Friday, February 5, 2016

the new campaign is on

OK, everybody, look at this!

We are back in action!! No firm deadline yet, but there is time to knit a LOT of things. Baby hats and socks are always fun, and I like to make sure the bigger kids are not forgotten. For those of you who wonder why nothing for kids between newborn and 7? It's just a function of what agencies are able and willing to take things. As always, you do the most good by sending what's asked for. For one thing, it's polite, and for another, only those things on the list will actually be sent.

Over the next few days I'll post links to some patterns I've tested recently, but feel free to use your tried and true old favorites, as always.

We want to make a LOT of things for this campaign, so get those needles (and hooks) smoking!

Friday, November 20, 2015

A new campaign

Ann Rubin announced yesterday that there will finally be a new campaign! Probably early in 2016, but details are still being hammered out. I will let you know once guidelines for this one are finalized. It's been a long time -- it'll feel good to get some warmth into that troubled part of the world.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy 2015, everybody! Here in southeastern Pennsylvania, I am at the southernmost reach of a snowstorm that is just getting started and is predicted to be an amazing blizzard from here on up through New England. So I am thinking of mittens and hats and warm wool socks, and that makes me think of afghans for Afghans. I wanted to stop in and say hello.

When the last campaign ended in the fall, I had several things in progress that missed the deadline. Then there was an onslaught of birthdays, not to mention Christmas, and they all got tucked away. Now it's time to pull them out and finish them up. As you know, though, there's no ongoing campaign, and Ann is not currently collecting things to have "just in case." So my plan is to finish these things and put them in a box, hoping they'll match the next campaign. If they do not, I will send them somewhere in the U.S. and cast on new things for A4A.

Currently in the rotation: one pair of socks, with 1.5 socks completed; mittens with a cable down the back -- one almost done; and another pair of plain mittens in green, with one hand almost finished. I will post pictures as they join the "ready and waiting" pile.

What's everybody else working on?

I know sometimes it's frustrating that we have to wait to know about the next campaign, but it's important to make sure shipping is available and reliable, and it's equally important to send what is needed. Ann will let us know as soon as something becomes possible.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Domestic Road Trip Report

What comes in to the AFSC Basement ...

What goes out of the AFSC Basement ... here, Terrie and Tom on 9th Street, making sure our message is clear:

We crossed the Bay Bridge and headed east to Budd's staging area. Budd, the founder of Trust in Education, is on the left. Our cartons have the blue and blue/yellow (Go, Cal!) tape on the upper edges. This is for easy identification in transit and distribution. The blue/yellow combo is on the boxes of baby hats and socks for the maternity hospital.

Thankfully, Tom carried the boxes and drove the U-Haul truck for us. I don't know how anyone can safely drive a truck in a crowded city with bike riders, wandering people, and street construction around every corner. Tom was our man. And, if that isn't enough, you should know that when Tom was a kid, he taught himself to knit from an encyclopedia. Tom TRULY APPRECIATED all the cargo he was hauling -- he knows that our wonderful volunteer knitters and crocheters put in a priceless amount of labor, creativity, and caring into our wool gifts for the Afghans.

Driving back to U-Haul, we hit heavy traffic on the Bay Bridge, which turned out to be our reward ... enjoyed the finale of an orange sunset behind the silhouette of the city and even the GG Bridge on a rare clear evening.

Does anyone remember what chapter we're on?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

From Down in the AFSC Basement to
Over the Moon

Sue squeezes the last box shut with all her might and a huge smile ...
We never tired of seeing such adorable baby socks in a rainbow of colors for the new babies at the maternity hospital in Kabul ...
The cartons are all packed and inventoried. Took a stroll by the AFSC conference room on the way out and admired how our artful banner hangs on the wall after all these years ... some of you may remember seeing the banner at Stitches West or other events in the past ...
And, then the moon rises over San Francisco. The Afghans enjoyed this same moon about 11 or so hours ago, assuming their sky was clear. Hope you saw the moon wherever you were tonight.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Just finished 4 more little wool hats to get in the mail tomorrow. Pink with purple stripes,  two tone purple, red and rust tweeds.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

September 8

That's the just-announced due date for school kids' socks, mittens, and hats. If you can make just one more . . . 

A4A hopes to continue collecting through the end of the year, but sending things by September 8 means they'll get to Afghan kids in time for this winter. 

Cast on!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Take a look at Diane's happy hats ... for Afghan babies and children.

Diane is one of our longtime, devoted "local volunteers" who helps behind the scenes to keep afghans for Afghans going. Diane use to live on the Peninsula, south of SF. Then moved to Gold Country. Diane helps respond to incoming emails. She is golden to me and a4A.

I loved this photo of her hats on the striped background and asked permission to post here --
Now I am prompted to flip through our scrapbook of memories here ...
Diane packing with us back in 2010.
Diane's version of our Fulled Afghan Carpet Bag pattern.
Diane has a special talent for mixing up colors and using up small oddballs to great effect.

Thank you, Diane, for all that you do! We miss you here, but glad and grateful that you make time to help behind the scenes from your undisclosed location in the Sierra Foothills. Have you cleared out the town of all wool oddballs, yet? Oddballs can stay to keep life interesting, but wool oddballs must be put to good use with knitting needles.

Have a good weekend, everyone,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why I love taking taxis ...

Last Saturday, I called for a ride to SFO. The taxi arrived a little late. How aggravating! The delay was because SF was invaded by the Outside Lands concert in Golden Gate Park. Always something, especially in the summer. Still, airport rides usually get pushed to the top.

I am talking with the driver and trying to relax and not worry about the time. We're bemoaning the city's growth as we cross town. He tells me he grew up in the East Bay. This is his first month on the job. I want to guess his homeland, always my favorite taxi game. "John" Rahimi says he's from Mazar-i-Sharif. I would not have guessed that! He's been called John ever since school when the name was easier for classmates. I told him that I ate in the Helmand Restaurant last week and had my favorite Aushak dish. We're on the subject of food. I bring up Bolani. Guess what? The East West company was founded by his sister. Remember when I posted about Bolani here? Small world! I told him about a4A and handed him my card. I told him about my 1999 visit to the NW Frontier Province when Afghan refugees were pouring over the Khyber Pass. I floated the idea that getting a trademark on bolani is like trademarking tamales. He laughed. We could have gabbed together for hours if I didn't have a plane to catch.

Nice man. I will call Zalmi whenever I need a ride to the airport. That was the right cab for me, wasn't it.

I love taking taxis because you meet drivers originating from all over the world (and/or drivers with colorful stories about SF when you could make a living doing the job). Pink furry mustache, not for me.

PS: If you are ever in SF and need a taxi to or from the airport, email me for John's phone number.

Friday, August 8, 2014

It rained (wool) at the AFSC Basement in San Francisco.

Monday's super-strong gang included (left to right) Kirstin (Happy Birthday!), Charlene, Bette and Giovanna. Carol R had to catch the street car to the ferry, so escaped before we took the photo. Bette and Giovanna visited us as emissaries from the Fiberfrolics knitting group in Benecia, above San Francisco. Our longtime supporter and friend, Carol M, involved the Fiberfrolics many years ago, and they have knit hundreds of sweaters and hats and other garments for a4A. Giovanna owns the yarn shop, of the same name, that orchestrates charity knitting and includes us because they love to use wool. Glad the ladies could drive down to deliver their pile of colorful hats and spend the afternoon with us. We needed their muscle. A huge pile of boxes and envelopes were waiting for us. We worked non-stop to open as many as possible .
On Tuesday, Candace, Elizabeth, Marina, Rachel, Susan, and Anne finished opening almost all the mail and reviewing the baby socks. That more than filled our afternoon, and we even started to fill the cartons that will be sent to Afghanistan. I have no idea how most of the afternoon's stars managed to escape the camera, but they did. (You could probably search this blog to find photos of the long-timers.)

Susan visited us all the way from Bezerkeley. Let me tell you, meeting her and hearing about her work was very meaningful and not bezerk in the least. Susan coaches Afghan-American immigrants in English as part of the social service programs of Jewish Family and Children Services East Bay. While the women visit and support each other, Susan has them knitting for Afghanistan. Susan brought over their beautifully well-made hats to add to our cartons heading to their homeland. Susan's on the right (Anne is on the left):
Anne was a special visitor from Wellesley, MA. In town for work, she managed to schedule us in before flying home -- and we had a super visit. Anne G is connected to a group that reached out to the people of Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11. Anne's neighbor lost her husband on the United Airlines plane.

Can you believe that Anne brought us a box of chocolates not available, everywhere, thanks to globalization? Check out this exotic box from New England nestled in with the fabulous wool baby socks:

Golden foil for precious wool baby hats --
The Baby Shower ended on July 31. Knitters and crocheters across the US and Canada, plus some Royal Mail, a package from Switzerland, and Japan, too, plus maybe a couple other far-away lands responded enthusiastically to the invitation to create wool socks and hats for babies at the Malalai Maternity Hospital in Kabul.We don't know yet how many heads and footsies are going to be warmer and happier because of our generous volunteers, but the number will have 4 digits.

Here's the first of the cartons to be packed up ... 500 pairs ... 1,000 Afghan feet ... 5,000 Afghan toes!
Thank you, Knitters and Crocheters, for Afghanistan! XOXOXOXO

Thank you, Stephen McNeil, Director of Peace Building at AFSC, and the front office staff at AFSC.

Group hug, everyone, and enjoy the weekend.

Wish we could make it rain rain in California, too, but our powers are limited.

Friday, August 1, 2014

There is still time to knit for the bigger kids

Hats, mittens, and socks for kids ages 7 through 16 will continue to be collected until at least the end of the summer. (I was confused.) This is great!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

deadline for the older kids?

Now that we are done making baby things, I put all my little bits back in my stash and discovered that I had knitted enough to empty one shopping bag of sock yarn as well as quite a bit of worsted and sport.  So, does that justify buying more yarn? :-)  By the way, what is the deadline for the hats, mitts, and socks for the older kids?