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.

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