Thursday, December 30, 2010

Here is a vest I finished for the current campaign. Someone gave me a ball of the burgundy yarn to use for A for A. The rest is leftover stash that I put with it. I'm currently working on another vest out of the chunky alpaca that was donated to A for A a while back. Its a little tricky to work with because its so thick.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays to A4A friends


Last of 2010

Happy holidays everyone!

I have 2 new FO's to wrap up my holiday knitting:

A basic, ribbed pair of socks, and

a classic yoke pullover to fit an 8-10 year-old child. I still have a skein and a half of that red wool left, just enough for a pair of mittens, I should think.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Projects coming!

Hello all: My Christmas knitting has also kept me from finishing a sweater and a vest I have to send...but I did manage to get these mittens done. They are made from Lion Brand Wool -- on sale for $2/skein at my local Ocean State Job Lot. I have more yarn from the same source...and I am still loving mittens. If I could only master socks...

And if I could only get to the post office...but watch for these coming soon.
Merry Christmas! and I will be spending my Christmas vacation making more stuff to warm our friends in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Here are those mittens that are ready to go

Here is the pair of mittens I just finished for this campaign.  They are knit from some yarn that I dyed with Kool-Aid. The yarn was given to me by a friend at church who can no longer knit.  It was good white wool yarn - nice yarn but the color wouldn't work for this purpose so I dyed it.  It is from the same batch as the socks I sent for the last campaign.  I hope to get another pair done to send with these.  Most of my time has gone to Christmas preparations lately.

From the Afghan Embassy to a4A Volunteers!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Packing Last Week for Afghan Youth

We took a few photos for you. Four of us enjoyed our afternoon opening packages and packing up boxes for the students in the schools run by Help the Afghan Children. We were not expecting a huge pile because we know most volunteers are busy with their own families and friends during the holiday season. Yet, the 4 of us kept a busy pace for 3.5 hours. Thank you so much for your wool gifts this month.

We're trying to hit 40 cartons before we ship off the collection. I estimate that we're at about 20 cartons and that we can reach 40 by end of Jan. Jan. and Feb. usually pick up, based on past years. I'll know more after the end of the year and keep everyone posted via our email list and website.

Diane (holding the box) came up from down south -- the Peninsula -- to help pack last week. We were so happy to see the real her! Mostly, Diane and I are in touch via email. Diane helps me answer the incoming emails to our project. We do have standard replies to most questions, and our website explains most everything, but we get one-off questions, and some people need extra explanations. Diane's assistance has been a life-saver this year. I LOVE being able to count on her.

Lydia (brown hair) came up from down south, too -- Santa Cruz. That's a trek. Both Lydia and her mom in Minnesota have been knitting a long time for a4A. Karen (in the middle) joined us from back east -- Berkeley/Oakland -- a BART ride over to SF. Karen is a frequent packer for a long time now. Aren't these volunteers and the sweaters gorgeous?

Lydia and Diane are holding up Diane's production of 3 sweaters, 13 vests, and 9 hats. I don't know how she did it, but must involve NetFlix. What's also very cool -- the yarn was a donation from someone in her area. The person had a stash, but no longer able to knit. She got in touch with Diane, who agreed to use all the wool to knit for kids in Afghanistan. The donor had a hard time letting go of her stash (who wouldn't?), but grateful when Diane showed up to make good use of the supply. I mention this in the hopes that others needing wool can match up with folks that want to see their excess wool put to good use.

So nice of these loyal volunteers to take time from their busy schedules -- especially December -- to pitch in and keep us rolling along. The time always goes fast in the Basement with such good company. Our own special time warp.

If you're reading this post and subscribed to this a4A blog (go take the cookies out of the oven), pop-in for a quickie last 2010 post to say hello. Short and sweet OK with us. Happy holidays to all!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Update on the Wool-Aid blanket knitting

Dear blogging friends, I thought I'd check in to let you know we're busy over in the Wool-Aid community, making Oddball blankets to contribute. Four stripe blankets are in process, each with a unique theme, plus squares are going toward additional blankets. We should be contributing quite a pile of warm cozy covers for this campaign. I'll post photos soon.

Friday, December 10, 2010

casting on

Because I don't have a blanket 5/8 of the way finished, and because surely we have weeks and weeks until Christmas, and because there are no work deadlines hanging over my head (yes, and would you like to buy a bridge?) I've just gone to my bin of Lopi to see what I have to make this wonderful pullover. The pattern was just made available today, and the three largest sizes are perfect for the current campaign. I did work on the blanket at the car repair place this morning, so don't feel I'm being totally neglectful when I consider this new project.

I have a few things to send in, but was hoping to find my camera first. I need one I can call, the way I do when I misplace my phone!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

a glimpse of the basement

For those who may be wondering, here is a glimpse of what awaited Ann and volunteers ( Chris on the far right above) during a recent packing shift in the basement these days. That afternoon, we were all so busy that I forgot to take photos of people and of the gorgeous wool garments we got to discover; but piles of boxes are good too, right?

As you can see, the space occupied by a4A packages and volunteers is crowded; also, there is no shelving or space to store garments for the long term. The basement belongs to the AFSC office of San Francisco which needs it to store a number of supplies for its multiple outreach activities, so space is at a premium and it is important to focus only on what needs to be packed for the current campaign. Before I got a chance to volunteer in the basement, I pictured something like a large food bank. As you can see, it is nothing like that.

When in doubt about the requirements of a given campaign for children and teen clothing -- which is often because my own chidren are grown -- I consult the size standards here . I usually add 1" in length (body and sleeves) for good measure.

As rewarding as it is to open packages and fill boxes and boxes of knitted items that are going to make a tangible difference in people's lives, it is always a disappointment to open the odd box full of garments that a4A simply won't be able to ship – because they won’t fit the 7-to-16-year-old age group that is the focus of this current campaign. I do not mean this to discourage anyone from contributing an item to this campaign or any future one. Just make sure that the lovely work you are lavishing time, talent and wool on will actually be of use for the group that has turned to a4A for help.

Off my soapbox now and back to my needles (yoke pullover, size 8-10, cherry-red, ready for some stripes!)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two Warm Things

I've posted pictures of these previously, and while I'd hoped to have more done I am getting these into the mail this week. Sweater on the left is plotulopi wool from Iceland and size adult S; vest on the right is various scrap wools and child's size 6. It looks bigger in real life than it does in the photo.

The sweater received second place in a local fair, but it's too thick for me to wear. I figure it will keep someone in Afghanistan nice and warm.