One week ago, Hurricane Sandy was on the way, and never in a million years would we have imagined how hard it was going to hit. I do not live on the coast -- in fact, I am about 70 miles inland, here in southeastern PA. At our house, we did not even lose power, although many people not far from me are still without electricity, several days after the storm. Even those of us who live up here, though, have connections to the shore communities, and looking at those pictures - of places you know - is a totally disorienting and heartbreaking experience. My grandmother built a very small house on one of the NJ barrier islands back in the 1930s, before anyone else was there. It's one of the worst-hit areas, in north central NJ. We had resigned ourselves to finding nothing but a pile of sticks, if that, but we have found out that that house is still standing. The front porch is gone, and the house that was one row in front of us (beachfront) is gone. There is no sign there was ever a house there. It is all very strange. Many people have lost everything they had, and I cannot imagine.
While I was sitting inside on Monday, waiting for trees to fall down and the power to go out, I started the next pair of worsted weight socks for A4A. (It will be interesting to see if the second one comes out the same size; I was a little bit tense.) And I started thinking about the kid who's going to wear it. We were attacked here by a storm -- a force of nature that just is, with no personal animosity, or any animosity at all. There is no malignant component, no looking it in the eye and trying to make human contact. The people in Afghanistan who will wear our gifts are in need because of human malice, intent to harm, vicious acts, horrible things. . . it made me want to knit up everything I could find.
I have a friend who has a yarn shop, and she gave me a few bags of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine to share. This yarn is 50% wool, 20% alpaca, and 30% nylon. Each 100-g skein is 400 meters (433 yards). You'll want to use it as a carry-along with worsted, or held double or even triple to make mittens and hats. And it should work for socks, too, with that amount of nylon and wool (alpaca alone is not good for socks, but with those additions it will be wonderfully warm). I have bundled up several packages of 4 skeins to send to anyone who asks. For this give-away only, I am limiting it to the U.S., because things must be in by the end of this month. Note: I know you probably won't knit up all 1600 meters by the end of the month -- that is OK! But I am hoping this will inspire you to do one thing right away.
If you would like to receive some of this yarn, send me your name and mailing address (I cannot mail packages to email addresses!) at firstname.lastname@example.org (please include that y in the the middle of the address) and I will get it right out to you. I do ask that you post here or email me a photo to show my friend what her yarn turned into.
I have mittens and socks on needles now, and expect to finish those two things in time to mail by Thanksgiving.
I hope all of you who were in Hurricane Sandy's path are safe and warm tonight.