Sunday, August 30, 2009

8 x 8 squares

Hi friends,

My knitting time for this campaign is limited, so I'm just making some squares to send to a ravelry A4A contact. I've gotten some lovely green yarn for these. I did one up in moss stitch, and am working on a diagonal garter stitch. I'd love some suggestions: What stitches do folks like for squares, for them to be reversible?

Friday, August 28, 2009

For some else's grand child

Hi everyone, I'm from North Carolina and have been with a4A for almost two years, since discovering charity knitting online during recovery from knee replacement surgery. The image of warmng little ones drew me in. Two sweaters, three baby blankets, two pair of mittens and seven pairs of socks later, I continue to create wooly items. Someone recently asked me if the blanket I was working on was for my grand child. "No," I replied, "for some Afghani's grand child."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jump In and Tell Us Who You Are!

We've got several news posters subscribed to the KAL/CAL this week. Welcome!

How about introducing yourself?

Tell us where you're from or what got you started with a4A or point us to your blog or FO album or just something you want us to know about you that will make you memorable (notorious?) behind the typed words on this screen. Or, in response to Elizabeth, post a hello and point us to a favorite baby blanket pattern link that would be suitable and fun for this campaign.

Afghans are observing their holy days of Ramadan now. I am linking to Humaira's story and recipe for Halwa , a favorite dish during the observance. (Afghan-American Humaira is a friend of ours in San Francisco.)

-- Ann,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Yarn Sale

I just got the Herrschners catalog and saw some sale yarn. When I went online, it was priced even better! $2.99/skein for their own brand worsted wool yarn, 215 yard ball. Hope me 'plugging' the sale doesn't send any red flags on my post, (sorry Ann), but I couldn't help passing this along.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Basket Weave Blanket

I was sure that by now I would be posting a photo of a completed baby blanket but as you can see I am not quite there! Slow knitting and several rows that had to be frogged as I was unaware that I had missed a row so my pattern was reversed from right side to wrong side. I am perserving and hope to post a photo of the completed blanket soon!


Blue mohair blanket, chapter one

This is my first time trying out our new KAL home on the internet. Good to see us all posting again! I imagine we will all get much chattier once the weather cools off and we become more aware of the clock ticking away.

I took advantage of the Berkeley a4A monthly knitting group meeting last week to start on my current blanket for this drive. I am combining two big interests here: stash-busting and steeking. The stash-busting part means that I am knitting a double-stranded blanket, combining one strand of variegated blue mohair with one of solid blue fingering-weight wool. The result is really warm, lightweight yet noticeably softer than if I had used just mohair.

Steeking is a new favorite technique of mine. I first got brave enough to try it during our rectangular shawl campaign of 2008, when I thought of knitting a striped shawl in the round. That was absolutely addictive, and I couldn't wait to try this technique again for a blanket. Here is what I have so far:

The first rounds were knitted in seed stitch, then I switched to stockinette. Knitting in the round means the blanket grows very fast. Every three rounds or so, I change colorways for the fingering weight yarns, say, from a light blue to a darker blue or periwinkle. The blue mohair is the constant yarn here. Once I reach 40", I will knit another border in seed stitch, then cut that huge cylinder and figure out a nice, flat finish for the two long edges. I'll post final photos here and probably some updates on my blog here .

I have already started brainstorming on the next blanket after this one. Mosaic knitting beckons...

Monday, August 24, 2009

How to post comments?

Hi all--I am having no problems posting, as you can see, but I am unable to post a comment. Why is that? Is there some step I am leaving out--besides the obvious? Thanks . . . .

Sunday, August 23, 2009

2 Blankets

The green blanket is baby sized for the current campaign. The other is an acrylic blanket made for my niece's wedding gift. I'm currently working on a corner to corner knit baby blanket to use up a windfall of odd wool someone gave me. I didn't quite follow the instructions, as I wanted to make it bigger than the directions called for. I thought it would be easy to adjust, but now I'm a little confused. Any helpful hints? Thanks!

Becky has a question...

and since it's tucked waaaaay back many posts ago, I thought I would ask it again, in case you may have missed it. She wants to know how to connect w someone's email from the subscriber's list on the right hand side of the blog. (Is that right, Becky?) Here's what I other blogs, if I click on the name, that takes me to their profile page & I can access their email from that. It looks to me that this function in the a4A blog isn't available. It could be that we have to go through Elizabeth or Theresa to get someone's email. Anyone have a different take on this?

If you want to try a rectagular Stegs blanket for any future campaign when a slightly bigger blanket is needed, I found this website: (I'm trying Ann's instructions...did it work? Hope so!)

And last, but certainly not least, in today's New York Times (8/23) in the magazine section (which is devoted to empowering women) there is an article about the girls in Afghanistan who were targeted by the Taliban to be sprayed with acid for going to school. I probably wouldn't spend the $6 on the paper just to read this, but if your library carries it, you may want to read more.

Does anyone care that I was almost attacked by a hummingbird last night? I was sitting outside on the swing knitting a red scarf....hummers are attracted by the color red. Next thing I know, this hummer comes straight at me. I did the only thing possible, screamed (just a little scream) and threw the scarf in front of my face. It probably came w/in 12 feet of me, but they have long beaks & I didn't want stabbed!

And with that lovely vision planted in your mind, I'll end now.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Technical tip: adding a link in a comment

Ann explained earlier how to use the Blogger toolbar to create a link when writing a post. But what about creating a link in a comment? Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't give you the same formatting toolbar for comments. But it's pretty easy to learn the basic html that enables you to make a link. Here's the code snippet you need:

<a href="fullURLofyourlink">text you want linked</a>

So if you wanted to link to the afghans for Afghans website, it would look like this:

<a href="">afghans for Afghans website</a>

this code ends up with this result: afghans for Afghans website

Be sure you put quotes on both sides of the URL, and don't forget the closing tag!

~ Teresa

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gracie and the computer!

Do you all remember my gray and white cat, Gracie, who got her picture taken while sitting on the green blanket? Well, she decided,as cats frequently do, that she should be able to take a snooze on my laptop keyboard. She has done this many times but during this last snooze she managed to push a few buttons and disabled the wireless...

So for a couple of days I have been unable to go online and last night we spent time trying to figure out how to remendy the situation. Finally today the computer expert came out to our home and pushed a couple of buttons and here I am online once again!

I have been knitting a basketweave pattern blanket and its going slowly. Between slippery wool and slippery needles I have managed to get about 1/4 the way done. As soon as its done I will post a photo.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another newbie

Hi, everyone. I'm Diane and I live in Denver. I returned to knitting four years ago thanks to Afghans for Afghans.

My daughter wanted both a new skill and a service project at her high school. Kate asked me to teach her to knit so she could in turn teach her classmates. I mentored the group and assembled blankets from the mitered squares they made. Only one was sent to A4A (acrylic was banned shortly afterward) but the knitting bug bit again. I have since sent in two mohair/wool baby blankets.

I like mosaic knitting in animal fiber because it makes a nice thick fabric without being heavy. I have two or three books by Barbara Walker with great knit stitch patterns of all kinds. As soon as I figure out my new Kodak EasyShare, I'll post some pictures.


VK Fall 09 Article on Shawl Tea

Hi Everyone:

For some reason I picked up the Fall 2009 Vogue Knitting last night (which I have never done before - so this was very serendipitous!) and there was a lovely article on the a4A Shawl Tea. So great that a4A is getting this coverage.

This is a picture of the blanket I sent for the last campaign and didn't have the chance to show before. It's made of 4 log cabin squares sewn together with a border added to get it to the right size. This 100% wool yarn was passed on to me by my mother - a bunch of it was cream which I dyed with Kool-Aid to get the purple and green.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Re-joining the KAL!

Hi everyone--

I was on the old KAL for a while but then got busy with other things. So I'm back and looking forward to seeing everyone's projects! It has been way too hot in Central Valley California to knit wool blankets, even with A/C. However, while cleaning out a closet, I found a baby blanket I started ages ago and forgot about. Just need to add a few more inches and I will be done. I will post a picture . . . if my daughter has enough time to help me!


Did you pick up on this?

There's 2 Cathys posting. I saw Cathy had posted a question about green yarn...would it be warm enough? will it be OK for a baby afghan? I admit, I did a double take. Last time I looked, I was knitting with red yarn & I really don't think I sleep-knit.

So from now on, I'll sign my posts PghC for Pittsburgh Cathy. That should help eliminate any confusion. Although I know it will still give me a start to see my name there when I know I haven't posted anything. On the last blog someone used the initials CCK....same as mine & I always questioned myself...what did you write??

It's good to see the blog come alive again. I'm always inspired by what everyone makes. And it's fun to see that we're scattered all over the US...and a few other places.


How to embed a hotlink in your posts

Including links that are click-able is easy (and so convenient for readers) ... give it a try (you can use preview mode to test your link before posting) ... you do not need to know html code.

Highlight the URL in your post, click the 3rd icon to the right of the italics symbol (what the heck is that green thing?), paste (you may need to delete http:// if appears twice), click OK -- blogger adds in the html code for you.

Tutorial is here, but I think the process is easier than the directions suggest --

If you want to get fancy, you can provide a descriptive name for the link, such as in this example here, but not necessary --
How to embed a hotlink in your posts


Yarn Weight Question For Baby Blanket Campaign

I'm working on a blanket, hopefully for the current campaign. It's my first blanket, so I'm hoping that I'll knit it to the right size. I have a question about the yarn I'm using, and whether it will be warm enough for your needs. The yarn is designed to be knit up on US #3 needles with a gauge of 25 stitches & 33 rows over 4" square.

I'm knitting the blanket with #8 US needles in order to create a soft floppy blanket. Here's the wool specs:

JO SHARRP Alpaca Silk Geprgette = 40% alpaca, 40% merino, 20% silk - hand washable.

Can you tell me if this would meet your needs if I succeed in finishing the blanket? Will my blanket be warm enough?


Monday, August 17, 2009

A bit belated, but here!

I successfully made the switch to the new blog; now we'll see if I successfully post. I'm Becky from Provo, Utah, on the Wasatch Front of the Rockies. I enjoy knitting and crocheting with my two daughters and my mom and sister when we get the chance. I bumped into a4A doing a google search for knitted baby afghan patterns for my mom. How's that for serendipity!

The a4A campaigns have helped me learn new things and venture into areas of knitting I don't think I would have pursued otherwise, so this is one of those mutually beneficial arrangements. Our whole family has been involved at various times, depending on just how big a bite I'd taken and how close the deadline has been. The men of the family leave the knitting to us girls, but they have gotten really good at weaving in ends when needed.

As luck would have it, I whiled away the time in between campaigns making some baby socks (my specialty, it seems) and some mittens. Should've made blanket squares. Oh well, I think I'm going to tackle making a Stegs blanket. It's intrigued me, but I haven't tried knitting a blanket before--just crocheted one. Does anyone out there who's made a Stegs have any hints for me?


What are your favorite blanket patterns?

Hi, everyone -- I've always liked that corner-to-corner crocheted blanket pattern, but haven't tried it yet (I knit WAY better than I crochet). Could one of you supply the link? And, if anyone else out there has a specific pattern you love -- I'm looking only for patterns that you, personally, have road tested and can recommend -- please post the link and a description here, for others who may need that information. I'll gather them all together in a week.

If, in the box that says "Labels for this post" you type the words (without the quotation marks) "blanket patterns" that will make it really easy for blog readers to search.

My plans to knit blanket squares at the Philadelphia Folk Festival this past weekend were foiled by Mother Nature. It was simply too hot to touch wool -- mid-90s (for you non-U.S. knitters, that's mid-30s) and viciously humid. Oh well -- we'll try it this week instead.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Latest Blanket

Here's an experiment to shade one color into the worked...sort of.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blanket Ready to Go!

About a year ago, I received a set of handknit wool squares from the president of our local knitting guild. She said they were knit by a family member, and she wanted me to use them for charity.

They've been lounging in my craft room since then, waiting for me to have time to work on them. Since A4A was wanting baby blankets this time around, I decided to grab those squares and put them to work.

So, I seamed them together, then added some crochet sections to make the blanket the right size, then added a crochet border all around. I like the way it turned out!
Wool Squares Blanket Complete

Here's a closer look at the shell border at the ends:
Wool Squares Blanket - Crochet Border 2

Friday, August 14, 2009

Baby Blankets

I worked on some baby blankets during the break figuring that they would always be a call for them. The orange one is a corner to corner keeping to the red/orange part of the spectrum. The blue one is a granny square blanket where I joined adjacent squares as I went along. I was using up old stash.
They are mostly Paton Merino or Classic Wool with an "I" size hook.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Yarn Weight Question

Hi Everyone:

Just wondering if anyone has sewn squares together that are of different weights to make a blanket - and if so, how that turned out. I have enough squares to make a blanket, and while most are in worsted weight, a few were made with chunky yarn (this comes from trying to use up every oddball in the stash!).

Any recommendations on whether I could combine them in a blanket? Or would I be better off making more squares so that I had one blanket in chunky, and one in worsted?


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm Jane. I have been contributing to afghans for afghans for a while now and I have always enjoyed reading the blog. I never contributed to the old blog however. Somehow in the move I've been motivated to post.


Hi All!

I'm Shirley from Georgia. I've been on the old blog for 2 or 3 years. This is a great group! I've learned a lot while crocheting for the kids and tried patterns I would not have had the nerve to try without this group to run to when I get stuck.
Well time to start looking for a good baby blanket pattern.

Hello Everyone

I introduced myself this morning on what I thought was this blog only to find out just a minute ago by a note from Pearl pointing out that I posted on the old one! What a way to start off...

My name is Joan, I reside in Santa Cruz, CA with my husband Joe, who has joined me in helping out in the magic basement. He's been great at organizing and moving boxes in the samll space that is provided for A4A.

I started knitting about a year ago; knitted a baby blanket and because I jumped into the campaign late in the game didn't have much time to meet the deadline, so there were days when I did nothing but knit. My sore hands could certainly attest to that.

And here I am a year later, after knitting several more blankets, etc. starting another baby blanket and happy to have a new campaign starting.

Looking forward to photos and posts.


Monday, August 10, 2009

welcome back

I'm so glad to find the blog again and look forward to seeing everyone's pictures! And I'm glad to once again have a goal to knit for. I am from New Hampshire, and have been knitting for a4A from the beginning, I think. What a wonderful cause - I just wish I could help with the packing up in California.


I'm in!

Hi everyone! I'm Bloo, in Ontario (Canada). I've been knitting for A4A for a little while - I had to take a hiatus due to a sore wrist but have been back since the start of the year.

I'm happy about the blanket campaign, as I finished one knitted corner-to-corner rectangular blanket in May, and have enough 10"x10" squares to sew together for another blanket. This will give me incentive to actually weave in all the ends and sew the squares together!

I have also started another blanket using the Finnias pattern ( I think this is a great pattern because you can use up miscellaneous colours but the blanket will still be symetrical becuase it grows from the inside out, and you are knitting around the edges. I just made the centre panel a rectangle instead of a square so I will end up with a blanket in the correct dimensions for the campaign.


Sunday, August 9, 2009


Hi -- My name is Judy and I live in Washington State. I have been knitting since I was in grade school, which for me is a very long time ago. Besides knitting for a4A, I knit for my grandkids, for some organization's fundraising auctions and for my husband. (I am warm and he is cold, so I knit wool things so he won't turn up the heat and make my upstairs office tooo hot.

I also do public policy stuff for AAUW and am basically recycled to a full time volunteer like I was before having my own small business for a lot of years.

This week I am celebrating because my town finally has a local yarn shop - with a friendly Tuesday night knitting group and a nice selection of yarn and patterns. The bonus is one of the three sisters who runs the place makes great cloth dolls. (Dolls are my second addiction.) I am hoping she will have a doll making class one of these days.


I'm in too!

Well this is exciting...opening my email & finding that we are indeed back in business.

I'm from Pittsburgh, PA...technically just north of the city that's now known as the City of Champions because of the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup wins. If we could just do something about our baseball team.

My yarn for a baby afghan came from WEBS on Thursday. I'm anxious to get started, but have a couple other projects to finish first. I promise this time to make the afghan in the correct dimensions. No one should have to be whispering behind the posts "whose gonna tell her it's too short???" Fortunately Pearl & Sue handled the matter with aplomb & the blanket was fixed before I sent it in.

I'm knitting as fast as I can. We've been so lucky here in W PA...not the typical stifling hot summer. often do you get to use the word 'aplomb' especially in a K/CAL? But that's just how the ladies handled the sticky situation.

Nice to be back

Hey! esjay here....i just noticed the yarn store that begins with "M", and is the long form of the name Mike has Paton's Merino on sale for $4. (Ann was afraid my plugging a store lead to a spam notice.) Glad to have a new home here!

Hi everyone!

Hi all,

My name is Jean and I live in Maine. (hence my Ravelry ID - JeaninMaine) I belonged to the old blog, too. I'm glad to see the old members (or maybe I should say previous members) are finding their way to this new blog. I have been participating in a4A for quite a while now. Right now I have a blanket almost finished for the new campaign. It's based on the "Moderne Baby Blanket." I am knitting it from yarns that I overdyed to make the colors more suitable. I'll post a picture when it's finished.

Thanks to Elizabeth for taking on the role of moderator/host. You never know when we might get rowdy and need her to step in and keep us in line. :-)

I usually sign my name "Jean in Maine" because there were a few other "Jean's" in the previous blog. It helps to be able to tell everyone apart. I'm looking forward to this new campaign.

Jean in Maine


Hello, everyone -- I'm Elizabeth, and I'm the blog moderator/host/what have you. I was a member of the old blog, too, and I don't expect this particular position to be any work at all, because it's always been a friendly, agreeable group. But -- if you have any questions that you can't find an answer to over at the Afghans for Afghans web site, want reassurance before you start a project, would like to recommend a free pattern to add to the sidebar resources, or need help with anything else, feel free to contact me. If I don't know the answer, I'll find out quickly. My Blogger name is duraknit, and I can't change it because it goes to something else I do, but I sign my posts as Elizabeth D so you'll know who I am.

I've been knitting for Afghans for Afghans since the very first campaign, and I think there are only two or three times I haven't sent something. It means so much to me to be able to do something concrete by sending a warm garment or blanket to a cold and troubled part of the world.

I had the blanket for this campaign all designed, in my head, but the yarn I wanted to use is hiding, so it's going to be a little different from what I'd planned. But still fun. Next weekend is the Philadelphia Folk Festival (I live near Philadelphia), and that's always a prime knitting opportunity for me, so I'll be cranking out 10-inch squares. I'll take pictures as soon as there's something to show.
I look forward to seeing what everyone else is doing.

--Elizabeth D

Introducing myself -- again

How nice to have a new blog, and to read about fellow members in many places! I'm Barbara, from Bakersfield, California, and I have been knitting for a4A for almost as long as it has been in existence. Knowing how great the need is, I've been emboldened to try new patterns, new techniques, and many things I'd never have attempted before - so there has been an unintended benefit to me as well as to the children of Afghanistan. I'm always inspired by the commitment our members exhibit, and by the lovely photos of work completed! And I'm looking forward to the new challenge; it's going to be 101 tomorrow, but I'll just crank up the air conditioning and get busy on a blanket.

Hi everyone

Hi everyone!

I'm Maggie, living in Maine in the US. I've been knitting sweaters and socks and hats for a4A for a long time now (amazing to think how long) but I've just finished my first blanket, so I'm excited about the new campaign.

I learned how to knit a blanket out of mitred squares, so I can avoid the dreaded sewing-together part of the program, and now I'm completely hooked!

I think we've only had five or six days this summer where it was too warm to have a wool blanket on my lap, but that works out for the babies who get more blankets, right?

A4A is one of my favorite things in the world because it's so direct. Any bad day can be completely turned around simply by picking up my socks or blanket in progress, because I know it will go straight to someone who desperately needs it. A4A is excellent therapy, as if we needed any other reason to do it besides helping the kids!

Introducing myself

Hi Everyone.
I'm a knitter, crocheter, quilter and cross-stitcher from Peterborough in the UK. I have sent a few items to a4A in the past and am eager to participate in the latest campaign. I am going to be knitting squares to join together to make baby blankets as it's too hot in the summer to have a whole wool blanket resting on your knee. (Mind you the weather over here is pretty terrible at the moment.)

I will be visiting Florida at the end of August so I hope to be able to stock up on some American yarn. It can be frustrating to find patterns in Worsted weight when it's not available in the shops over here, though I have recently found some UK-based internet sites that stock some US yarns.

I'm looking forward to meeting you all and seeing some photos of work in progress and completed items as these are a real incentive.

It's great to be part of such a caring group trying to make a difference to the lives of women and children living in such difficult circumstances.
Happy knitting and crocheting!
Karen B

Friday, August 7, 2009

Welcome to the afghans for Afghans KAL!

This KAL picks up from our old KAL ... some folks already know each other, and some participants are new here. Just plunge in. The more, the merrier.

Go ahead and introduce yourself with a post. We'd all enjoy knowing where you are from or what got you started with a4A or whatever else you would like to tell us that would make you more real for everyone here in cyberspace. Not to worry -- short is sweet.

The a4A KAL is our community place to gather for camaraderie and friendship while knitting and crocheting for the people of Afghanistan. Ask questions and seek advice, share photos and pattern links for inspiration, and support and encourage others with mutual interests.

Please keep the discussion focused on knitting and crocheting for the afghans for Afghans project and related topics of interest/information on Afghanistan.

We try to stay informed and try to stay away from discussing politics. Please be respectful.

We hope you find the discussions to be lively, useful, and friendly.

Elizabeth -- long-time a4A volunteer, community knitter, and contributor to online knitting discussions -- is our moderator. Since the a4A KAL is mostly a self-reliant discussion group, Elizabeth is perhaps more of a host than a moderator.

Behind the curtain, our blog administrator Teresa set up this forum on Blogger and will keep us humming along tech-wise. Teresa's in San Francisco and part of our local volunteer group that sorts and packs.

Remember, Blogger has Help links that discuss how to post photos, links, format, etc. Very user friendly. Here are a few that you'll find useful:

Posting photos
Making links
Main Help page

Welcome, and thank you for your involvement and for your caring about the Afghan people. We're glad you're here!

-- Ann for