Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Out of my comfort zone #2

This is my second iteration of the ‘Sporty Sweater’. In the basement we have noticed an issue with some sweaters (including my other two) and that is – the armhole is too small for getting the sweater on/taking off easily as well as underarm comfort.

One of sweater mavens in the basement offered this suggestion which I tried in the pictured sweater. Instead of crocheting the sleeves separately and then sewing into the armholes, sew the shoulder seams and side seams leaving at least 7“for the armhole. Then pick up stitches around the armhole and crochet the sleeve in the round. I did this picking up 54 stitches (instead of the 35 on the separately crocheted sleeve). I then decreased two stitches every other row (on either side of the would-be underarm seam) until 35 stitches remained; then I decreased one stitch every other row until 30 remained (as per the pattern). I crocheted to the required sleeve length and continued on to the cuff. (Unfortunately I ran out of yarn and had to improvise.) I added 2” to the body for better coverage and more rows to the ribbing to better keep out the cold. The end result – 4 less seams to sew, a gusset-like armhole with lots of room and way more fun to make.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I finished a vest for this campaign, and hope to make another. I used Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky and just made up the color pattern up as I went along for better or for worst.

I like this vest pattern overall because it went so fast, but I may try something different next time.

Two pairs of fleegle socks and another vest

Here's my latest finished objects - a vest and a couple pairs of socks. The vest should fit a 12 year old. The red socks, knit toe-up, are about 8.5 inches and the blue pair, knit cuff-down, are 9 inches. For both pairs of socks, I used my variation of "fleegle" heel, you can see that "V" looks different, but in either direction the fleegle makes a nice angle. And it's very easy to do -- I encourage non sock knitters to give it a try, especially the toe up version.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A tweedy vest

tweedy vest

For this drive I found myself in the mood for a vest. Inspired by a great class on color that I took from Laura Bryant during Stitches West last month, I decided to figure out a way to tame a very busy variegated wool which I could never turn into anything remotely attractive before. I found the perfect slip-stitch pattern, "Woven Tweed", in Barbara Walker's Second Treasury. The "tweed" part of the name inspired me to go with a very classic vest color and look for the trim. Another bonus of slip-stitch patterns is that they are doubly warm since their structure is denser than stockinette. This was so much fun to knit, I am now looking at all the variegated yarns languishing in my stash with renewed interest! Onwards to the next a4A project -- sweater or vest, I haven't decided yet.

Correction: I credited the wrong Treasury by Barbara Walker, and now I can't put my hands on Volume one which must be where I found this stitch pattern. It is also known in other knitting reference books as the half linen stitch. My apologies for the confusion!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ready to Mail

I finished this sweater vest last week and plan to mail it in time for the end of April (needs to be in CA by early May) for the current campaign. I hope to finish another one before I need to mail.

The pattern is available here for the sweater version and a vest version (at the end of the pattern).

Since the pattern calls for bulky yarn knit at about 2.5 st/in, I used three strands of worsted weight singles (Patons Impressions) held together.

There are 4 50 g balls plus 3 odd balls totaling 67 g left of this stuff and frankly, though it is very nice to work with, I am sick to death of it. 100% wool, hand dyed (not by me) in a lovely shade of green.

I am offering what is left (sufficient for a double stranded vest) to a member who will use it for A4A. I'll take names at my email (abmcmanusATverizonDOTnet)until noon eastern time Sunday. I know that's only a little over 24 hours. I'd like to mail it Monday so that the knitter has time to make a vest for this campaign. US addresses only, please.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My first contribution for A4A

Here is my first ever vest. It is 100% wool, and I added in some stripes of a bright pink synthetic scrap with the wool.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pattern for Mittens with Super Bulky Yarn

For those with remaining oddballs of super bulky yarn from some of our past distributions of donated alpaca-wool yarn, I refer you to this pattern for mittens made by Nicole May in Somerville, MA. Nicole is not a poster on the a4A KAL blog, but gave me her notes to share with you ...
Super Bulky Mittens Pattern
Nicole says, " I used size 11 needles and cast on 16 stitches as the pattern states but then adjust the hand and thumb lengths to standard sizes for ages 10 or 12. I added 2-3 extra rows of ribbing as well."
Size Chart for Mittens

I am also posting this photo of hats made with the super bulky. Not sure who made these, but they are fine examples --

Working with super bulky can be tricky in terms of fit/ease, casting off, etc. Awkward, too, knitting with the large needles. We're not suggesting anyone go out and buy super bulky. But, for those who already have some on hand, we wanted to point out this pattern that worked successfully for Nicole.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Our Field Trip to the Helmand, San Francisco

Last Sunday, a few of us on Basement crew gathered to relax (sitting!) and enjoy each other's company above ground. Especially after the packing marathon that was the March 1 due date. We dined at the Helmand Restaurant in San Francisco. The story goes that this restaurant (and a sister restaurant in Cambridge, MA; cti, check it out!) was owned by one of President Karzai's brothers. Up until a couple years ago, the restaurant was in North Beach by Telegraph Hill, but a rock slide red-tagged the building, and now the restaurant is on Van Ness Ave. Our group included Annette, Carol, Deborah, Pam, and Teresa and her husband and son. I had my camera in my knitting bag, but somehow forgot to take photos (didn't knit either). Still kicking myself. A few days later, I stopped by with my camera, and owner Daoud took some photos for us. Not as much fun as seeing the smiling faces of our group, but wanted you to see --

Pallow rice with raisins and carrots --

Teresa's vegetarian dish was beautiful and included pumpkin (is this the dish, Teresa)?

Not sure if any of us ordered this, but had to show some lamb --

Muhammed always warmly greets us --

Ann and Daoud

Ann always orders vegetarian Aushak, a ravioli filled with leeks

The Afghans are celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year and celebration of the Spring Equinox. Best wishes for peace and prosperity is a traditional greeting. Nowruz Mubarak!

Want to know more about Afghan food and the new year holiday? Read our Afghan-American friend Humaira's recent post on her Afghan Cooking Unveiled blog.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Here's my latest contribution, the first for Kids Drive II.

It's from the pattern "child's vest" at www.klaam.com/sheknits/Sweaters.htm I liked the pattern a lot as it's a quick no-finish, no pick-up-stitches design. I made the largest size, and modified to be twelve inches below the armholes (to keep an Afghani child's tummy warm) and kept the shoulder width at 16 rather than 12 stitches, again for warmth.

Elizabeth will recognize some of this yarn as the last of the wonderful stash she shared.

2 needle socks

I'm just wondering if it's OK to make socks for a4A on 2 needles then sew the seam up (neatly of course!) I can make socks on 2 or 4 needles but do find the 2-needle method easier.


Is there any way we can put these two patterns into PDF -s on the side bar? Easier to download/copy that way. Sorry I'm no techie, but have seen it on other blogs, so there must be a way....yes?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Child's Top-Down Raglan with Plain Mock Turtle for Super-Bulky Yarn

Child's Top-Down Raglan Sweater with Plain Mock Turtleneck
For Super-Bulky Yarn
Pattern by Maureen Carden for afghans for Afghans

Sized for a big kid and to be worn over other garments. Finished chest circumference: 34". Sleeve circumference: 16". Depth of yoke, measured along the raglan "seam" (not straight up and down): 10". Sleeve length from underarm with ribbing turned up: 15" (18" with ribbing turned down). Length of body from underarm: 16". Yoke is knit down from the neck and shaped by paired increases, one on either side of four "seam" stitches. Shaping is minimal. No seams to sew. Sweater can be worked in one or two colors, or as you wish.

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Super Bulky, 10 skeins (50% wool, 50% alpaca; 45 yards [41 meters];100 grams [3.53 ounces] per skein)
Gauge: 2 stitches and 3 rows = 1"
Needles: Size 15 circular or size to get gauge. For ribbing, use any size from 13 to 10 circular or double-points (depending on what you have on hand).
Notions: Large stitch holders or extra needles to hold stitches. Stitch markers. Tapestry needle.


Using size 15 circular, cast on 32 stitches and join in round.

Set-up round: Knit (k) 4 (left sleeve top), place marker (pm), k 1 (back left seam stitch), pm, k 10 (back), pm, k1 (back right seam stitch), pm, k 4 (right sleeve top), pm, k 1 (front right seam stitch), pm, k 10 (front), pm, k 1 (left front seam stitch), pm of a distinctive color to mark the beginning of the round.

Note: Now you will start increasing by knitting into the front and back (kfb) of the indicated stitch.

Round 1: Kfb first stitch after marker; k to last stitch before the next marker; kfb that stitch (left sleeve top increased to 6 st); slip marker (sm); k1(the left back seam stitch); sm; kfb the next stitch, k to last st before the next marker, kfb that stitch (back increased to 12 st); sm; k1 (right back seam st), sm, kfb the next stitch, k to the last stitch before the next marker, kfb that stitch (right sleeve top increased to 6 st); sm; k1 (right front seam st), sm, kfb the next stitch, k to the last stitch before the next marker, kfb that stitch (front increased to 12 st), sm, k1(left front seam st), sm. You have now increased 8 sts for a total of 40 sts on your needle.

Round 2: Knit, slipping markers along the way.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2, thus increasing in every other row by 8 sts, until you have 28 stitches in each sleeve top and 34 stitches in back and front (not counting the 4 seam sts).

STOP and check measurements. At this point, you have knitted 24 rounds. The raglan seam should be about 10" in length to ensure that the yoke is deep enough. A little longer is better than a little shorter.

Next round: Knit across the left front seam stitch, the 28 stitches of the left sleeve top, and the left back seam stitch (total left sleeve, 30 sts). Place the remaining back, right sleeve, and front stitches on holders. The working yarn is at the left back. For both sleeves, the seam stitches are added to their widths, and should NOT be added to the front or back widths.

Cast on 2 sts, with a marker between them to identify the center. Join the sleeve stitches in round. 32 sts on the needle. Continue to knit in rounds, slipping the marker, until the sleeve measures 2" from the underarm.

Next round (first decrease round): Knit to 3 stitches before the marker. Knit two together (k2tog) k1, sm, k1, k2tog (or ssk if you prefer). 30 stitches on needle.

Knit in the round until sleeve measures 4" from underarm.

Next round, decrease as in first decrease round.

Knit in the round until sleeve measures 8" from underarm.

Next round, decrease as in first decrease round.

Knit in the round until sleeve measures 10.5" from underarm.

Next round, decrease as in first decrease round. 24 sts on needle.

Knit another 2 or 3 rounds, as necessary, until the total underarm length is 12".

Next round: K2, k2tog around (6 sts decreased, 18 sts on needle).

Cuff Ribbing: Switch to smaller needle. K1, p1 around and continue in 1x1 ribbing for a total of 6" of ribbing. Total sleeve length, from underarm, is 18". Bind off LOOSELY. Cuff can be turned up for a shorter arm or down for more length.

Join yarn at right front and knit as for left sleeve, casting on 2 sts at underarm.

Join yarn at left front/start of round. Pick up and knit 2 sts in the 2 cast-on stitches under the left arm, placing a marker in the center of each pair of picked-up stitches to identify the underarm line to center future decreases. Knit 34 back stitches. Pick up and knit 2 stitches in the 2 stitches cast-on under the right arm, placing a marker between them. Knit the 34 front stitches. 36 sts front, 36 sts back, for a total of 72 sts.

72 sts at a gauge of 2 sts/inch is 36' body circumference. This is too big.

Now is your chance to adjust the body width to 34" as follow:
Knit 2 tog, knit until 2 sts before marker, k2tog, slip marker, k2tog, knit until 2 sts before marker, k2tog (for a total decrease of 4 sts).

Continue knitting in rounds until the body measures a minimum of 13" from the underarm. If you have excess yarn (aside from what you need for ribbing and neck), you can continue knitting a few extra rounds here to make the torso longer for added warmth.

Switch to smaller needles and knit 3" of 1x1 ribbing. Bind off LOOSELY.

Using size 15 needles, pick up and knit one stitch for each cast on stitch of the neck. 32 sts on needle. Knit 6 rounds. Bind off VERY LOOSELY. As you knit each stitch, make sure you pull up a loop at least 1" long. These stitches may look huge, but once done, they'll look fine. Try on the neck. The neck should glide easily over your head! If it doesn't, it won't fit over anybody else's head either.

Weave-in loose ends using a tapestry needle or a crochet hook to skim the ends diagonally across inside surface of the fabric, in opposite directions, picking up just a few strands of each stitch across inside surface for two or three inches. Lightly steam block as needed.

Thanks to Maureen for this pattern. Thanks to Pam Taylor for testing the pattern and editing help. This pattern is designed to be even easier than the bottom-up raglan pattern previously posted by Lisa. Less shaping and less risk of insufficient underarm gusset space (bulky needs more ease), as well as the benefit of being able to add to length of torso and sleeves at the end.

(Photo and test-knitted sweater by Pam.)

Autumn Striped Raglan recipe

Striped raglan pullover

For the last a4A drive, I knitted my standard, top-down, raglan pullover, adapting the directions posted for it on the official a4A website to worsted-weight wool. Ann suggested that I post the new and improved directions, here in case I am not the only knitter around with partial skeins of worsted-weight wools and the desire to combine them into a warm sweater intended to fit a 10-12 year-old child. I like to reserve the wool which I have in greater quantity for the ribbings and the collar, and to incorporate other wools in narrow or wide stripes depending on the amount available (remember that you will need to knit two sleeves, although of course they don’t have to match exactly!). The instructions are a bit wordy, I know, but I have strived to make them as clear as possible. Once you figure out what you are doing, you will have a very quick, mindless project on the needle, with almost no finishing required.

The doubled crew-neck collar is something I taught myself after noticing it on several sweaters during my shifts in the AFSC basement. It looks very neat and is a good place to bury a few yarn ends, to boot. But it is easy to substitute either a simple crew neck or a turtleneck instead.

Needles: 6 and 7 or other size needed for gauge. Size: child 10-12 Gauge: 4.5 sts and 5.75 rows per 1"

Estimated Yardage: 732 yards

With larger needle, cast on 38 sts. Do not join.

Set Up Row (right side): Knit 1, place marker (pm), K1 (seam st), place marker (pm), knit 6 (sleeve sts), pm, k 1 (seam st), pm, k 20 (back), pm, k 1 (seam st), pm, k 6 (sleeve), pm, k 1 (seam st), pm, k last st.

Turn, purl WS row (and all following WS rows until the body is joined later).


Working back and forth in stockinette, increase 8 sts on the next Right Side row as follows: k to marker, M1, pm, k1(seam st), pm, M1; repeat from *. (46 sts)

On the next RS row, increase 10 sts on each right size row as follows:

Inc 1 in the first st. *k to the marker, M1,pm, k1(seam st), pm, M1; repeat from *, end by increasing 1 in the last stitch. Continue in this manner until there are 10 sts before first marker. [10, 16, 30, 16, 10, + 4 seam sts] (86 total sts)

On the next right size row, increase before and after each seam stitch (8 increases). Complete the row, then cast on 10 sts. These new stitches form the top of the body front. Join and continue in stockinette, knitting in the round. The first marker marks the beginning of each round. However, if you are going to knit stripes, color changes should take place at the seam for the back left shoulder (to your left as you knit. This will actually be the back of the right shoulder once the sweater is held with the neck up). This is the least conspicuous spot for a color change in the raglan seam. On the pullover pictured above, stripes are 5-round wide on the body, 10-round wide on the lower sleeves.

Round sequence: sleeve, back, sleeve, front. Sts: [18, 32, 18, 32, + 4 seam sts] (104 total sts)

Continue body and sleeve increases: M1 on either side of each seam st (8 incs) every other round 9 times, then every 3rd round 3 times until you have the following stitch count on the needle: [42, 56, 42, 56, + 4 seam sts.] Work even until the body measures 8.5" from the point where you started knitting in the round.

Slip the 42 stitches for each sleeve onto separate pieces of scrap yarn or stitch holders.

Body from armscye down: Slip front (58 stitches +2 seam stitches) and back (again 58+2) body sts onto a circular needle. Cast on 7 sts, knit across front, cast on 7 sts, pm(side seam), cast on 7 sts, join front and back, knit across back, cast on 7 sts, pm(beg of rnd marker), join. The body now has 144 stitches. Work in the round until the body from the underarm up measures 12". On the last round, decrease by 2 stitches as follows: K 47, k2tog., K 46, k2tog., K 47. (142 sts)

Change to a #6 circular. Knit in K1, P1 ribbing for 6 rounds.[1"]. Bind off loosely.


With #7 dpns or circular needle, cast on 7 sts, knit 42 sleeve sts from the stitch holder, cast on 7 sts, place marker and join. After 3 rounds, begin sleeve decreases as follows: Decrease 1 st on each side of marker every 6th round 4 times, then every 8th round 5 times.Continue in stockinette until the sleeve measures 12" from the armhole. On the last round, decrease as follows: [k 6, k2tog] 4 times, k 6 : 34 stitches remain.

Change to #6 dpns or circular needle for cuff. K1, p1 for 14 rounds (2 “) and bind off loosely.

Graft underarms. Weave in all ends.

Double Crew Neck Finishing:

With smaller needle, pick up 60 sts around neck edge. K1, p1 rib for 3" . Do not bind off. Sew collar on the inside collar “seam” (the line where stitches were picked up for the neck), tacking the live stitches one by one and making sure not to sew too tightly.

Autumn Stipes pullover @2010 by Laura Truffaut, designed with the help of Sweater Wizard software. This pattern is to be used for charitable purposes – to knit for the children of Afghanistan.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Christine, the new girl on the block

Hello! I'm Christine and I'm new to this site.

I'm in Gaithersburg, Maryland, which is a suburb of Washington DC. I'm a stay at home mom with 2 and 3 year old boys. I picked up knitting again over the winter after a 10 year break, but I've never had the confidence or skill to do a whole sweater by myself. Hopefully you ladies will inspire me to change that!

I am new to A4A, and have just started my second vest. Hopefully I will have a couple vests done for the May deadline.

Christine in Maryland

Synthetic yarn knitted *with* wool?

I have a question, as I am new to this group and to the charity as well.

I knit my first vest from a pattern recommended on the A4A site, using all wool. But, I had a bit of extra synthetic yarn, the kind that would make a fuzzy scarf, clearly not wool. So, I used it along with the wool for a couple stripes, using knitting with both strands.

Is this acceptable?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mittens and socks

There's a discussion on the Ravelry A4A group that I thought I'd bring over here. The report on the 72 boxes certainly shows a lot more mittens - 500 pairs more - than socks. Of course each cozy garment is wonderful warming gift, but I wonder -- does A 4 A want us knitting more socks?

Here’s the count of items for children, ages 7-14 years: 633 sweaters 600 vests, 800 pairs of socks 1,320 pairs of mittens 1,050 hats 132 blankets
4,535 Total garments and blankets (for next winter 2010)

Elizabeth's wonderful tutorial would be great for any sock beginner. Socks are my favorite thing to knit -- I do them two a time on magic loop, with a Fleegle heel and a quick beaded ribbing cuff.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

All Hail Kid Mohair, bantamweight champ! ;-)

I have always admired yarns like kid mohair from a distance. But my knitting instincts tend toward practical/serviceable garments and yarns, so I doubted I could do justice to these fine yarns (and accompanying fine prices! ;-) )

But I recently received a donation of lovely lilac Jo Sharp fingering-weight kid mohair yarn, so it turned out to be the perfect opportunity for an experiment (Bwahahahahaa! evil rubbing of hands)

As it so happens (I am absolutely staggered by the frequency of these yarn coincidences!) I was JUST about to embark upon a super-bulky yoke-style pullover sweater using Ester Bitran hand-dyed wool yarn in violet and terracotta (I would not have chosen this combination of colors, personally, but who am I to second-guess an artist's vision? ;-) ) so I decided to carry-along the kid mohair strand throughout (except collar and cuffs; I didn't want to inadvertently irritate the sensitive skin at the neck and wrists).

Unlike regular mohair, which 'blooms' immediately on the fabric surface and makes its presence known, the kid mohair added just a faint 'peach fuzz' effect (you can't even see it in the photo). But its effect on fabric thickness and warmth factor were immediate - in fact, it got so hot I couldn't even work with the sweater in my lap (well, if that isn't a qualification for a4A sweaters, I don't know what is :-) ) So by all important measures, I am declaring this experiment an unqualified success!!

For my next project, I am going to switch it up and try to improve my nascent crochet skills - a high-neck double-breasted cardigan-vest with wooden toggle buttons using double-stranded worsted-weight yarn and a 6.5mm (K/10.5) hook (I want a chunky/sturdy fabric - I hope this will do the trick).
Stay tuned!!

Piggy-back on Previous Post

Is there a sure-fire way to know if a yarn is wool or mostly wool?
I sometimes get yarn given to me without a label and I'd love to use it for an a4A garment. I don't want to send something that won't meet our goal of keeping a child warm.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Question re: basement 'Quality Control' on wool content

I am wondering how best to communicate the wool content of the garments I send to a4A so as to minimize guesswork/wasted effort. I always enclose a note stating the wool content of each garment, but is this sufficient to assure you? Should I also (where possible) enclose the yarn labels of the yarns that I have used for each garment? Or is there some other method that I have not thought of? I am thinking this must be an onerous (but necessary) part of evaluating each garment that is received, and I would like to do whatever I can to make it as un-painful an activity as possible!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Youth Campaign, part 2

In case you're not signed up for announcements direct from A4A,* Ann has just announced that they've been able to add another youth campaign, starting now, with a due date of early May (I'm telling myself May 1, so I get things done). I love this second chance! I have the back of a vest finished, and a sweater that only needs sleeves. The trick is to start right in on those, rather than letting them drift again. Target audience and items needed are the same as last time: boys and girls aged 7-14, with sweaters, vests, socks, and mittens the items that are most needed.

If you're knitting sweaters and vests, remember: (1) Afghan kids tend to be tall and slim, so you'll want to make things longer; and (2) especially for girls, there are stringent requirements for modesty. Sweaters and vests must come well below the waist, and necklines must be discreet. If in doubt, add a couple of inches to sleeves and sweater body -- the sleeves can be rolled up, and a longer sweater is always better than one that's too short. In fact, if it's too short, there's no point in even sending it.

What does everyone else have to finish up? We've done campaigns with lot less lead time, so I expect great and wonderful things this time too. (Have I mentioned recently how truly terrific all of you are?)

*If you're not on the list to get direct notification of new campaigns, you can sign up right on the front page of the afghans for Afghans web site.
So glad to hear the campaign will continue...I will get to finish my vest (it is....so....close....) and I can knit more mittens on the plane when I travel later this week.

So May 1 sounds like it is far away...but let's all get cracking! Best to you all and happy knitting...Sally

Monday, March 8, 2010

General complaining and whining.

Hmmph! Looks like, according to Canada Post, my parcel didn't arrive at its destination until March 4th.

It was mailed February 18th, and took until February 25th to get across the border. It actually says on the tracking information that it left Canada on the 22nd, but somehow didn't arrive in the States until the 25th! So it took a full week to cross the border from the time I mailed it, even though I could have driven across the border from my place in under an hour!

Oh well, I guess I'll know better for next time. Hopefully, the "basement people" can hang on to it for some future campaign.

On a brighter note, I've very much enjoyed seeing everyone else's projects, and am very pleased that so many people are working together to make a contribution!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Missed the boat!

I wasn't able to finish either sweater in time for the March 1 deadline (but thankfully I had already made a bunch of other sweaters so I was not caught too short, whew!). Both the above sweaters are based on the recent yoke-pullover pattern requiring super-bulky alpaca. To get the right yarn gauge, I substituted with 3 strands of thinner yarn held together e.g. bulky + 2 WW. For the sweater pictured at the top, I used Lambs Pride Bulky, Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted, and Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky, all randomly selected from my stash (I am amazed at how well they all go together!). The 2nd sweater pictured is actually made from scraps of wool yarn that I've accumulated over the past 20 years of knitting. As I knitted the scraps, I recalled all the good memories of the sweaters I had made from those yarns - sweaters and scarves for my dad, my sister, myself and others. I hope that the recipient of this sweater will somehow be warmed by all the memories that have been knitted in with the scraps!

As this is my first post on this blog (actually, on any blog :-) Welcome to the 21st century, my dear), I thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Nandini, and I live in Brooklyn, NY. I've been knitting for a4A since November 2005, and it has been a wonderful outlet both for my knitting as well as for my charitable impulses - being from that part of the world, I feel the need and desperation especially keenly. I work full-time in the Financial industry, and in my limited free time I knit, read detective novels, knit, eat wonderfully tasty food in the local ethnic enclaves, knit, take long walks through New York City's various neighborhoods, and knit some more. It's a wonderful life!!! :-)))
I am so pleased that we all came through with 72 cartons of goodies for CWS. To think we had 'hoped' for (just) 50! Hurrah!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Packing Up Our Wool Gifts
for Afghan Youth (7-14 years)

If you were stranded on a desert isle (or in the AFSC Basement), these are the people you would choose for company ...

Happy packers marveling at happy sweaters ... say hello to Elizabeth, Candace, Maggie, and Barbara --

Now meet Carol, Carole, AFSC's Pablo, and Jill --

Renee (mod for Ravelry's a4A friends group) joined us in meat-space with Edie on her visit from Boston and Ann (did you know the Basement is a magnet for Anns and Carols?) --

When not on quality-inspection duty (for sizing, fiber, and construction), Laura gets rewarded with the task of building boxes --

These socks and mittens were superbly knit by 10th-grader Abby from Berkeley, CA, with her wishes for peace --

Did you know that Trader Joe's now sells flash-frozen mittens?

Pam and AFSC Stephen with the Afghan national flag (Marsha MacColl of Afghans 4 Tomorrow brought this flag to us when she returned from her 2007 Kabul trip) --

On March 4, Ann and Stephen take a final glamour shot before our 72 precious cartons start their long journey to the girls and boys in Afghanistan --

We are guessing that perhaps half of this collection arrived in the 10 days prior to the March 1 due date. Dribble, dribble, whoosh! Just catching the breath (and soaking the tootsies), and then we'll send an update to our whole email list. Our heartfelt thanks to all participants for your lovely gifts for the kids in the programs run by Church World Service in Afghanistan. You are very talented and generous.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Late Entry . . .

Hi Everyone -- I'm a newcomer to this project and am so excited to have found it. I really hope we can continue knitting beautiful sweaters for next year. I only learned of a4A about a month ago, so I only completed one sweater for this year. It was so luxurious to work with 100% pure Alpaca. Sigh. So soft. Anyway, I thought I'd share my photos. The zipper made it especially fun. I really enjoy seeing all the photos!! Keep on knitting and crocheting my friends!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thanks to all...

I'm new here and was one of the happy recipients of Elizabeth's yarn for the March campaign. Elizabeth, I only wish I had a camera so that I could download a picture of what I made! For those of you who don't know, Elizabeth sent enough Brown Sheep superwash wool for me to crochet a hat and tunic-length sweater in luscious shades of Sea Mist, Sea Spray, and Galaxy (lovely green, aqua and dark teal), plus another wool in a coppery tan. The sweater was of a very warm nubbley texture and had decorative patterned stripes all around the collar, sleeves, and hem.

I was so grateful to have had the opportunity to crochet something for an Afghani child. I am disabled and crocheting for charity gives me much happiness, but I have to scrounge for yarn and rarely have the chance to work with wool. What a treat this was!

Now I am inspired to scrounge more rigorously because I am determined to keep contributing to a4A.

Thanks to all of you who put this organization together and keep it running. Yay! We'll change this world yet!