Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sewing Kits and More

The holidays are almost upon us!  Carlene, Catriona (thank you to both of these fabulous women for taking time out of their busy schedules to dig me out of the piles of knitting and craft materials) and I got together for some packing last weekend.  I dropped off the first set of stuff to Larga Baffin today - I will arrange for another drop off this week.

Okay so we got a ton of sewing bags, needle cards, measuring tapes, scissors, needles, thread, elastic, trim, buttons, beads, knitting needles, yarn and the list goes on.  We created 35 full kits, and then created 3 big boxes full of supplies, neatly organized.  Thanks to all of you for sending in the your amazing crafting materials - the quality and quantity were stupendous.  The ladies at Larga Baffin will love it.  Two months ago, I went to a fabric flea market, that donated a carful of new fabric which we also provided to Larga Baffin - the sewing kits and accessories will be the perfect complement.

We put aside a few of the sewing bags and cards as we'd like to ship them up to Iqaluit this winter.  Carlene and the rest of the Executive Committee (okay, we're not really executives, we mostly eat pizza and pack boxes during our critical Executive Committee meetings, aka packing night) need to have a convo about "what next" for the crafting - I have got to say that I was pretty delighted by everything we received, and have a feeling that we're onto something good which we could maybe expand on in the North - we just need to figure out how to make it work.  And also how to not overwhelm the Warm Hands warehouse (aka my basement).

In other news:  I had lunch with the ED of the Y in Iqaluit and one of our lovely doctors the other day.  I sent up another box of your beautiful things, as well as some craft supplies (beads, thread, etc).  The craft stuff will go to their arts programs.  The warm woolies will go to the shelter.  So than you for that.   A couple of months ago, we sent up 3 boxes with the doctors and 2 of the boxes made their way to the Y - I got confirmation from the ED that all was well.  Just speaking with her about life in the North was inspiring and kind of emotional.  True story: I have never been further North than Thunder Bay myself, so when a doctor or the ED, or one of our contacts sends me an email about "life" really does something for me.

And finally, Jimmy Hikok school!!  Remember the crazy boxes that we packed up - it was our fall project?  I got a note from the principal - your stuff arrived!  She sends a big Quana to all of you.  The stuff will be distributed by the teachers.

Okay so what next:  How about 3 boxes to Iqaluit in Jan and a bunch of stuff to Cape Dorset in Feb?  We sent some handknits up this fall, but the schools there are not small (roughly 400 kids in school) so a few more boxes would be appreciated.  Our guy in Cape Dorset is going to get more info if he can about the schools, but please don't wait for sizing info - I'm sure if it meets the guidelines, it will find a home.  The blankets go to Larga Baffin as lap blankets, for the most part.  You know how much I love me some socks, so if any of you are feeling sockful (sockish?), you just send that bundle of joy our way - every pair will warm feet that need them.  Maybe we should have called ourselves the Warm Feet Network.

I have this funny colleague for whom English is not the first language, and he often says to me: "Anita you have a habit of handing people flowers, then hitting them over the head with the pot.".  Yeah I do.  So folks, I gave you the flowers, here is the pot:  we have limited shipping space, so on packing night we look very carefully at what we get, and make sure that it fits our guidelines.  Normally, we have about a 95% hit-rate.  This last month, we seem to have dropped off a bit.  I will summarize the guidelines below, and reiterate that if we receive items that don't meet the guidelines, we can't ship them.  We donate them locally.

Guidelines are detailed here but some reminders:

1. No scarves please.
2. Please ensure that what you ship is warm - you are knitting for -25 degree weather.  Washable wool is wonderful, but we also accept other materials - they should be thick and warm.
3. Baby clothing (hats etc) should be on the larger size.
4. Avoid light colours and pastels.
5. All items should be new/unworn.

One of our packers said it best: "Picture that you are knitting for someone you know and love, who lives in a very cold place."  Enough said.

So before we start, I need to apologize because normally I do a little magical editing on my computer but I seem to be having hardware problems, so the photos are in the raw:

So here is a part of the table as we begin the sorting and organizing exercise for all of the craft materials.  

Carlene and Catriona at the beginning of the organizing: can you see the boxes in the hall?

Phylis Bovin of Denver CO, thank you!

These needle books and the hat came from Robyn Kendall of Markham ON

Okay Ann Saint of Victoria Harbour, ON, you are incredible.  What you aren't seeing is the fact that this is a small sample of what Ann sent in (a photo of the box is below).  Ann your sweaters are just beautiful.  And each one is different.  Thank you!

Janet Wright of Fredricton, NB, you know we love you - you're a veteran - what can I say that I haven't already said?

And more from the lovely and talented Janet

Anne Goodwin of Russell, ON - thank you for the slippers

Three bags of knitting came in from Knox - thank you!

This collection came from the Purple Sock in Coldwater, ON.  Thanks!

So I may be a bit mixed up but I think these came in from Mandy McTaggart.  Thank you Mandy!

The Haileybury knitters provided the items.  Thank you!

Someone at Yarn Froward provided these pink and purple blankets.

More from the knitting group in Haileybury

So I think that these socks are from the wonderful Lynn of Toronto.  Lynn and I had breakfast last month - Lynn, as usual the attention to detail is so amazing.

This vest came from Louise Paillard Brown.  Thank you Louise!

Just a photo of a sample sewing bag (to give you an idea of what filled each bag).

A stack of bags

And once we bagged the stuff, we inserted it into the beautiful bags that everyone sent in (sample, above)

Yay Bloocanoe, aka Catriona!  The sweaters are gorgeous, as are the neck warmers.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Sewing Box is Filling Up

So I am behind on opening, tagging and uploading all of the amazing stuff you've been sending in, both knitted and sewn for our Larga crafting project.  I didn't take pictures of all of the sewing materials but let me give you a huge thank you!  We have received so many amazing things.  In fact, if we have more beads, thread, sewing wallets and bags than we need for Larga, I will ship them to the Iqaluit sewing project - I will be lunching with the head of the project tomorrow, and promise to share more info.

Also, I got a lovely email from our contact in Cape Dorset - he got the stuff.  Most of our shipment last month went to the Jimmy Hikok school, so I'm hoping we can provide a bigger shipment to Cape Dorset around the end of January - they have lots of kids there, with 2 schools - all of your beautiful things will get well-used.

Just a caveat before looking at the photos below: I still have some boxes left to open, but here we go with what I opened so far:

M Rosamond of Waterloo ON sent us these super warm hats.  Each one is different and lovely.

The two booties came in a box labelled Streetsville ON.  The purple blanket came from a mystery contributor.  

I love the ladies of Huntsville!  Karen McCaskill, Bernice Smith and Janet Smith made these amazing quilts.  They are beautiful - ladies, they will be so loved and appreciated!  The Ladies Who Quilt also sent us the beautiful sewing and knitting bags below.  The bags will be so appreciated at Larga Baffin!
Tracy in Burlington sent us these great hats and socks.  Tracy, are you on revelry?  Would love to give you credit!

This pretty blue sweater came from Goshen Indiana - there was no name attached.  Goshen, let me know who you are, because you're our first contribution from the land of the Indy500 and I want to give you cred.

Oma Wade (Olive) in Moncton NB - is this your first contribution?  I think it is, and you knocked it out of the park!  I didn't want to take everything out of the packaging - the blue sweater is beautiful though!

Sandra MacDonald of Stirling ON sent in these great patterned hats and socks.  Thank you!

Helga Koros of Germany sent in these great green booties.  Her blog is at

My girl Jeanine (DouceAubergine) dropped off these great sewing bags as well as the needle wallets above - they are perfect, Douce!

Lancie Chochinov of Ottawa dropped off these great mittens and hats

....And more from the Ladies who Quilt of Huntsville!  Karen, Janet and Bernice - these neck warmers are amazing!  And the socks and hats below - wow!

So these neck warmers came from Joanne Lacroix, aka Jody in Virginia, aka ravname Bettysgirl.  They are so cozy - I couldn't resist trying one on.

Lynn Walma has been with us for almost forever.  I have a real soft spot for her socks - each one is perfect.  Thank you for the sewing stuff as well, Lynn!

And these beautiful sewing bags came from B Stevens of Toronto ON (quilter28 on revelry).  Bev, thank you for the bags above, the booties below, and the other bags, also pictured!

And finally, these hats and mittens came simply addressed "For Northern Kids".  Whoever you are, thank you for thinking of Northern kids!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Packing Night #2

Packing night was as usual, a wonderful and chaotic hoot.  Thanks so much to Rita, Claire, Suzanne, Jeanine, Catriona and Carlene for everything you do to make this fun.  This time, I'm just going to add names - doesn't mean I love you any less - you are all the absolute best.  Roll tape:

Claire Sheen

No name but appreciated

Beautiful blankets, no name

Claudette - thank you - we know we can always count on you to deliver!

Our own sweet Suzanne Atkinson


…and more Claudette...

…and more Claudette!...

Jeanine (Douce Aubergine), great contribution!

Thank you Ottawa Knitting Guild

….And more Claudette...

…and even more Claudette...

blankets from Unravelled

Hats by Rebecca, and a Carlene neck warmer

many socks from Jeanine, along with a beautiful sweater.

Thank you very much to Peigi and Mary Ballantyne - these are 50 pairs of socks created by our incredible 83 year old contributor.  Mary, each pair was so special.  You did a phenomenal job!

Here is Claire stuffing a shrinky-dink bag.  Claire is the best boxer and shrinker you've ever met.  Every time I think "nope, not going to fit", she gets double the amount in.

The next few photos are pics of piles that are distributed throughout the house on packing night, as we sort like crazy

Jeanine attaching care tags to socks

These are from our Catriona.  We used to be able to say she was new to the packing team - not so much anymore.

Carol in Kanata - thank you!

Debbie in Cleveland, OH, the rest of your stuff is on the next post - welcome to the tribe.