Thursday, January 29, 2015

Carlene and Me…and Foote (Also New Deadline March 15th)


The Ottawa Citizen Article was published last Saturday and the feedback we have received has been lovely.  Lets start with knitting:  I had to go to Yarn Forward and pick up because there have been so many bags of knitting dropped off that the store was getting overwhelmed.  The stuff is now filling my dining room, waiting for another sorting and photographing op.

In case you didn't see it, here's the article:

Carlene and I got together last weekend, as she had to drop off some knitting.  We gabbed and took photos, maybe too much gabbing because some of the pictures did not turn out perfectly.  Here's some other news before we start:

News from Cape Dorset:

Hi, Anita, Carlene Paquette, Jeannine Turcotte and Suzanne Atkinson :

I read the story in the Ottawa Citizen and it really was terrific to know the extent of what you do and how the network works. You kind ladies warm my heart in addition to warming little hands, heads and feet.
God bless you lovely ladies for the kindness and generosity for the sake of the kids of Cape Dorset.
Yesterday in Iqaluit, it was -65 ºC with the wind. That is the coldest weather ever recorded in the history of that town.
I was in Baker Lake a few years ago and it was -66 ºC with the wind—and a friend insisted we go ice fishing. It took us two hours to make the hole.  Was adamant that we would make the hole the traditional way with a pick instead of a powered auger! I was starting to get very cold, so he wrapped me in Caribou furs and then I was toasty!

(he sent a separate note)

We can always use hats, mittens, blankets for newborns and neck warmers in Cape Dorset. The ones we gave out were very much appreciated by the town residents and especially the kids.

News from Arviat:

The package of knitted items has arrived in Arviat.  The mittens, hats, neck warmers, socks and other items will be distributed to students who need them.  The school is most thankful that students will now have warm hands, feet, necks and heads as they walk to and from school in very cold and frigid temperatures.  The thoughtfulness, kindness, and generosity of 'Warm Hands' will be of tremendous benefit and assistance to boys and girls in Arviat.  Thanks you 'Warm Hands' for all you do to help warm not only the bodies but also the hearts of many children in Arviat.

Whatever you can provide us in the Spring - hats, mitts, neck warmers and socks will definitely be put to good use when they arrive.


So that gets me to the next point:  How about a deadline of March 15th for the next shipment?  We can do both Arviat and Cape Dorset, with the items identified above.  The note that I got from the school in Arviat is that the kids loved sorting through the boxes to find their favourite colour, style, etc of hat, so its so great that we've received items from so many of you.  Variety is the spice of life, for sure.
This bootie is from Patti P.  I took a close-up because I just love the note "Handmade with Care for Someone Special".  Can you imagine being the parent and receiving that for your daughter?  I think it would be very touching.

And all of these are from Patti P as well!  She started with us during the last shipment and has been incredibly supportive and abundant since then.  Thanks Patti!

And Patti went to town with the hats.  Patti, these will go up to Arviat, I think, because the sizes are so perfect for school age kids, and each one is different!

And finally this sweet little baby sweater.  I have no idea how Patti has the time to produce all of these (for reference, please see my hat below which took me two months to create).

Julia Harold of Stittsville is a fantastic photographer.  She took the photos for our Citizen article and is very generous with her time!  The colours pop.

These neck warmers and mittens came from Diane Wilkinson of Calgary, AB.  Diane, you may be our first shipment from Calgary.  Thank you!

And here is my hat, made with left over "Eric's hat" yarn.  The pom pom is my first.  Two months.  Seriously.

Kate of Kanata (femmeng on rav) created these rainbow hats.  She did an amazing job with the pillow-cases for the Igloolik shipment. 

Annick of Ottawa created these hats.  Annick, I'm not sure if you've knit with us before.  I just love them.

Rebecca of Ottawa made these beautiful stripy sets.  Check out the logo on the tab below.  I love seeing the labels in action!

Okay, this is Foote.  See the picture at the top?  That's the sheep that was shorn by Rebecca..  The fleece was then spun into yarn and then knit into the cowl below.  Rebecca, this is the absolute best story about the creation of an item for our project that I've ever seen.  I love it.  I kept the explanation in the bag along with the cowl.  I know it will be treasured by the wearer.

And these come from Carlene.  The neck warmer in the middle is my favourite.  She said that she ran out of one colour, so she flipped to the other, but it looks like it was made with intent.  She also gave me lessons on neck warmer knitting because I think the ones I've been doing have been way too small.  I get her - its better if they can be pulled well over a chin to keep little faces warm.

Jackie Lambert (rav icl) of West Richland WA made these hats and mittens.  Darling Jackie sends us stuff for every shipment.  Thank you!  

And from another regular, Janet Wright of Fredricton NB (bus13knitter on rav) sent this pink package.  Some little girls are going to be very happy!

Sunday, January 18, 2015


So, people, how was your holiday?  Was it filled with knitting and nattering? Eating and socializing?  Or netflix and noshing?  My little family went to India for the trip of a lifetime.  I have been 8 times but this was the first time for my kids.  To see it through my childrens' eyes…words can't describe how it feels to hear your teenager say "I love India.  I feel so lucky.".

Great word, that.  "Lucky".  Its used more to describe one of those little one-off breaks in life:  $100 on a scratch ticket, being in the right place at the right time, but what about the on-going luck?  The luck that lets us connect with Bonita of Arviat, Mike of Cape Dorset, Rhoda of Igloolik, the Docs who go to Iqaluit, the kind and smart folks at First Air?  Have you ever noticed that some how, some way, the shippers, producers (you) and distributors (our communities) seem to line up at the right time?

That is the day in, day out luck: our northern serendipity.

So I ran around like an idiot today, packing and dropping off, after returning from a 3 day ringette tournament in Montreal.  We have 2 big boxes going up to Iqaluit tomorrow, via the docs.  I'm hoping to hear back from our nurse contact, Diane, about creating a joint project with the shelter in Iqaluit.  Fingers crossed.

Pat Ptasnik of Des Moines, Iowa (WULSPNR on Rav) sent in these great socks at hat.

Jeremy!!!  Have I mentioned how much we love Jeremy!  He  has  created our new logo and banner page which we will be launching shortly.  Jeremy, just wanted you to know that knitters are already sending in items with your tags (see below)  Yahoo!

Beautiful hats and a blanket by former teacher K Tobin of Kirkland QC (Baabaabayeux on Rav).  Thanks for being a part of this, Baabaa.

Its amazing.  You can always count on Karen to send in much needed stuff every shipment.  Karen, I met with Rhoda from Igloolik last week, who told me that the mittens are used as soft liners inside sealskin or fur mitts - I'm sure its the same deal in Iqaluit.  Thank you for that.

Karen was on a neck warmer kick.  Thank you - so great for the kids who have to go out ice-fishing.

Ear-protecting hats and tiny socks by Roblyn Rendall of Markham ON (rammy on Rav).

Wendy Lindquist of Jersey City, NJ sent us cute little baby booties and some hats.  Thank you!

Peggy Wallace of Oakville (Dr. Peg on Rav) is a mind-reader.  Those balaclavas are exactly what is required when the temperature drops below -30 degrees.  

And more from the prolific Dr Peg.  The mittens were made by her mom, Aileen.   Dr. Peg, please let your mom know that her stuff is going up to Iqaluit.

Jackie Lambert of West Rickland, WA is well-loved by us.  She always sends in super-warm items.  The socks above, and the mittens, hat and slippers below are all hers.

Sarah Ross, from Canmore AB - love the super-warm border around the hats!

This blanket and neck warmer are also from Sarah.

Jeremy, I wanted to give you a closeup photo of your beautiful tags in use by Wendy Piper of Gloucester, ON.  Wendy sent in a gaggle of hats (below), along with gorgeous neck warmers and a warm blanket.  Finally, the blue sweater is also from her.

And last but never least is our packing partner, Jeannine (DouceAubergine on Rav).  Jeannine is a trooper, both as a knitter and as a packer.  The blanket below is from her and it is cuddly - Douce, it will make some little boy or girl very happy for a long time.