Wednesday, August 27, 2014

September 8

That's the just-announced due date for school kids' socks, mittens, and hats. If you can make just one more . . . 

A4A hopes to continue collecting through the end of the year, but sending things by September 8 means they'll get to Afghan kids in time for this winter. 

Cast on!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Take a look at Diane's happy hats ... for Afghan babies and children.

Diane is one of our longtime, devoted "local volunteers" who helps behind the scenes to keep afghans for Afghans going. Diane use to live on the Peninsula, south of SF. Then moved to Gold Country. Diane helps respond to incoming emails. She is golden to me and a4A.

I loved this photo of her hats on the striped background and asked permission to post here --
Now I am prompted to flip through our scrapbook of memories here ...
Diane packing with us back in 2010.
Diane's version of our Fulled Afghan Carpet Bag pattern.
Diane has a special talent for mixing up colors and using up small oddballs to great effect.

Thank you, Diane, for all that you do! We miss you here, but glad and grateful that you make time to help behind the scenes from your undisclosed location in the Sierra Foothills. Have you cleared out the town of all wool oddballs, yet? Oddballs can stay to keep life interesting, but wool oddballs must be put to good use with knitting needles.

Have a good weekend, everyone,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why I love taking taxis ...

Last Saturday, I called for a ride to SFO. The taxi arrived a little late. How aggravating! The delay was because SF was invaded by the Outside Lands concert in Golden Gate Park. Always something, especially in the summer. Still, airport rides usually get pushed to the top.

I am talking with the driver and trying to relax and not worry about the time. We're bemoaning the city's growth as we cross town. He tells me he grew up in the East Bay. This is his first month on the job. I want to guess his homeland, always my favorite taxi game. "John" Rahimi says he's from Mazar-i-Sharif. I would not have guessed that! He's been called John ever since school when the name was easier for classmates. I told him that I ate in the Helmand Restaurant last week and had my favorite Aushak dish. We're on the subject of food. I bring up Bolani. Guess what? The East West company was founded by his sister. Remember when I posted about Bolani here? Small world! I told him about a4A and handed him my card. I told him about my 1999 visit to the NW Frontier Province when Afghan refugees were pouring over the Khyber Pass. I floated the idea that getting a trademark on bolani is like trademarking tamales. He laughed. We could have gabbed together for hours if I didn't have a plane to catch.

Nice man. I will call Zalmi whenever I need a ride to the airport. That was the right cab for me, wasn't it.

I love taking taxis because you meet drivers originating from all over the world (and/or drivers with colorful stories about SF when you could make a living doing the job). Pink furry mustache, not for me.

PS: If you are ever in SF and need a taxi to or from the airport, email me for John's phone number.

Friday, August 8, 2014

It rained (wool) at the AFSC Basement in San Francisco.

Monday's super-strong gang included (left to right) Kirstin (Happy Birthday!), Charlene, Bette and Giovanna. Carol R had to catch the street car to the ferry, so escaped before we took the photo. Bette and Giovanna visited us as emissaries from the Fiberfrolics knitting group in Benecia, above San Francisco. Our longtime supporter and friend, Carol M, involved the Fiberfrolics many years ago, and they have knit hundreds of sweaters and hats and other garments for a4A. Giovanna owns the yarn shop, of the same name, that orchestrates charity knitting and includes us because they love to use wool. Glad the ladies could drive down to deliver their pile of colorful hats and spend the afternoon with us. We needed their muscle. A huge pile of boxes and envelopes were waiting for us. We worked non-stop to open as many as possible .
On Tuesday, Candace, Elizabeth, Marina, Rachel, Susan, and Anne finished opening almost all the mail and reviewing the baby socks. That more than filled our afternoon, and we even started to fill the cartons that will be sent to Afghanistan. I have no idea how most of the afternoon's stars managed to escape the camera, but they did. (You could probably search this blog to find photos of the long-timers.)

Susan visited us all the way from Bezerkeley. Let me tell you, meeting her and hearing about her work was very meaningful and not bezerk in the least. Susan coaches Afghan-American immigrants in English as part of the social service programs of Jewish Family and Children Services East Bay. While the women visit and support each other, Susan has them knitting for Afghanistan. Susan brought over their beautifully well-made hats to add to our cartons heading to their homeland. Susan's on the right (Anne is on the left):
Anne was a special visitor from Wellesley, MA. In town for work, she managed to schedule us in before flying home -- and we had a super visit. Anne G is connected to a group that reached out to the people of Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11. Anne's neighbor lost her husband on the United Airlines plane.

Can you believe that Anne brought us a box of chocolates not available, everywhere, thanks to globalization? Check out this exotic box from New England nestled in with the fabulous wool baby socks:

Golden foil for precious wool baby hats --
The Baby Shower ended on July 31. Knitters and crocheters across the US and Canada, plus some Royal Mail, a package from Switzerland, and Japan, too, plus maybe a couple other far-away lands responded enthusiastically to the invitation to create wool socks and hats for babies at the Malalai Maternity Hospital in Kabul.We don't know yet how many heads and footsies are going to be warmer and happier because of our generous volunteers, but the number will have 4 digits.

Here's the first of the cartons to be packed up ... 500 pairs ... 1,000 Afghan feet ... 5,000 Afghan toes!
Thank you, Knitters and Crocheters, for Afghanistan! XOXOXOXO

Thank you, Stephen McNeil, Director of Peace Building at AFSC, and the front office staff at AFSC.

Group hug, everyone, and enjoy the weekend.

Wish we could make it rain rain in California, too, but our powers are limited.

Friday, August 1, 2014

There is still time to knit for the bigger kids

Hats, mittens, and socks for kids ages 7 through 16 will continue to be collected until at least the end of the summer. (I was confused.) This is great!