Thursday, October 22, 2015

Whale Cove and Cape Dorset

So when we got the email from our teacher friend in Whale Cove, I thought we'd just ship in January because we had nothing in stock.  But then I got a call from Yarn Forward and they had received bags of stuff!  When I told Carlene about it she emailed me back that she had also picked up some lovely things, so off we went - and before we knew it, nothing became something.  Not all the pictures are here because as you know, we don't always take pictures if we don't have a note or tag that tells us who made the items.  Bottom line: we wound up shipping 90 pounds to Whale Cove.

Here's the other news, I went to Larga Baffin to drop off some furs and fabric.  When I was there, I spoke to the lovely ladies at the front desk.  I also dropped off some bags of yarn and needles that some of you had provided - that's when they got excited.  Apparently there was a lady staying at Baffin Larga who is a serious knitter.  I met her - I won't give you her name for privacy reasons but she is an older lady (I wouldn't dare guess her age) and lovely.  We spoke through a translator and she got so excited when she saw the bags of yarn that she stood up from her walker, and walked to them and started poking around.  Apparently she was really looking for something to do to keep her occupied - what's that word when everything just comes together at the right time?  Not coincidence - something stronger and more divine, I believe.

Anyways, they have a little "crafts cabinet" at Larga Baffin, where people can sell their stuff - its very little.  Some times when I go there is nothing but this time, there were a few breath-taking things.  One of them was a teeny pair of mittens with eensy beads and detailed embroidery on it.  I had to buy it - apparently they are made for kids to use as a zipper pull on clothing (parkas I think they said, but I am no expert).

You know that feeling you get when you go to Nova Scotia and everybody's an artist?  Like its just so natural?  That's how I felt there.  Here's a picture with a dime for scale.  Adorbs.

Point being, we wound up shipping 90 pounds of your lovely hand-knits to Whale Cove.  As soon as I hear back, I will publish the note.  And don't worry, we'll do Whale Cove again in Jan, I think.

Something else of note:  I got an email from our contact in Cape Dorset, wondering if we could send up some of your woolies.  The community is working to get the kids out on the land and warm clothing is very helpful - I will post more on this as soon as I hear back from our lovely community contact.  It may only be January before we can ship, but those are my famous last words.  If enough stuff comes in next month (and I'm betting it will), we will do an intermediary shipment.

And don't forgot Kugluktuk!  They are also on our to do list for the fall/winter!  A very cool school with a very cool principal!

Busier than we thought - but isn't that always the way?

So here are some photos of some of the items that we shipped out recently - the cupboards are bare.  As Carlene always says - stuff comes in and stuff goes out - we're fast and friendly (ok that last part was me).

The word:  serendipity.

Chococupcake girl - we packed the boxes then I saw the tag on one of your hats - only one got photographed but you get creds for all of them - thank you!

Yarn Forward mystery donors - lovely - lots of details.

More Yarn Forward mystery stuff.

Susan Wood, when I got your blankets, and thought I'd reach out to Whale Cove because I wasn't sure if they could use them.  I got an "Please send these" email within the hour.  They are on a plane.

Carlene, who made these?  I see tags but I cannot remember the name.

And here is Carlene holding the bear that Susan Wood made - Susan it is beautiful.  I'm going to give it to Larga to provide to a child who had to come South for care - it will be loved here and taken back up North.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Yard Forward to Whale Cove

Mea culpa:  with all the craziness of photographing, packing and dropping off our six boxes to our lovely ENT physicians going up to Iqualuit in the past 2 months, I completely forgot to drop by Yarn Forward to see if anything was there.

So last weekend, I thought I'd give them a little visit and they brought out some bags from the back.  Then there were more.  It got so crazy that my entire trunk and back seat were full of bags, boxes and open items.  I thought that the items were maybe for some other project but the vast majority of them had our little WHN tags on them!

So I spent tonight photographing, bagging, vacuum-packing and boxing.  We're sending a massive box up to Whale Cove tomorrow, just because we can.  Our teacher in Whale Cove is going to be blown away - seriously thrilled.  As soon as she writes, I will post.

I need to apologize for the photo quality.  Looks like someone needs a new camera.  Or maybe photography lessons.  Or maybe a photographer.  So here we go:
these Lopi sweaters came in unlabelled but are much appreciated.  Imagine the look on the phase of the 12 year old who receives a sweater like this.

There was no name attached to these items, however our tags were attached.  Whoever you are, thank you!

Same goes for these - beautiful (please disregard my shoe in the corner - seriously, photography lessons).

The pink sweater and brown shawl came from A. Clark of Ottawa.  Thank you, A!

These adorable items came in the mail, from Marti Anderson of Rolla Missouri.  Thank you so much Marti (and I loved your cute note!).

These came from Nona Argue of Loew PQ.  Thanks, Nona!

Each one of these was labeled "Warm Wishes from a friend in Ottawa".  Yay, friend!

More lovely anonymous contributions.

This sweater and hats set came from Bloocanoe's mom.  Thanks, mom!

Pam Fedoruk contributed these six hats.  Pam they are perfect.  Thanks!

So this is a good story:  the next two photos of items contributed by the Italian Senior Group.  They are prolific!  Several items were knitted, some by knitters over the age of 80.  Love you, Senior's group and it was great speaking with your rep today!  BTW, the lovely Claire Gorman hooked them in - thanks for being a promoter extraordinaire, Claire.

Finally there were two huge bags of anonymous vests.  Love 'em and the kids of Whale Cove will love them too.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Whale Cove and Kugluktuk

Lots happening!

1.  Three vacuum packed boxes went up with the ENT doctors to Iqaluit this week-end.  Catriona and Carlene and I got together last Thursday for a pack-vac-athon.  Lots of chit-chat (loving the new spice of Catriona to the mix) and close inspection and admiration of your beautiful items before they are packed.

You know what?  We all read every single note that you send.  I know it sounds strange but they do mean so much to all of us.

2.  We got an email from a teacher from Whale Cove.   This is the description of Whale Cove from Wikipedia:

The community is named for the many beluga whales which congregate of the coast. Many of the inhabitants hunt these whales every fall and use their by-products for their oil and food. Whale Cove, initially settled by three distinct Inuit groups (one inland and two coastal), is a relatively traditional community: 99% Inuit, who still wear fur, hunt, fish, eat raw meat and fish. Whale Cove is on the polar bear migration route.
Local Inuit, regularly travel by snowmobile in the winter or by boat in summer months between the hamlet of Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove a distance of 100 km (62 mi). The terrain is arctic tundra, this consists mostly of rocks, mosses and lichens.

So….we're going to ship a box of mittens, hats and neck-warmers up there right away.  We'd like to ship there in January as well….
3.  ….And then there was the email we got from Kugluktuk school.  We are so thrilled to be partnering with them for our January shipment.  Here's an excerpt from the note we got:
Thank you kindly for thinking of our children.  Here in Canada's Arctic the children of the North cherish homemade clothing and crafts.  Traditionally clothing was made from animal skins and sewing is a highly respected skill.  Our children have created wall hangings, quilts and dolls with our Elders and they understand that when you make something from scratch you create it with love and care for those whom it is intended.  

Our temperatures average -30c to -45c in the winter and children walk to school and play outside in these freezing temperatures.  The clothing and materials sold in the community are very expensive so homemade hats, mitts, sweaters and socks are loved and worn with pride. Then they are passed down from brothers and sisters and shared with cousins. They cycle around to be worn until they cannot be repaired any longer. We have 220 children who are ages 5 to 12 and are often coming to school without sweaters and socks, which are hard to acquire.

Our children spend alot of time outside with their friends and families and they love to go fishing.  We have a fishing derby the first day of school each year and then again in May.  In the spring we fish through the ice and the children go on a school trip in traditional homemade sleds that bring them out onto the Arctic Ocean where they cut holes in the sea ice and fish for Arctic Char and White fish.  

Again,I would like to thank you for thinking of us and we send you the warmth of the Inuit Children which will melt your heart as they do mine.

Here is a picture of the school:

So with the amazing folks from Canadian North, we will put together a shipment for January.  Special requests are for the following items:

Socks! (very highly valued)

Let's do it.  

3.  And now, photo's from packing night - your stuff is now on a plane, where it will soon be worn and loved.

Janet Wright (Bus13Knitter from New Brunswick) made these hats.  You can also see some toothbrushes that were sent for the kids.  The slippers are from Janet's friend Ali.  Thanks Janet and Ali!

The hat and socks were made by Judy Wheeler of Dallas Texas.  Judy, so great about your daughter at Uni!  Thanks again.

Lynn Walma of Scarborough makes beautiful things.  I love that you used the Warm Hands tags, Lynn.  Your stuff is amazing and socks are soooo appreciated.  Thanks.

These blankets were sent to us through Unravelled in Pert from Joan Strack.  Thank you!

Jackie Lambert (JCL) of West Richland, WA - I think you make every shipment!    Somehow Trinny's paw snuck into this photo.  I think she wanted to try on the socks.

Vests Vests Vests from Mabel Horsburgh of Point Edward, ON.  Thank you Marvelous Mabel!

I think this is a photo when the camera went off by mistake.  Please disregard.

Rebecca (Carlene's friend) made the neck-warmer and the mittens and the baby slippers.  Neckwarmers are awesome, especially this design because it fits snugly under a parka.

Art photo, designed by Catriona and Carlene.  The subject is Kathy (Babayeux)'s beautiful shawl and shocks sent in from Kirkland QC.  Kathy, I think you've moved into Warm Hands veteran territory.

Mrs. Mary Ballantine - wow!  Mary sent in 40 pairs of socks from Elgin Ontario.  Mary, Carlene said you're her "new favourite person".  Yay socks!

Catriona said we should take a close-up of some of Mary's socks.  Cabled incredibleness.

Melanie Achen (mwachin on Rav) of Burnaby BC sent us this hat and 2 pairs of socks.  Love 'em.

Lois Manton,  I love the mittens.  We are sending a bunch of them up to Whale Cove.

Maureen Lefebvre of Kamloops BC sent us these hats.  Thanks Maureen!  They went up to Whale Cove as well.

Catriona and Carlene are holding up blankets made by Bonnie Belanger (Rav Panther) of Ottawa.  Bonnie is amazing - she comes through for every shipment.  Thanks again, Bonnie!

And of course, vests by Bonnie.

Christine, aka Craftyellam on Rav made these cute hats.

I think this is our first set of "trapper hats"  They are so cozy!  The vests, slippers and blankets were made by WentheKnitter of Ottawa.  Wendy, thanks so much for dropping off the stuff - it was great meeting with you - I ran out to ask you if you'd want to come for packing night but unfortunately I missed you.  If you're interested, next time!

Close-up of the trappers' hats.

This sweater was made by Louise Moore of the Ottawa Knitting Guild.

These two sweaters were an anonymous donation.  Whoever you are - thank you.

Pat, aka "Wulspnr" on Ravelry made these mitts, hats, socks and also sent us some beading and craft supplies, as well as shawls.  Thank you so much Pat, and the none you sent will help us pay for our Whale Cove shipment!

These silky soft fleece blankets came from Suzanne.  Thank you, Suzanne!

Wendy Genge of Smoky Lake, AB made these socks, hat and neck warmer sets, hats, and hat and mitt sets.  Thanks Wendy!

Jeanine, we missed you!  Jeanine aka DouceAubergine made this beautiful sweater, 9 pairs of socks (extra-thick), mitts and neck-warmers.  Jeanine, hope you had a great holiday and we will see you in January!

I have an apology to give:  Leslie Jenkins of Smoky Lake Alberta, I see from my notes that you sent in 3 baby blankets (pale green/yellow with able edging).   I think we missed taking a photo though.  Very very sorry - rest assured that the blankets are currently on a plane to Iqaluit.

And a special shout-out to Pam Fedoruk.  Thank you so much for dropping off your hats and I promise to get them to Whale Cove.  They will be loved!

Thank you so much to everyone for your contributions.  You're all just awesome.