Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Worldwide Knit in Public Day DC Style

I received an email this morning with this information attached for Worldwide Knit in Public Day. I always giggle when I think about an event centered around knitting in public, when it's something that I do almost every day. As one fabulous fellow knitter once quipped, "If you have seen me, you have seen me knitting." I may swing by this event 'cause it sounds like fun. Hope to see you there!

World Wide Knit in Public Day
June 11, 2011

Join us as we knit with hundreds of other knitters around the world on the same day!
Where: Marketplace at Woodridge

A Year Round Farmers, Artists and Quality Craft Market
1915 Rhode Island Avenue, NE Washington, DC
When:  10am to 1pm
Bring:  A chair, drinking water and your knitting
World Wide Knit in Public Day was created in 2005 - and is the world largest knitter event.

To find out more about WWKiP Day – please visit http://www.wwkipday.com.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Crochet For Knitters Class To Benefit Disaster Relief

To help support the disaster-relief aide so desperately needed in Japan, and other parts of the world, Aylin Bener and Claire Wudowsky will teach a Crochet For Knitters class on Sunday, April 17 from 1 pm to 4 pm at Aylin’s Woolgatherer (directions can be found at the end of this note) 100% of the proceeds from this class will go to Doctors Without Borders.

Do you have a fear of knitting patterns that include a few crochet stitches? If so, this class is for you. In this class you will learn basic crochet stitches and edgings, and how to use crochet to embellish necklines, button bands, and edges of garments. Once you try it, you’ll never be afraid of crocheting again. The cost of this class is $50.00/student.

If you cannot attend on that date and you would like to donate to this amazing organization; you are welcome to send a check to the shop and we’ll provide you with a copy of the handouts from this class.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) http://http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org
From the MSF website:
“MSF has sent medical teams to support the government-led earthquake and tsunami response in Japan. Our teams are running mobile clinics and conducting needs assessments, which will determine the full scope of MSF’s response.
At this point, MSF USA is drawing on unrestricted donations given to MSF to fund our efforts, and MSF USA is not accepting donations specifically earmarked for recovery efforts in Japan.”
Therefore, the proceeds from this class will go to the MSF general fund.

Aylin’s Woolgatherer http://www.aylins-wool.com
Aylin’s Woolgatherer
7245 Arlington Blvd., Suite 318
Falls Church, VA 22042

Directions from Washington, DC:
Take Rt. 50 into Northern Virginia approximately 8 miles to Graham Rd.(Next stop light after Annandale Rd.) Turn left and make the next right into Loehman’s Plaza shopping center. Go to the 3rd floor of “7-11 building” in the middle of the center.

Directions from the Capitol Beltway (I-495):
Go to Northern Virginia. Exit onto Rt. 50 East. Proceed just under a mile to Graham Rd. (4th traffic light after the Beltway) and turn right. Make the first right turn into Loehman’s Plaza shopping center. Go to the 3rd floor of “7-11 building” in the middle of the center.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

More Tiny Baby Caps, Please?

I received an email in December from Save the Children requesting my participation in their 'Caps for Good' program, which is just like their previous 'Caps to the Capitol' program where they were requesting the donation of very small hand knit and crochet caps to be sent to developing nations where newborns die simply because they are too small to maintain their own body heat. At any age, our bodies vent heat off of the tops of our heads. Putting one of these caps on a newborn's head helps their little body retain that precious body heat so that they can stay alive.

I have been thrilled to knit up these little life-saving caps to send off to save babies. They are a breeze to whip up--I can finish one hat while watching a movie, bind off and start another before the movie ends--and they are just incredibly adorable. And I have to admit, as a mother, it pulls on my maternal instincts. If there is something that I can do to help other mothers around the world keep their babies alive, healthy and warm I want to do it.

So, I am putting the word out once again here on my blog and in the Knitters and Crocheters Care group on Ravelry, and also for my local DC knitting peeps I will be putting together a charity event in order to spread the word and get more baby caps made.

The caps, along with any monetary donation you'd like to make, get sent to Save the Children. You can download the free baby cap pattern to knit or crochet at the CYC Warm Up America website.

Now that you are all done with Christmas knitting, you can get those needles all warmed up again and crank out a few tiny caps and save a few babies. It's fun and it really feels good.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sit and Knit & Crochet at the Prayer Shawl Ministry at Washington Hospital Center Cancer Center

I have been knitting up a blue streak this summer as quiet as it's been kept. My freelance writing practice has really taken off, so I've been doing a lot of writing for clients and not enough for my own blogs.

But one thing that helps to keep me sane and centered is knitting prayer shawls for the Cancer Center at the Washington Hospital Center. We gather on the fourth Monday of each month and knit (actually, there are more crocheters than knitters in our group) prayer shawls to give to the women and men who are cancer patients at the hospital. I think it's been almost a year since I joined this group, and it has been a wonderfully rewarding experience for me.

Each month I knit a shawl to be donated to one of the cancer patients. We don't really get a chance to meet these people, so we are knitting anonymous gifts to bless people we don't know and most likely will never meet. As we knit or crochet the shawls we hold the recipient in prayer, and so the making of the shawl becomes not unlike a devotional in and of itself. As I knit each stitch I might silently repeat a mantra or whisper a prayer or just focus on feeling good so that the resulting shawl will be imbued with positive, healing, uplifting energy.

At each meeting as the shawls are given, they are blessed with a special prayer. I really enjoy going to the meetings because I enjoy the fellowship with the other women and because it is a time in my life where I set aside all of my other obligations and focus on this simple offering.

We work with yarn that gets donated by lots of generous crafts women, and for the most part we get acrylic and other man-made fiber yarns to create our shawls with. Being the unabashed yarn snob that I am, it has been challenging for me to work with these yarns. Well, a few months back we got a generous donation of some really nice, natural fiber yarns. I found a big bag of Rowan DK weight yarn in a soft, olive green. I grabbed it up and knit the Woodland Shawl http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/woodland-shawl on size 9US needles, and then instead of putting a fringe on it, I added single leaves coming out of an I-cord, as found in Nicky Epstein's, Knitting on the Edge: Ribs*Ruffles*Lace*Fringes*Flora*Points & Picots

Chris Vinh, the group's organizer, snapped this photo at the meeting:

With the leftover yarn I knit up a Damson shawl, which, when knit with fingering weight yarn works up to be a shoulderette shawl, came out to be a full sized shawl because I used the DK weight and size 9US needles. I think it looked spectacular, but it did not get as big a reaction as the Woodland Shawl. That shawl came out quite nice.

So, if you are a DC Metro area knitter and you are free on the fourth Monday of the month from noon-2pm, come join us at the Prayer Shawl Ministry. I get far more than I give from attending this ministry.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I'll Be Speed Stitching for Charity on Sunday!

They are holding a 'Speed Knitting for Charity' event at Fibre Space in Alexandria, which is turning out to be my new fave LYS. I plan to be there on Sunday to participate, so I'm encouraging/laying down the gauntlet for all of my local D.C. knitting peeps to come on over to Fiber Space and whip up a hat for charity and a bit of good, clean fun.

The money for the entry fee will go to support Michelle, who is raising money to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. If you can't make it, but still want to make a hat to donate to the Washington Hospital Center Cancer Institute, visit the Fibre Space website to get all of the details.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Homespun Yarn Party in Savage Mill--A New Local Fiber Tradition

Yesterday I attended the Homespun Yarn Party, which took place at the historic Savage Mill in Savage, Maryland. It was about a 40 minute drive for me from D.C., but it was well worth the schlep.

This mini-fiber festival took place in a Civil War era textile mill, which has been converted to a marketplace with a bunch of adorable little shops.

The yarn party was held in the great room, which was packed to the gills with yarn, fiber and happy shoppers. It was about 72 degrees outside, and the room seemed to be about 80.

I stood in line for about 15 minutes before I was able to get into the space. I ran into several of my knit blogging buddies including CiCi from http://sistahsthatknit.blogspot.com/, and lots of other Ravelery peeps as well.

I didn't really buy anything as I saving my cash for my annual pilgrimage to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival that takes place on the first weekend in May (my birthday is May 3, so I like to pretend it's all for my Bday ;-) ) at the Howard County Fairgrounds.

My friend Claire was there with Knitters and Crocheters Care, a non-profit group that acts as a clearinghouse for collecting charity knitting and crochet items and distributing them to local charities, and they also collect donated yarn and disperse it to knitters and crocheters in the area who create the items that get donated.

But if you live in the area and you love yarn, knitting, spinning, or weaving there was lots of fun to be had by all. I ran into an acquaintance that I've not seen for years. She and a friend will be hosting the fabulous Shirley Paden for a special class in June. I will post more details on this as they become available. I just love Shirly Paden's designs because I love cables. I became a fan way back in the 90's when she designed one of the squares for the Great American Afghan that Interweave published a few squares at a time in their magazine.

So, now I'm adding the Homespun Yarn Party to my list of local fibery traditions. It's a wonderful warm-up for the MDS&W, and a great opportunity to meet up with folks that I usually only interact with online.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March is National Craft Month: What Are You Making or Doing to Celebrate?

OK, so I'm aware that this is a knitting blog, but since I'm the boss if it, I get to decide what gets covered. I'm a hard-core crafter, and March is National Craft Month, so I'll be highlighting some of the crafts that I find enjoyable in addition to knitting.

Here's a fun video with some crafty ideas to inspire you:

I love doing crafts because it's something that my mom used to do with my siblings and me when we were growing up. My mom is also a knitter, but she also did crochet, macrame, she made hand-crafted books, did Calligraphy and drawing. We learned how to hand-carved rubber stamps, we did sewing, dollmaking, quilting and collage.

Being crafty and creative is a wonderful way to express yourself, it's just a ton of fun and a good way for parents and kids to spend, wait for it. . . quality time with their children. My kids love to use their crafty skills to make gifts for family members, and oy you should see my refrigerator and my office. That's our de facto 'gallery' where my girls hang their art pieces.

So, stick around and you'll get exposed to a few cool crafty ideas and projects.