Normally I would not repeat a charity but honestly recent events in the news have totally broken my heart. We all have talents that we can put to good use to make the world a safer, happier, more comfortable place for children. They are our future and our greatest asset. Please bear with me while I write my heart on my sleeve :)
Look, if any of you have seen the news reels of the refugees from the earthquakes in Nepal, refugees in camps in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan, ethnic cleansing in hot spots all over the world, and then there are the children in your OWN country who just need a little help to be fed and warmed. I took one look at http://www.reuters.com/news/archive/worldNews?view=page and thought where do I start? What can I possibly do amid all the chaos, amid all the negative reporting, bickering, hubris, and attention paid to self-centered "celebutantes"? I know there has to be something I can do to help out just one child. Then I remembered World Vision. I went directly to their facebook page knowing that they were already in the process of helping victims of he earthquakes in Napal https://www.facebook.com/worldvision?ref=ts&fref=ts
Hope spreads like sunrise across the skies of a hurting landscape. Indeed, World Vision was expertly covered by my daughter Tamra in an earlier blog post but I thought we could all use a bit of a "Yes I can" fist-bump today, Or I could anyways. Maybe you can join me. "Knit for Kids" began in 1996 by Guideposts magazine. In 2009 World Vision took up the clarion call to reach even MORE children around the world. Happy children give hope to a family, a community... and maybe even the world! There's a simple explanation on how Knits for Kids operates http://knitforkids.org/about-us/story-sweater/
As I have said many times fiber artists are some of the most giving people in the world. They not only give of their time but also of their finances. World Vision receives all kinds of donations. But where can we start? Got yarn? :) Its as easy as 1-2-3!
Step 1: http://knitforkids.org/get-involved/step-1/
Step 2: http://knitforkids.org/get-involved/step-2/
Step 3: http://knitforkids.org/get-involved/step-3/ You knit/crochet, your project put it in a box with a packing slip to the address on the web page and the sweater goes to where its needed most!
Every question you could possibly have is right there on the website. But just to be clear while they prefer you use their patterns are happy to let us choose our own pattern for a sweater, hat or blanket... Check out the selection from AC Moore! http://www.acmoore.com/projects/projects-new/world-vision-knit-for-kids.html I will share two of my favorite patterns from Bev of Bev's Country Cottage the first pattern is a long time favorite my daughter and I have made several of these over the years: http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/granny-lg.html The second blanket is very similar to the blanket my grandmother made for me for me when I was a baby: http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/cp2.html
If you are anything like me you do not like to feel helpless and World Vision through their many programs gives us a way to feel that we may have made a difference. A gift to one child may make all the difference in the world. Hope, help, and a smile. Its worth the time and the expense.
Hello, readers! Tamra here, and today, I’d like to tell you about a great lady named Chelsea Campbell. I ran across her while looking for a good pattern for ponies after I saw the success of the series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. While I am not a “Brony” by any stretch, I think that a show that promotes friendship, cooperation, and general good morals to young kids is something I can support.
Anyway, after finding several that, frankly looked like pigs rather than horses, I encountered Chelsea Campbell’s pony pattern. I was just what I was looking for! Rounded and soft and not completely girly-looking to boot, it was just the thing. I bought the pattern from her Ravelry store (http://www.ravelry.com/people/acrylicsheep) and began making ponies galore.
Chelsea began knitting when she was a child, wishing to make her favorite stuffed dinosaur a sleeping bag, which she calls a “velociraptor cozy”. Besides making ponies and selling them at conventions, Chelsea is also a writer of young adult fiction, having finished her third book in her Renegade X series, which is about a young superhero. Though Chelsea sells ponies at her Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/acrylicsheep?ref=si_shop) she has authorised her pony pattern to be used by private crafters for sale! She is very generous with her talents in this area, and her generosity has benefited many crafters and the lucky recipients of her ponies.
Look for Chelsea on Ravelry, and on Etsy. Her personal blog can be found here: http://www.chelseamcampbell.com/ . Here are just a few of the ponies I’ve made with Chelsea’s pattern:
From my family to yours, to our Veterans, to our active Duty military, and to our First Responders, Thank you.
Breath of Liberty
April 22, 2014 at 10:51am
Breath of Liberty by Velynda Wilson. (an original poem)
We may not have your picture hanging on our wall
We will never see all of your faces or even your names
You may receive your honor in secret because what you did for our sake was behind enemy lines
But your acts of sacrifice are marked indelibly in the ether of time
Every time we breathe air in liberty we are surrounded by the brave souls who fought to secure that liberty
The pictures can never tell us what you saw, felt, heard, or suffered at the hands of others.
We cannot see the inner scars that never heal or know the nightmares that repeat.
Though you have kept millions secure, your pain is individual.
You may not have served in a battlefield yet you were willing in the gap for us, and sacrificed in your own way.
Out at the pointy end of the spear of Justice.
Arbiters of peace
The hands of mercy
The faces of hope.
Torture, wounded, tormented, taunted, rejected, ridiculed, spit at, watched your beloved flag burned, and bore it all with grace.
This you did for people you do not know, for generations of people who will never know your name, or who will not honor you because of your race or your gender.
Those who hold you in our hearts know that every time we say that we see "Old Glory" flying high it is because YOU were there in places we'll never see, doing work that may never be revealed.
Shamelessly we cry when we hear the National Anthem sung or see a child lay flowers at a grave
Tears of pride, mixed with the humble knowledge that we can never ever say enough to thank you
Our hearts feel sorrow that some have died for sake of the honor of our country.
We are obligated to you in ways we can never repay.
Time may obscure the many deeds from view but bravery forever changes what it touches.
In that way Veterans, past, present, and future, take heart bravery is your legacy; continue to march with her on your shoulders.
An original poem By Mrs. Sergeant First Class Thomas A. Wilson. November 11, 2013
Today I have the privilege of introducing a charity about which my son Ian Thomas Kyle Wilson feels passionately. He's written a piece. I ask each of you to consider carefully what he says and think about how you can take action. This is not a charity about knitting or crocheting its about fundamental rights to freedom. As we celebrate those who helped to secure our freedom this Memorial Day weekend, think what a world of difference you could make not just with funds but with persistence and courage.
My son Ian writes: " “It is the eternal struggle between these two principles — right and wrong — throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity, and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, "You toil and work and earn bread, and I'll eat it." No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.” -Abraham Lincoln.
Most of us here in America think of slavery as something that ended generations ago, but all over the world, slavery still exists. Over 35 million people are enslaved throughout the world, and those are just the ones we know about. Slavery still exists behind closed doors, even here in America. Slavery is one of the greatest evils of our time, and yet, people continue to treat it as a side issue.
Walk Free is an organisation that has dedicated itself to fighting the evil of slavery worldwide. Their goal is to have a slave-free world. To accomplish this, they must awaken people to the problem of slavery, much as Saint Patrick did 1500 years ago, and ensure that those who participate in this crime are brought to justice. We must all do our part to create a truly free world. This includes not only raising awareness about the plight of slaves, but also making informed decisions about the goods that we buy. Walk Free can help. Consider making a donation today.
I became involved with Walk Free a long time ago through one of their many social media campaigns. They were raising awareness over slavery in Florida’s tomato fields, and collecting signatures for a petition, which I signed. I was shocked and angry that slavery was still continuing right here in America, more than a hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
To get involved in fight against slavery, visit their website at www.walkfree.org where you can donate, or sign up to get email updates, or follow them on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/walkfree.org?fref=ts"
Today I introduce my daughter Tamra Wilson has been an avid collector of dolls for years. She's been an avid crocheter and toy maker for 9 years. (since she was 15 years old) Over the years she has become quite innovative in her designs and has 2 facebook pages. https://www.facebook.com/dollclotheslaterose?fref=ts and https://www.facebook.com/LateroseJumbles?fref=ts where you can check out her various designs.
Without further ado: Tamra Wilson When I was a kid I loved small toys. Among my favorite toys where Polly Pockets, cunning little portable doll houses that folded into compacts that fit into a pocket or purse. These fun little toys could go anywhere with you, giving a convenient distraction for kids on the go.
Nowadays, I can’t help but think how much of a boon those little toys were to parents whose children were in the hospital for a long period of time, and how unfair it was that boys didn’t have such a neat toy! Granted, my brother had a toy with a similar idea, a Star Wars playset that folded out of Luke Skywalker’s head, but that’s darned hard to tote around. Gradually however, smaller playsets like this disappeared, no doubt because of choking hazards. But I feel that for the benefit of children everywhere, but especially those who must be in the hospital for whatever reason, it’s time for them to make a triumphant return.
That’s what got me thinking outside the box! I was in Joann Fabrics one day when these plain wooden trinket boxes caught my eye. I had seen people turning lunch boxes into doll houses, but it’s really hard to find an actual lunchbox, rather than lunch bags. So I picked up one of the boxes and looked at it, an idea forming in my head. I bought one little box and began looking around in my box of whatnots, and came up with an idea for a playset like the Polly Pockets, only larger. And it would be easy to make ones for boys!
I had a figurine that I had bought for a full size doll house, a little rabbit from the Li’l Woodzeez line from Target. She came with a bunch of baking supplies and a tea set. After considering my options, I decided to turn this box into restaurant. After painting and making the accessories I decided to make another box, it was just so fun!
After buying another box, I purchased a mini Lalaloopsy doll to go with it. Now, the doll had a candy theme, so I decided to make this one a sweet shop, what fun I had making it! I then had my brother woodburn designs on the top, with no restrictions or instructions. These are toys to feed the imaginations of the children who receive them, just as the toys I had fed mine. Kids today have too many toys that tell you how to play with them, rather than letting kids decide for themselves how to play with them. I hope that these boxes do just that.
I have priced these boxes at $15.00. Contact me on either of my facebook pages for details. I wish you joy, giggles, and happy little smiles.
****As always my mom and I would caution parents to keep a close eye on little ones! These toys are made are for children aged 6-9 years old and NOT below that age because of choking hazard.****
Thank you Tamra!
If you've been knitting, crocheting, looming, quilting or just about anything else... for any length of time you will most certainly have run into Bev's Country Cottage. With well over 6 MILLION visits to her webpage there's little doubt that Bev has made her mark on the world. http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/index.html. Today's blog is a little bit of a cross over post because Bev Qualheim designs with a purpose and that is to benefit people through charitable giving.
I'll quote from the webpage
"Join me, BEVERLY QUALHEIM-email, in celebrating the art of crocheting, knitting, sewing, and charity crafting worldwide. There are people everywhere, even in our own neighborhoods, who need the warmth of the items we make. Bev's can give you the patterns you need, and places to help. And don't forget family and friends!" That sums up Bev's attitude to life. Giving and caring. She is a mom to 5 and grandmother to 8. She is all about family! A woman of deep personal faith which is infused in everything she does and fuels her desire to help others. Her love for people is nearly palpable.
My daughter... proprietress of Laterose Jumbles on Facebook and I have used Beverly's well written, well thought out, thoroughly tested patterns over and over again. But the great thing about Bev's Country Cottage is that she also gives her readers links to other well written patterns specifically for use in gifting. Whether its gifting to charity or gifting to family In fact some of the VERY FIRST items I made for charity through Project Linus were designs on Beverly's site. For example: http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/cp2.html after some trial and error, I managed to share a couple of these pretty afghans with others and now this stitch seems to be back in vogue! Yay :)
My regular readers are well acquainted with my need to create warm items for babies and preemies. One of the major influences in my work has been Bev's very own story! Again I quote from her site;
"Bev's first son 33 weeker (photo above), Shaun 4 lbs 11 oz, Nov 1980 Her motivation for creating preemie patterns!" Patterns for Preemies are collected here: http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/preemies.html. This is where I found some of the inspiration for reaching out to hospitals collecting preemie clothes. In my own life I had a good friend whose daughter was born very tiny and spent weeks in a hospital in Syracuse, NY. I had the privilege of seeing this little sweetie at the hospital. She was beautiful. I've never forgotten that experience. So when I say I have a passion for this work, you know why. Not only am I family oriented but I believe in the underdogs :)
Beverly provides a great number of useful links and information to knitters and crocheters most of which you'd have to search the internet to find if you were to look on your own. Mercifully Bev does the work for us! Isn't that fantastic? My daughter and I would be pretty much lost without Bev's Country cottage. http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/size-chart.html She saves us the time of searching everywhere for the right chart so we can focus on the work at hand.
How far reaching is Bev's work? Its easier to show you rather than tell you!
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/troops.html Helping our military.
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/kids.html Reaching out to kids.
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/hospital.html Showing love to those in hospital.
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/seniors.html Giving a smile to our elderly
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/baby.html Our littlest citizens
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/winter.html Winter warm items. Including orphans!
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/charity-links.html Charitable organizations that need your help. Bev has gathered an army of helpers, supporters, family and friends who are out there doing what they can to assist those who cannot help themselves. Through her website she's touched countless thousands of people and of course ALL of the people who have donated patterns to her website deserve great thanks for their hard work.
How can you reach Bev? Obviously through her website but she also has a blog: http://bevq.blogspot.com/ and a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bevs-Country-Cottage-Website/149725066702?fref=ts No question that everyone who visits uses, and contributes to Bev's website and work is touched by Bev's passion. I personally, want to thank Bev for her hard work over the years here are a couple of items I've made using her page:
Happy Mother's day to my readers who are moms. To all of you who put your heart and soul into being great moms and great role models I truly appreciate you. :)
Today however I want to share with you a group that focuses their love and time on those parents of angel babies. Like Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, introduced to you by my dear friend Jill, Kendell's Warmth focuses on parents who have lost a child and those who are struggling with deeply painful situations. Stephanie is Kendell's mom, Kendell is her angel baby. Here is what Stephanie says on her web page "Hello all,
I lost my son Kendell Ryan Diersing at 19 weeks and 3 days into my pregnancy. He had a condition known as Triploidy which is where the unborn child has 69 chromosomes rather than the normal 46 chromosomes. He also had a number of other health issues/ complications due to that condition. While pregnant with him, I was crocheting two blankets for him. There were pastel baby prints not knowing that he would never be able to use them. Since his passing on October 15, 2008, I have found so much comfort and warmth from his blankets that I have decided to extend this offer to anyone who has lost their loved one. I do not limit to one can buy one for I do them for parents, sibilings, grandparents,spouses, family members, child/ pregnancy loss, rainbow babies, cancer patients, etc." Her words are salve to the hearts of any parent who has had a child now in heaven.
Stephanie and her best friend create beautiful hand made items for those who have experienced loss or are struggling with a personal situation of pain, all they ask is for a little money for the yarn and to defray the cost of shipping. Unlike NILMDTS, Stephanie and her friend do all the work themselves. However part of this service is providing a safe, non-judgmental place for people to express their grief. In my personal experience these tragedies cause people to grow, wither, or get stuck somewhere in between. Stephanie turned her grief in to an outreach with over 500 followers on Facebook! You can be sure that the way Stephanie, her friend, and her followers have helped people move through the stages of grief in many ways. The most obvious is a tangible form. You can see the blankets displayed here:http://kendellswarmth2008.webs.com/apps/photos/
Stephanie can be reached on her web page http://kendellswarmth2008.webs.com/contact-me or on her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KendellsWarmth?fref=ts
The project needs funds, gift cards, yarn donations, to keep the work up to speed with the requests. Many parents have suffered in silence which is why I am so deeply grateful for the work Stephanie does through Kendell's Warmth. If you need her help, want to donate or want to support those who have experienced loss please, visit the Kendall's Warmth pages.
I'm a little giddy about today's indy designer because I LOVE her work and have used elements of her designs in some of my own pieces. Today I introduce you to Elaine of "Down Cloverlaine". http://downcloverlaine.blogspot.com/ She is a mom, grandmother, avid knitter and knit designer. Her designs have to be some of the cutest patterns ever. :)
When I wrote Elaine via private message on Ravelry to ask her permission to use her as my indy spotlight, her response was "I’m not sure why you’d want to blog about me, but I guess I don’t have any objections! LOL!!
I explained that I'd used elements of her designs a few times and thanked her for allowing me to share her work on my blog. I wish I had time to work up all her designs. Some of the work that I've done using Elaine's designs has been for charity and I do not have pictures of those pieces. However here are some pictures of things that I have made incorporating Elaine's designs:
Two baby sweaters one preemie, one newborn size, and the third design is a blanket using the chart for Elaine's "Belle Cloth".
Like myself, Elaine was taught to knit by her Grandmother. However, unlike myself, Elaine has been knitting since she was 6 years old. She says; "Every time I pick up my needles, I think of her." Something else we have in common.
I enjoy "Down Cloverliane" blog so much because its a joy to read. Its uplifting, and honest. She doesn't blurt her family business on her blog but she is transparent enough to tell her readers when her family is going through a rough patch. Her designs reflect her love for her family and for her friends. She does work for charity like many other fiber artists but only talks about that side of her work tangentially. She very often talks about other designers and her favorite yarns. Rarely, however, does she talk about herself... which tells me where her priorities are placed.
Elaine says she doesn't charge for her designs because she enjoys designing. She is super talented I don't have the skills to write patterns so I appreciate her gifts. (including color work, another skill I lack) She says she's been knitting "since the earth's crust cooled" LOL! However, those years of knitting have helped so many people. Probably more than she'll ever know. Check out her blog or look her up on Ravelry "Cloverlaine".
My daughter and I were totally jazzed when we read about The Pink Slipper Project when perusing the Crochet Guild of America's website http://www.crochet.org/?page=charity we are always looking for new ideas to help our community and our country. We're also pretty selective about who we choose simply because we want to be able to include as many people as possible. (Truly though, so far, Ohio tops our list of the most giving states) WE LOVE the idea behind The Pink Slipper Project, we think you will too!
First and foremost this is NOT our idea. Any quotes come directly from the website or the Facebook page and we credit the very insightful and thoughtful people at The Pink Slipper Project. First what is it: "To provide warm, handmade slippers to as many women and children who are living in shelters as we possibly can. One pair of handmade slippers will go a long way in healing a heart and warming toes."
Founded in 2009 The Pink Slipper Project's description can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/ThePinkSlipperProject/info?tab=page_info Basically how it works, and in my opinion one of the best aspect of this charity's work is that they use "challenges" to generate pledges for slippers and washcloths. The coordinator of the challenge will give the specific number of items requested by age and sometimes gender. The participants then pledge the number of items they will make and upon completion mail the items directly TO the shelter. Please READ the requirements, bear in mind that they are providing items to small children and avoid items that could be a choking hazard. The participants are on their honor to fulfill their pledge.
Now I read back a year on their blog page. I had to say that I could literally feel the excitement build as the pledge goals got closer to completion. There's no long term commitment to the charity, you simply make the slippers/washcloths/dolls (and sometimes other items are requested) and mail your pledge to the shelter. Imagine the relief when the shelter gets boxes filled with items that are needed and that show love to those who may otherwise fall through the cracks of society.
Speaking from deeply personal experience our family had a house fire in 2001 we were very blessed to have family to stay with while we looked for a new home, however people, hundreds of people, sent money, toys, clothes, hand knit washcloths, dishcloths, send towels, sheets, furnishings. It was AMAZING. So when I found The Pink Slipper Project a part of me jumped for joy. You may never know what just one pair of slippers will mean to a child or a mother in need. But trust me, the idea that someone out there, who doesn't even know you would take the time to share their talent with you is thrilling.
Lots of people can knit or crochet slippers. The Pink Slipper Project has their own "signature" patterns! :) How cool is that? All this information can be found on their blog http://www.thepinkslipperproject.blogspot.com/. Well maintained and easy to navigate, the blog and the Facebook page will give you everything you need to get started. Like Pinterest? Into Ravelry? (my daughter and I both admit to being a bit "addicted" to both sites) you can find Pink Slipper at: https://www.pinterest.com/PinkSlipProject/ and http://www.ravelry.com/people/PinkSlipperProj It doesn't matter if you knit, crochet or sew. You can do something wonderful for someone who needs a gentle hug.
My daughter and I wish to thank the coordinators of The Pink Slipper Project for all their perseverance and love. Won't you join a challenge?
First a brief word about the photos in this blog they are ALL used by permission of Madeleine Nilsson. They are hers and are NOT to be copied or shared without her express permission.
Madeleine Nilsson and I share one very important thing in common: YARN MADNESS :) In fact http://www.yarn-madness.com/ is the name of Madeleine's blog. This is how she describes herself "My name is Madeleine! I’m a color loving, crafty and pretty shy woman in my late twenties, living in Göteborg (Sweden) with my husband – we met online almost 10 years ago – how about that? And, let’s not forget my beloved (and slightly crazy) cat Busan.
Since 2010 I’ve started crafting, blogging and designing, and the yarn madness is complete and never ending. I love the creative outlet and lovely crafty people like you – it’s just what I need! When not crafting, I’m studying to becoming a nurse.
What else? I’m one of those who’ll always have too many hobbies and too little time, no matter how much time I have to spare! When not studying to become a nurse, I occupy my days with Ravelry, photography, flea markets, books (mostly paranormal romance, horror, fantasy, adventure and cosy mysteries), color! ♥, colorful things, spending time at home, craft magazines, mythology and legends, movies, horror movies, chocolate, Johnny Depp, tea, writing letters…" You can tell she has a real zest for life can't you? Her patterns reflect her flare for style and the dramatic. They are gorgeous.
Let me share with you 3 of my favorite patterns available through Ravelry.com (She granted me permission to share her patterns so PLEASE do not copy them without asking permission) The first is a beautiful sweater for women. Madeleine models her own clothes very well!
Madeleine has named this sweater Tundra. Although it looks more like a fairytale on her :) Stunning. The price for this pattern is 4.00 US dollars. Again, available on Ravelry.com (membership is free)
The second design is a unisex sweater for boys or girls. It has a playful mood about it and is definitely created for fun and functionality.
In Swedish the pattern is entitled Leksak, in English... simply Pullover. Its adorable! The sleeves are long enough to keep warm but not so long as to get in the way when enjoying some time in play. Sizes for this pattern rage from newborn to age 10. Available on Ravelry.com, the price is 4.00 US Dollars. Patterns are written in British English, so please carefully read through and make sure you are familiar with the British knitters lexicon. The third design is a priceless little dress that I've fallen in love with.
The dress is aptly named Kalas which in Swedish means "party" :) Its an adorable dress with a little room to spare for exploring or birthday party games. Sized 3 months to 12 years this dress is a great addition to any little girls wardrobe. Available on Ravelry.com priced at 3.00 US Dollars.
I think you will agree that Madeleine Nilsson has her finger on the pulse of fashion for any age. I want to thank her for allowing me the privilege of sharing her work and agreeing to allow me access to her photographs. See more of Madeleine's work on Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/yarn-madness, on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/ymadness/, or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/madeleine.nilsson.568. One last thing... Madeleine I hope you are going to make the "Drama" cardigan available soon! Its beautiful!
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.