Sunday, May 31, 2015


So I have been remiss.

Amidst shipping furs and boxes, negotiating with airlines and communities and getting through my work "busy season", the boxes have been piling up:

….and today, finally, I started opening them one by one, organizing and appreciating, photographing and tagging names I know and new names and feeling some profound gratitude.  Janet, Peggy, Karen, Bonnie, Wendy and all of the other veteran Warm Handers - it makes my day when the mailman drops off a box from you - its like catching up with old friends.  And for you newbies out there ( you know who you are): we love growing!

So our packing night is June 12th.  On that evening, Carlene, Jeanine, Claire, Suzanne, Amy, Julia and I will be opening, sorting, admiring, and boxing.  I've kept the notes that you've included with your boxes so that they can read them too - many an "awwww" moment.

I called this post "Together" because (1)  boxes came from so many different locations across this country:  Ontario, New Brunswick, Alberta, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and all items will wind up in either Resolute Bay or Iqaluit; and (2) there were many items or boxes contributed by more than one person - someone knit squares, and someone assembled, or in other cases, one of our veterans boxed and sent their items to us with another knitter in the community.  Together, we're better.  Here we go:

This blanket was made from squares (were they contributed by a variety of people, Sabrina?) came from Sabrina, alias Knitphomaniac in Mississauga Ontario.  Very pretty!

Panther (Bonnie Belanger) of Ottawa can be counted on to make a contribution every single time.  She partnered with some rav knitters this time.  The blanket on the left was assembled by Bonnie, with squares made by Aforcione.  The one on the right was assembled by Panther with squares made by Constamac.

Janet Wright of Fredricton NB (bus13knitter) really does it for me: she not only knits prolifically (see her medley of pink and blue socks, mittens, hats and neck-warmers) but is also a major contributor on our Rav page.  So nice!

These three pairs of socks came from Peggy Wallace (DoctorPeg) of Oakville ON.  Peggy, these socks put Smartwool to shame.  The ones in the middle are my favourite.

The neck-warmers were also contributed by DoctorPeg - each patterned a bit differently.

I took a photo of this one separately because the tag said "Blue-Faced Leicester".  Had to googlewiki search it:  "sheep with a Roman nose and dark blue skin", which led me down a 15 minute distractathon on "Roman noses".  The interweb has not been good for my attention span.

Nancy Murdoch of Lindsay Ontario made these two stripy blankets.  They are absolutely beautiful and I love the bright and dark contrast - we will make sure that they both go to the same community.

Wendy Genge you are lovely!  This is Wendy's second year with us and she made sets.  This photo is of a hat, mitten and neck warmer set but below you can see a few more of her "set" contributions. 

Wendy, have I mentioned how much we love hats and socks?

More sets!  Some school-age kids are going to be very happy.

Kathy Tobin (rav name Baabaabayeux) gave a talk to the Montreal Knitting Guild about Warm Hands.  As a result, a contributor made the socks for us.   "Together".  Kathy, we love that you shared the Warm Hands story with the Guild - you just never know where that will take us.  It all started with a bit of word of mouth, and a few years later, the North is 5000 pounds of warm clothing heavier.

These 20 tiny but thick slippers came from Janet Wright of NB again.

And this is what I mean by "Together": when I looked at the tags of the items in the photo above and below, there were other contributor names on them (Diane, Ali and Anne).  Janet fits Malcolm Gladwell's definition of "Maven" to a T.  Now I'm sending you on a wiki search distractathon.  See how I did that?

Okay the photos above and below were of a box that was sent in from Waterloo by another knitter, but the only tag on them was "Donated by a kind knitter from Cambridge ON": "Together".  I love the long mittens at the end - they are meant to go over coat sleeves.  Thank you, Jean! 

Mittens and socks made by Karen Zorn of Bradenbury SK.  We love Karen, partly because she's Karen, but partly because she knits extra thick.  Thank you!

And here are hats made by Karen, extra thick!

Twenty-five hats came in from Waterloo, ON.  Don't know who you are, Waterloo, but we know we love you.  Hats are a great calling card for us - a journalist who interviewed us for CBC North told us that her favourite Christmas present as a child was the hat she'd receive each year.

These three sweaters came in from Anne Saint of Victoria Harbour, ON.  My favourite one is the cable knit in the middle.  Completely cosy and warm.

And more from the wonderful Anne Saint.  The blanket below and the vest are hers as well.  Anne, we were told by a teacher how excited one of the kids in our partner communities was to get a vest/sweater in a previous shipment.  You can just see the smile on the face of an 8-year old as he/she receives your vest or sweaters. 

I got a bag of hats from Ailie Perry (aperry on Rav) of Burlington ON.  The balaclava, I had to try on my daughter.  Great for those ice-fishing days!  

Ailie also sent in the items below from her friend Tracy (rav name lingfing of Burlington).  

Thanks to everyone.  The Doctors have given their "yes" again to helping us with the shipment to the clinic in Iqaluit, and we've been talking to our lovely community partner in Resolute Bay.  If you've got any other items to drop off, be sure to get them in before the 12th so we can include them in the boxes. If not, never fear, September is around the corner, just in time for "back to school" hand-knits for the Northern kids.

From Jeanine, Amy, Carlene, Suzanne, Claire and me:  thank you!