Monday, May 23, 2016

What's Happening Lately at the AFSC Basement?

Your wonderful packages full of wool hats, socks, and mittens for the people of Afghanistan have been arriving at AFSC in San Francisco.

Whoops, wrong delivery. That was USPS delivering a box of paper towels for the younguns in the swanky high-rise apartment building next door, which is across the street from Twitter. Not that long ago, our neighbor was an empty lot and sometimes vegetable patch. We live in a time of rapid change.

On the other side of the world, in Afghanistan, change is slower. The darn war continues, and we continue to knit and crochet our practical gifts of friendship and respect because our gifts are still valued and that's what we do. Thank you to long-time volunteers and the newer participants who keep the momentum going.

We opened packages last Wednesday. The volume is finally picking up -- so much so that we did not have time to conduct an interim count. We were dazzled by the superb workmanship and wide array of cheery colors. We have very talented and generous volunteers.

Here's Carlene with s stack of ribbed hats made by Louise in Orange, California. The all-rib hat offers a useful range on fit and great ear coverage when folded up. And, Louise's gauge is always right on for the perfect fabric density.

Theresa is holding 44 pairs of socks made by Karen on Ravelry. Can you believe it? 88 warmer feet! 440 warmer toes!

Emily got to open the most recent box from our Ravelry moderator Renee, who this time made sure that several larger youth and adults will have warmer feet in the winter. Don't you love all these colors?

One of the packages came with this tribute note -- Happy Birthday to Nico!

After a couple productive hours down in the AFSC Basement with long-time volunteers Emily, Teresa, Carlene, and Elizabeth (no photo! next time!), time for fresh air and natural light at a favorite spot that always delivers.

Wherever you are this week, enjoy some fresh air and natural light. You still have plenty of time to cast on to be included in this shipment. No due date yet. Sometime this summer. We'll keep you posted.

And, if you're coming to San Francisco this summer, please get in touch. We can try to plan a packing date around you. Bring a puffer coat and wear a knitted cap -- just in case.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

On the way to California

I haven't done as much knitting for this campaign as I intended to. But, as I constantly repeat, the kid who gets the one pair of mittens you made doesn't care about the quantity you produced. One pair of warm hands is a victory right there. 

I thought I'd only finished 2 pairs of mittens, but when I went to the box, it turns out I'd done this:

And friends added some more things for me to mail, so the box will be even better:

(the color on this photo is a little bleached out -- wrong kind of cloudy day)

I also gave away 7 small bags of yarn for people to use for socks and mittens, and inspired two friends to make more than 50 pairs of  baby socks by giving them the link to Kate Atherley's wonderful pattern.(Three pairs are on the left side of that photo just above.)They tell me making them is like eating jellybeans.

The campaign is still on, with a due date likely sometime in early summer. I'll be mailing these things tomorrow, though, so they're not in the avalanche of packages that arrive at the last possible minute. I may finish one or two more things; they can go later. This way the volunteers get a chance to pack gradually.

I'd love to see what others are making this year!