cards will become a keepsake - I know the deadline is short, so if Christmas cards aren't in the store, a little coloured paper and some glitter goes a long way.

Do you think we can do that?  Again the names are the same ones that are on the Ravelry site - no need to "claim" a kid - if we get 10 cards for one child, we'll send them 10.

So here we go with the latest items sent in:

This is a very funky star-shaped blanket from Maddy Rosamond of Waterloo, Ontario.  Thanks, Maddy!

Maddy also sent in the blanket above and the hats below - super cute!

These hats and sweaters (and the hats below) come from M Riccotone of St Creek, Ontario.  Thank you very much - sweaters are always great to receive.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Like a Well-Oiled Pizza Eating Machine


This was packing and shipping weekend.  Thanks to you we will be shipping about 300 pounds this time - the reason the amount seems lower than in the past, is that we now ship at least 4 times per year, instead of just in January and September - we have more connections with communities and shippers now, so we work at getting your gorgeous stuff out the door as soon as possible.

Here is a picture of packed boxes - you're not even seeing the mountains behind the walls.  Basically, we sent 3 boxes, about 200 pounds, to Iqualuit via the lovely doctors.

We created 2 more boxes for another doctor to take with her to Iqualuit - Rhoda will then drive down from Igloolik to pick up the boxes and take them back with her.

We also created a smaller "test box" filled with your stuff to go via Canada North Cargo directly to Igloolik.  If that works, then we'll use it for the January shipment, or earlier if there is enough stuff.

Cape Dorset only needs to be ready the first week in October, so I'm just hoping that new stuff comes in because once again the cupboards are bare - that is a great position to be in, because it means that we are meeting a huge demand, and that your inventory is cycling through my place very quickly!

Here is a picture of the cake we ate as our reward.

Here is a picture of Suzanne, Claire, Carlene and I eating cake and laughing planning the next shipment.

Of course there were many things photographed as well - some came in at the last minute (yay!) some came in via Suzanne and Carlene.

Just a quick note about Yard Forward, folks:  they also collect for the snowsuit fund, so if you drop off there, would you mind please attaching a bit sheet of paper stapled to the bag that says "Warm Hands Network"?  Otherwise it just goes into their general pile which is what I suspect may have happened with a couple of items.

Another note:  we got a message back from Rhoda in Igloolik - it sounds like the orphans (real and metaphorical) in her community are short on warm winter clothing - I am trying to get some information so that I can post, and we can figure out what to do specifically for these kids.  As soon as I find out, I will be sure to post on it.  They sound like great little guys, who are having a hard time.  I feel a special project coming on.

So here is the stuff:

These mittens and socks were contributed by Constant Mac (Marlene).  I have to say that the top mittens make me feel very Canadian. 

These are also from Marlene, but the Balakava's are from Aunt Betty - thanks to both Marlene and Aunt Betty (and Marlene, thanks for the donation, it will help defray the cost of shipping this year!).

Hats hats hats.  The colours are magnificent - bright and cheerful  They come from Ailie Penny (penny on rav) of Burlington.  Ailie I don't remember seeing your name before - if you're a newbie, welcome and thank you - your stuff is perfect!).

And this is Trinity who was being a giant pain in the rear-end throughout the photog session.  The packers told me she is getting fat.  I would agree that she is a slightly big-boned cheese-lover.  But then, so am I.

These slippers and the hat come from Tracy/lingfing.  Thank you - your items have gone to Iqualuit.

Mary Liechty of Goshen, Tennessee sent these sweaters and the hat in.  Mary, you win: we've never received anything from Tennessee before.

Of course the lovely Nandini of Brooklyn sent us 28 (yes 28!) vests - Nandini they are great and will keep some kids and elders very warm.

Carlene and I rolled the vests here and below for display purposes - also check out Jody the bear who is going to make a little one very happy.

These squares were all donated from the Ravelry group + Claire (see picture above) then assembled by sweet Carlene.  Yay, team effort!

This blanket is the "Claire blanket" made with her beautiful contributions.  Claire, next time you come over, bring the bagpipes.

This "big square" afghan comes from Carlene.  Thanks always to my partner in crime.

Claudette is so prolific, even though she is having trouble knitting due to hand/arm pain.   Claudette, I can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate and love your stuff.  Thank you thank you thank you!  The pictures below are all from sweet Claudette.  Your contributions are dear, along with the tiny tag you attach to each one.

I don't know how to tell you all how much you have enriched not only my life but the life of some forgotten kids.  From the bottom of my heart, Warmhanders, thank you for helping the invisible kids of Canada.



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cape Dorset and You

Did everyone have a great summer?  Ottawa was cold then warm then rainy then hot then rainy but September is turning out to be mighty fine.

Spent my morning taking photos of all of the boxes and packages that knitters sent in last month.  Beautiful thick stuff - the irony of handling super warm woolies in 35 degree weather is not lost on me.

Here's the thing though:  today its 4 degrees in Cape Dorset.  And in 2 weeks, the high will be 0.  Why am I talking about the weather in Cape Dorset?  Because some of your lovely stuff is going to wind up there in October!  One of the ENT's is going up in October and we're going to be sending a box of your warm wonders with him - Carlene and company will be coming over to box - we've got 210 pounds to Iqualuit as well, and this time, I plan on stuffing it to the max.

The doctor boxes are flying up this Monday, and after that, we'll take a look at our remaining treasures and budget/plan for the rest of the fall, over pizza and white wine - its all good!

Lois Manton of Manton's Mittens sent us 50 (!) pairs of mittens.  My photo does not do them justice at all but I love them all.  My favourites are the little yellow ones.

Jackie Lambert of West Rockland, Washington sent us in these socks, hat and a pair of mittens.  Jackie's been with us forever - can't remember a shipment without her stuff in it.

Same goes for Karen Zorn of Bradenbury, SK.  These cute sweaters are lovely, but the one that is sheer adorability is the onesie, below - check it out...

Then Karen did some socks and mittens to keep it interesting...

And I can totally visualize this on a 2 year old boy - its a "big boy sweater".

The Purple Sock in Coldwater, ON, do some knit-alongs, and we are the lucky recipients - here are some hats that they contributed, along with the swather below - check out the colours.

Peggy Wallace (DoctorPeg on Ravelry sent us so much stuff!  The hats are super cute and the neck-warmers are truly appreciated...

Along with this cute shawl with tons of glitter though you aren't getting a lot of the glitter in this pic.  Trust me, its cute, and I do love me some glitter - always appropriate!

Margaret Bradford of Ottawa dropped off some stuff at my place last week - Margaret, it was lovely to meet you in person!

Thought this hat colour combo was super-cute so I did a closeup...

…and finally a closeup of Margaret's stripy blanket - thanks Margaret, I love it!

Jeanine we will miss you this Friday - but thank you so much for dropping off the pile of stuff - its beautiful!

Close up of Jeanine (DouceAubergine)'s socks for the hunters.

and finally some beautiful christmas blankets.  Thanks Jeanine, as usual, you are wonderful!