Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hello all!
This is my first post as the new Executive Director of the Warm Hands Network. 😊 I'm so happy to be continuing the fine work that Anita and Amy began eleven years ago!

With the closing of Yarn Forward on Bank St. here in Ottawa, we have lost one of our main drop-off points. However, Wabi-Sabi continues to collect for us, and isn't too much further away for you in-town people. We received a huge donation of knitting and sewing supplies from Yarn Forward (thanks Jo-Ann!) which we will be delivering to Larga Baffin. For those unfamiliar with it, Larga Baffin is a local facility in which residents of Nunavut stay while in Ottawa for medical treatments.


Speaking of Larga, a couple of weeks ago I visited there with Anita to drop off several large bags of blankets, slippers, and yarn. We were able to see the joy on the clients' faces as they chose blankets for themselves and/or family members. A few years ago we decided to donate any blankets we receive to Larga, instead of sending them up North ourselves. This serves a few purposes: it saves precious packing space for warm garments for the children, it helps us have a personal connection with the North right here in Ottawa, and it gives a creative outlet to local individuals and groups who like to make blankets.

One of our northern connections is a professional who lives in Iqaluit who comes to Ottawa a couple of times a year. I gave her a large box of items which she will distribute to other communities. It's so great to have this chain of connection - dedicated knitters/crocheters, we packers, and then our community contacts.

Without further ado, here are some of the items we packed up last week at packing night. We basically took over the main level of my house, and my husband and son were sent off to watch a movie in the basement. 😉 Please note - we do our best, but not everything gets photographed. We often get bags of donations with no names attached, or names get misplaced, so our apologies if you don't see your items here. Please know that everything you drop off or send gets sent up North or to Larga Baffin.


From Wendy in Ottawa (wentheknitter)


                   From Nicole in Toronto (the baby socks will go to Larga Baffin)



  From Pam in Ottawa



                      From Nancy in Beaconsfield - so many colourful items!



    From Beverly in Toronto - a huge box of vests, hats, mittens and
some sewing supplies for Larga Baffin



From Rebecca in Ottawa - such a prolific mitten knitter!


        From Mary B. in Almonte (I wish you could see these socks in person!
All in sock-weight yarn, each pair unique - 50 pairs of them!)

 From Ella in Perth


                                    From the "Faithful Fingers" knitting group at St. Paul and St. John's Anglican Church in Haileybury Ontario - a big donation of sweaters, hats, blankets, vests


 From Sabrina (knitphomaniac) in Mississauga, along with more hats, slippers, mittens and socks


 From Catriona in Ottawa - these are so squishy and cosy!


 From Margaret in Ottawa 

More Margaret! This lady has been busy :)


Pat in Consecon sent a large donation of hats and neckwarmers.
These are a few of her cosy hats.


 From Jeannine (douceaubergine) a huge donation of mittens, socks, neckwarmers, and hats.
Jeannine has been a regular at our packing nights but is no longer able to attend.
We'll miss you!


 Friends and packers Claire and Carlene!


A big thank-you to all of you who continue to knit and contribute to the Warm Hands Network. There will always be children in Canada's North who need warm garments, and every bit helps!

If you can, please keep knitting through the summer months. We will be sending boxes up with the doctors (local pediatric ENTs) in early September and again in October. Another packing night will likely be held in late August in anticipation of sending the boxes up North. If you are mailing parcels, please remember to send your items to the new Warm Hand Network address.

I wish you all a wonderful summer!
- Suzanne (on behalf of the Warm Hands Network)








Friday, June 8, 2018

Introducing...Suzanne (and a new mailing address for your stuff)

So I have some amazing news - we have a new Executive Director:  the amazing Suzanne Atkinson!  I am so happy because Suzanne has been with us since the very beginning, at all of the packing nights, collecting from different knitters, visiting the yarn stores for pick-ups and moderating the revelry group.  I'm so excited that she has signed on for this job - yay, Suzanne!  As for me, I'll still be at packing night, and I will support S through the transition.  I might even (gulp) knit something for the project - socks, hat, neck-warmer, anybody's guess.

So we've got 3 boxes packed and ready to go (Jeanine, its about 120 pounds), up with our amazing doctors to Iqaluit.  We've hopefully got another box going up as well with another visitor from the North.  And finally, I'll be dropping all of the blankets and knitting supplies off at Larga as soon as possible.

All that to say the next posting you will see will be from the fabulous Suzanne.

More news:

Yarn Forward in Ottawa will be closing its doors this summer, so if you dropped off there, we're hoping that you can either drop off or mail to the NEW Warm Hands addy:

Warm Hands Network
1674 Trenholm Lane
Orleans, ON
K4A 4B4



Who is holding up that sweater made by Anna Bing.  Could it be....Suzanne?

Kathy from Orleans made this beautiful blanket.  Just took a close-up because I love the yarn.

Cozy thrum mittens from Kathy or Claire

Suzanne made these great looking mittens.

How pretty is this hat by Claire?

Auriol of Welland made these neck warmers.


Jackie Lambert, is that you?

Alexandria knitters, thank you so much!

Andrea in Ottawa made these beautiful blankets!

Blucanoe, is that you?

We love us some Huntsville ladies.  The quilts that they make are solid gold, and they decided to adventure into hats which are beautiful.  Thanks, ladies!


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Its Been a Long Time

Okay, I have been remiss - I feel like I say that a lot, though, so not sure how long I can continue to use it.  And while I've been remiss, your boxes have been getting shipped.  Last month, we shipped 50 pounds, and this week, about 90 pounds went up to Iqaluit (yay!) - every time we get an opportunity (i.e. a kindly sherpa who carries yours stuff to a community contact in the North), I jump at it.  We have been using a contact in Iqaluit for the past couple of years - she's an amazing person within the research community and has lived in Iqaluit for many years.  She takes the boxes, then makes them into smaller packages and sends them up with travellers to some of the more distant communities.  This year, she tells me, she sent your stuff to Rankin Inlet, Baker Lake, Arviat, Chesterfield Inlet, Whale Cove, Cape Dorset, Pang, Titujarkiak, Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet and Cambridge Bay.   The items are sent up with teachers, government administrators, government employees, other researchers, etc.  They go to school social workers, court parties, schools or health centres.  In other words, from your warm hands, to her warm hands, to the warm hands of distributors and finally to warm the hands of kids...the loveliness of the network.

Thanks very much to the Haileybury Knitters (several boxes came my way!) and also to the amazing Anne Marie Aquino (the yarn will be put to good use!).  Also special shoutout to Frances Campbell (you know why...much appreciated).  The next boxes will be going to the doctors in June.  Roll tape:

Viviane Shishakly of Saint-Lazare, QC (rav: muffy)

Sarah Ross, Camrose AB

Wendy Genge, Smoky Lake, AB

Margaret Wallace, Midland ON

Anne Alexander, NC

Koko of Markham, ON

Lisa Marie Starr, Vancouver BC

Anne Saint, Victoria BC

Waterloo ON

Olive Wade, Moncton, NB

Julie Brown, New Liseard ON

Janine McQueen, Fisherton ON

E German "Kahme" London ON

Lisa Marie Sterr, Vancouver BC

F Campbell, Toronto ON

The amazingly patient Karen Zorn - thank you!

Dawn Urquhart, Pickering ON

the 4H Club - great job, Clare, Stephanie, Glenda, Lillian, Janine, Grace, Aurora

Kathy Carty of Ottawa

Carolyn Duke of Ottawa

Janet Fougere

Barbara Dreher of Osaka Japan

Add caption

Jill Queen of Flesherton ON

B Stevens, Toronto, ON

Wenthe Knitter of Ottawa


the lovely Anna Bing


Anne Marie Aquino - thank you!

Jonas of Fairmont BC