Archive for the ‘Help for Haiti’ Category

Good things

February 15, 2010

I think I forgot to mention it here, which is sad, but I extended my Help for Haiti pledge through the 14th of February.  Today I totaled it up and donated my second amount to Save the Children.  It was $399.75, so I tossed in the extra twenty five cents to bring it up to a satisfyingly round $400.  This puts the total for Knitting Kninja donations at $1238.25.  Thank you so much for your purchases that made this possible!  I’d never have been able to donate so much on my own.

I was going to wait until I was further along to show you anything to do with this project, but this yarn is so gorgeous, I have to share right now.  This very minute.

    This is superwash Bluefaced Leister yarn, dyed by Karin, the genius behind Orangeflower.  I wrote her some months back to ask if she could make me a custom color for a design I’m working on, and we’ve been writing back and forth ever since, trying to get this just right.  And holy cats, she did it!  This is some of the most beautiful yarn I’ve ever seen.  Depending on the angle and the light, the color shifts, showing more red or blue.  The BFL is soft against the skin, but stronger than merino and with a sheen like silk.  I am dying to start knitting with this, but there are a few things I have to finish up first.  The first sample for this project is on the needles, though, and I hope I’ll be able to show you something nifty before too long.

    Valentine’s Day was yesterday, and we had a quiet day at home.  Two out of three kids have been very, very sick with matching lung infections, so the biggest relief is that everyone is very much on the mend.  It wasn’t the most exciting Valentine’s Day, as a result, but it was a really pleasant one.  I stopped by Joann’s Fabrics and got supplies to make little felt kitties with the kids.

    We used instructions from an old issue of Craft.  From left to right, you see Beatrice, Rondi, and the unnamed ninja cat, made by Eleanor, Liam, and Gabriel respectively.  (With the occasional assist from Mom.  Threading needles is hard for small fingers.)  The best part of all this is that the eldest and the youngest discovered that they really, really enjoy sewing.  Nora spent the rest of the day cutting out more felt and sewing a little bed for her cat, Beatrice.  (Beatrice is apparently the daughter of Fleesa, who was introduced in this blog on Eleanor’s last birthday.)

    Ravelympics coincided with the fact that I really need to get cracking on my sister’s birthday present, so that’s on the needles, flying along.  I’m going to go ahead and post a picture on the assumption that my sister isn’t going to read this blog before her birthday, and that you can’t really tell what the present is anyway unless you’re familiar with the pattern.  The yarn is Luscious Single Silk from Bluemoon, and I’ll want to do a post on the yarn later, because it’s been a very interesting knit.

    Erin’s birthday is on the 23rd, and I think I’ll be finished with plenty of time.  I have some other projects on the go, but they’re rather more secret than the birthday knit, I’m afraid!  You’ll hear about them soon enough.

    I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

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    What was raised

    February 1, 2010

    Thank you so much for your support during the month of January.  A lot of people chose to buy patterns now rather than wait, and as a result, this morning I was able to donate $838.25 to Save the Children.

    I know it’s better to donate directly, but the thing I think worked well about the Help for Haiti program is that it worked in small increments.  A pattern is only $3 to $10, usually, a smaller amount than many people feel comfortable donating, but when it’s part of a larger effort like this, your small amounts join up with other small amounts, adding up to a grand total far greater than one you yourself might have been able to give.  My $838.25 is a tiny part of the larger Ravelry-wide effort.  I know there are mixed feelings, but I’m glad of every chance to combine charity with typical capitalism.  I think giving can be quite daunting, even in just a mental sense, but when it’s combined with something we were going to purchase anyway, it’s a little easier.

    I waited until the end of the month to donate the lump sum.  My reasoning, perhaps faulty, was this: as the news cycle starts to move on, and Haiti stops being the lead story every day (on CNN as I type it’s a political story and a historical one) the donations will slow, but will still be needed.  I felt that by waiting, I could not only donate a larger amount, but it would be coming at a time when donations might be slowing.

    I appreciate the trust that’s been shown by Ravelers.  Those of us who pledged to donate did just that: pledge, and the trust had to be a two way street, because we’re the ones holding ourselves accountable.  I wanted to reward that trust by sharing my Paypal receipt, with phone numbers and address blurred.  (And the confirmation number, because I wasn’t sure if anything could be done with that.)  It’s not much, but I thought a little accountability wouldn’t hurt.

    Yes, my name is misspelled in Paypal.  My surname is Hanley Cardozo, but when I typed it in, I missed a letter and didn’t notice at the time.  Later, I tried to change it and was informed that it’s impossible.  I’m sure there’s got to be a way around that, but since it’s only one letter off, I kept it rather than start an entirely new account.  When I only used Paypal to pay for items I very occasionally bought on Ebay, it was no big deal, and a useful way of being able to tell when my package arrived (“Ah, my name is misspelled!  Must be those widgets I ordered!”) but now it’s become a little bit of an embarrassment.

    Thank you so much for your purchases.  I’m going to play around with the math this morning and see if it’s possible for me to extend my pledge into February.  The quake victims will still be needing help as time goes on.

    Items of note

    January 20, 2010

    * If you haven’t checked it out yet, do go look at Help for Haiti patterns on Ravelry.  This is a great time to buy patterns you’ve been wanting, when a percentage of sales will go to relief in Haiti.

    * One of my friends, Marzipan, started a blog recently, and it is hilarious.  It’s great slice of life stuff, and I’m already envying certain word choices.  Read, enjoy!

    * Apparently, WordPress is now publishing my emails when I respond to comments on this blog.  I need to figure out how to turn that off, as I sometimes dither on quite a lot.

    * There’s a really cool giant knitted rock on display at London’s Tate Gallery right now, by artist Andy Holden.  Apparently, when Holden was 12, he visited Egypt with his family and while there, he unthinkingly broke a chunk of rock off the side of the Great Pyramid in Giza.  Only when he was back home did he learn that what he’d done was against Egypt’s laws.  Andy later returned the rock to the place he found it but I think this piece really emphasizes the way guilt can make things loom large in our lives, and the knitting actually makes a very effective texture.

    * I’m getting close to finishing the second Arabella sample.  In the meantime, here’s a bit of a teaser: a photograph of the unblocked first sample, made from the lovely AVFKW Creating that I bought with this in mind.

    Help for Haiti

    January 20, 2010

    I’m going to be mentioning this regularly for a while now, but the Help for Haiti program on Ravelry is going really well.  Pattern sales on Help for Haiti projects have, on average, tripled, and with all the pledges, it looks like Ravelry users have already raised somewhere in the range of $15,000.  From my own standpoint, I can tell you that I was a little nervous when I pledged half my profits, because I use some of my pattern money to pay bills.  It’s not a large steady income, but it helps us get by.  However, because of the increase in sales, it looks as though I will have money for bills as well as a decent sized donation to make to Save the Children.  Thank you so much for your generosity!  Thus far Knitting Kninja has raised around $300 towards this donation.  And Ysolda alone has donated over $6000 to Medicins Sans Frontieres!  I think we all feel pretty helpless in the wake of a disaster as huge in scale as this earthquake, but these small increments can make a difference.

    Julie Frick of Fricknits spent time in Haiti eight years ago, and has begun posting pictures from her trip on her blog.  Head over, take a look, and read her post.  It’s worth your while.

    In 1997 after I graduated from high school, I set out for art school in Maryland.  I never finished, instead getting pregnant in my sophomore year and dropping out to produce a series of small humans.  My time at MICA, the Maryland Institute College of Art, is memorable, not least because it was such a small school.  I can’t say I knew all the other students on campus at the time, but we saw each other around and were at least peripherally aware of one another.  So it was with great sadness that I learned that one of the students I used to see around campus, Flo McGarrell, was killed in the Haiti quake.  I debated posting this.  I don’t think I ever spoke to Flo when I was at MICA.  We were not in the same year, and didn’t move in the same circles, and I don’t want to use his death to garner attention or sympathy for myself.  However, I do want to call attention to the work Flo was doing in Haiti when he died.  He was there as the director of a nonprofit art center, doing experiments with sustainability as sculpture.  As I say, I didn’t know Flo, but I remember seeing him around campus.  He was identifying as a woman then, often wore cowboy hats, and was part of a performance art group, Little Big Bang, that put on these amazing shows involving Flo’s huge inflatable sculptures.  Rest in peace, Flo.

    I had more I wanted to talk about today, but it seems wildly out of place with the more serious topics above, so I’ll save it for another day.  In the meantime, thank you for your donations, and for taking the time to read this.  I’ll give a grand total at month’s end, and if things are still moving along at this pace, I may extend the period in which Knitting Kninja patterns will be participating in Help for Haiti.