Monday, September 30, 2013

Sharing a few photos here ...

Thought you would like to see Kim's photo (in Wisconsin) of her socks for the TIE campaign. (I can't bring myself to call this yarn-bombing on our blog, but we don't have to name it to enjoy it.) Thanks, Kim!

We've seen a lot of sweaters in the AFSC Basement across many years. Always surprising when we receive a garment that looks like nothing received previously. Check out this crocheted sweater design made in the round (sorry about the lousy photo ... the arm gusset appears smaller than actual) --

This is sad, but I feel like noting here (and hope you don't mind) ... this very red sweater was knit by Rita, a long-time member of our community garden at Fort Mason in San Francisco, for the TIE campaign. Rita passed away this summer. She was knitting this sweater from wool provided by Lou (another gardener), and a hat, but got too tired to finish. Her friend, Erna, completed the sleeves with wonderful deep cuffs that can be rolled up and down as needed. We packed up Rita's gifts for a child in Afghanistan. We miss Rita.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Three pairs on the way

I didn't produce as many things as I'd hoped to for this campaign, but these three pairs of mittens = three pairs of warm hands, so that's something. I did finish the striped ones, but they needed a bath. I am hoping I'll be able to send them tomorrow, but I wanted to be sure the rest would get there on time.

For the blue pair with a cable, I used Momogus's cabled mitten pattern, with a few adjustments; that pair used a Green Mountain Spinnery yarn that I love, and that has been discontinued. The other two pairs follow my basic mitten pattern. The grayish-green are made with Elann's Peruvian Highland Chunky, also, I am told, about to be discontinued. The brick-red pair are made from Peace Fleece. I think these hefty worsted weights are probably my favorite yarn category. At least today.

What is everybody doing? It seems that with 4 days to go until the deadline there should be a fair number of boxes on the way!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The countdown continues

Socks from my sister, the mysterious RTD2:

Twelve pairs, adult size, all in Peace Fleece. They'll be on the way tomorrow!

P.S. I did finish yesterday's mittens. Now, in a fit of something, I'm thinking I can do just one more pair. . .

Saturday, September 21, 2013


When I woke up this morning, it was 10 days to the deadline for socks, mittens, and hats to get to San Francisco in time to make it into the current shipment. I work well under pressure, so decided to try to make one more pair:

It helps when you use big needles and big yarn and the mittens are just 30 stitches around. . . they may not be elegant, but they are thick and warm and virtually indestructible. This picture was taken not long ago, and I am already past the second blue stripe. So I think they'll be ready for their bath tomorrow!

Yarns are Lamb's Pride Bulky and Alafoss Lopi. Follow the instructions for the smallest size of this pattern,* using needles to make a nice firm fabric -- I am getting 4 sts/inch (16 sts/10 cm) with a US size 8 (5.0 mm). I knit loosely, so most people will be happier with a 9 or 10. This will make mittens for a woman's medium-sized hand.

*The pattern works for any gauge, because I wrote it using row counts rather than linear measurements.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

These three went into the mail earlier this week.  The two pair on the bottom were stripes, with many of the stripes being two yarns held together.  On the needles right now (though they won't be done by 9/30) is a simple sock in a variagated green wool.  I love using up odds and ends of yarn by making stripes, but at this point I am ready for a project with no ends to weave in. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Box of Mittens

My goal for this campaign was enough mittens to fill a medium-size priority mail box.  Eight pairs did it.  (I probably could have squeezed a couple more pairs in.)  2 and 7/8 pairs are made from the wool/alpaca/nylon sock yarn (3 strands) that Elizabeth D. sent me.  The green-and-blue pair had the last few rows of the thumb finished with wool chunky yarn.  You can tell the difference if you look closely.  The three pairs along the bottom are more of the 100% wool chunky, and the multi-colored pairs are from 100% worsted-weight wool.

My cat waited until I was finished taking pictures and started repacking the box to attack the mittens. So I got to add de-hairing the mittens to the packing process!
Gwyneth Duncan, Durham, NC

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Can it possibly be September?

Caught me by surprise.

I did not do as much for this campaign as I had hoped. As some may remember, I got almost all the way to the end of a sweater and then discovered that a gauge disaster had developed partway through. That project is sitting in a box -- I am not sure who is sulking more, knitter or sweater -- while I wait for a bad-tempered moment so that I can rip it out for maximum enjoyment.

Meanwhile, I've made a few pairs of mittens and started a pair of socks. It doesn't sound like much, but if we all send in the bits that don't sound like much, it adds up to quite a lot. And that many more kids will get to have at least a little bit of warmth in the coming winter.

I will share pictures when they come out of the washing machine. Yes, I wash everything before I mail to A4A. Why? Several reasons: (1) my knitting travels with me, and who knows what it's been up to; (2) sometimes I use yarn that's been around for quite a while, and who knows what it's been up to; (3) it's just manners; and (4) even though I knit pretty evenly, a nice soak evens out the stitches even more.

So -- if you've just made one pair of mittens or a pair of socks and think it's not worthwhile to mail them, you are mistaken! Get those in an envelope. You can be sure that there are at least 20 others out there in the same boat -- and 21 pairs of mittens is quite a few! Due date for hats, mittens, and socks is September 30, so you have time. And if you're only halfway through the second sock, there's plenty of time to finish it now.

School has started here (today is the first day) and a few leaves are starting to drift down from the trees. Time to get those needles revved up and moving faster. . . maybe I could do a couple more pairs before the end of the month?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Where did August go ... our August scrapbook for you.

Here are several photos from our packing sessions at the AFSC Basement during August. Most of these pics were kindly taken by Alexandra. We didn't get photos of all the elves (elves in August?), but shout out a heartfelt RAH! to all who helped open packages, sort and inspect, and wrestle the garments into the cartons. It's a labor of love that only knitters and crocheters could undertake.

We hope you are having a good Labor Day weekend wherever you are.

Susan joined us from Alameda, which is over the Bay Bridge in the East Bay. (Susan and all have no bridge access to SF this weekend! New half-a-bridge scheduled to open on Tuesday. BART still there for us.)

Sue and Ann (who uses the Golden Gate Bridge) reviewing piles of glorious wool mittens and socks.

On one of her precious day's off, Heather joined us again in August (via ferry). I think she's holding the sweater knit by her friend Olivia.

Take a look at this sweater detail ... zipper, edging, buttons ... if anyone sees a link to this color stitch technique, please post!

This is detail from Bridget's sweater. Bridget's been sending us amazing sweaters from New Mexico for many years. This particular sweater is mind-blowing because she used the Afghan motif that's on our Afghan Men's Vest pattern.

Bye, bye! Carol boarding her ferry for Vallejo. Rene will be there waiting with the cheese. Oh, and the bridge in the background is the western span of the Bay Bridge that is staying put. The eastern span is being replaced ... more than 2 decades after the Loma Prieta Quake.

a4A bloggers, please add yourselves to our scrapbook here!