Today we want to share with you a charity we found through Giving Artfully. Not only is Contagious Hope listed on Giving Artfully but also a staff pick! Contagious Hope founded in 2009 by Linda Nonini. She, like so many others covered in this blog started with the certain knowledge that hope is an action word. Hope unlocks the soul's potential. Hope is the never ending fountain from which we gain strength for living.
Linda, and the team that works with her at Contagious Hope are people of deep personal faith. "Contagious Hope Inc., was organized exclusively for religious, charitable, medical and educational purpose in May 2009.
It all began with one person and one big dream. "One day I was making Christmas stockings for the children in Uganda. I told them not to expect much since my sewing wasn't the best. I was told not to worry about it because 'no one has ever given these kids a gift before.' Little did I know how that statement would change my life. I knew I had to do more. The Lord placed on my heart to help not only these children but other children around the world. This ministry does not belong to me, but to the Lord.*
Matthew 16:26 (New International Version)
What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" http://www.contagioushope.com/about.html
This is true. For everyone who works in a charity knows that its in the giving of ourselves to serve others that we find ourselves! And yes I too am a person that finds her hope in Christ alone through faith alone. (Its not a secret from people who know me.)
Contagious hope provides necessities for children in orphanages in third world countries. They need everything that you would buy/make for your own child. Shoes, clothing, hats, scarves, blankets, toys... Its all important to keeping a child safe from illness and warm. This is where YOU come in go to http://www.givingartfully.com/campaigns/contagious-heart-baby-booties-baby-blankets/ fill out the Giving Artfully form and send your donations to a WONDERFUL cause. Over the next couple of months my daughter and I will be working to make hats, and booties for children in orphanages in Kenya. We have a strong connection to Kenya though friends and are more keenly aware of how we can help stem the tide of poverty. http://www.contagioushope.com/services.html
Contagious Hope has another wonderful project I want to share with you all because it is exciting! Normally I try to keep to the crafting end of charitable work but this is such a vital program to the health and well being of children, I thought I should share it with you! This is our latest and most exciting project that will be taking place in Kenya. Did you know that each month hundreds of babies are being abandoned at birth? While some babies are being left at hospitals or safe houses, many are being dumped in rivers, public schools and rubbish sites. Too many babies are dying from exposure, suffocation or starvation.
Child abandonment is a symptom of poverty and hopelessness and often all it would take is a mother knowing where to turn to for help.
Contagious Hope wants to be that place.
We'll be creating more than just an orphanage, we'll be creating new beginnings. Outside of the building will be a special "box" where the unwanted babies will be placed. This box will sound the alarm alerting the 24 hour caregivers that a baby has arrived. The baby will immediately be taken and the anonymity of the mother will be ensured.
Inside our building will be a bright, safe and loving environment where babies will be kept until a loving home can be found for them.
As you can imagine a project like this take a lot of compassion, dedication and of course finances. In order to get started we will need $30,000. We have several examples on how you can give and every penny of your tax deductible gift counts. Please consider making your donation today. You can donate by going to our "How I can help page".
Examples on how your money will be used:
$5.00 for a week of baby wipes
$10.00 for a week of diapers
$15.00 for sheets for every bed
$30.00 for a month of formula
$75.00 for a crib
$____any amount for where it is needed the most.
This is a wonderful charity and I was very proud to be able to share it with you my readers. Now my daughter and I will be knitting and crocheting for Kenya until about December... if you care to join us please contact Linda Nonini http://www.contagioushope.com/form.html Below are two pictures of the reason this project in Kenya is so close to my heart. That statuesque, beautiful young woman pictured I became acquainted with 4 years ago and she has been a joy ever since. How many of these children will become a joy to the world?
Hello blog readers, Tamra here in for Lyn to tell you about a great website called Giving Artfully.
Giving Artfully is a website dedicated to matching crafters of all stripes with volunteering opportunities that can use their skills. Whether you like to knit, scrapbook, sew, or do other crafts, Giving Artfully finds organizations that need your help. They save crafters time by giving all the information you could conceivably need to make your donation. Additionally, Giving Artfully checks the legitimacy of each charity to make sure that your work goes to a proper cause. Too many charities you find on the internet are either fraudulent or defunct, Giving Artfully saves you the hassle of trying to find the information yourself.
Giving Artfully, like The Pink Slipper Project, raises support for the projects it sponsors by gathering pledges, you pledge to make so many of something, and it goes on the tally for the project, which is a simple and exciting way to see the projects grow.
The next time you need information about charity crafting, check Giving Artfully first! This well organised website places charities at your fingertips and aides in getting the correct projects to charities that can use them most.
A while back I had a friend contact me about making a car seat "tent" as a baby gift. I had one pattern already but it wasn't spectacular so I went searching for a pattern that was a bit more fun. I found a BONANZA of adorable patterns available through Heather's Craft Corner. Amazing.
I found Heather's Craft Corner through Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/heathers-craft-corner/patterns
She has 28 patterns available through Ravelry. Everything from hats and scarves, to blankets and boot toppers. Lovely designs! She has put a lot of time into making her designs workable yet so attractive. Just drawn to making them! :)
According to her biography on Ravelry, Heather Ormond has been crocheting since she was a teen and knitting for about a year. The designs she has for sale are crocheted. Her etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/HeathersCraftCorner?ref=shopsection_shophome_leftnav is a great place to see her variety of infant car seat canopy patterns. They are GREAT! My favorite is https://www.etsy.com/listing/201066243/crochet-pattern-chevron-car-seat-canopy?ref=shop_home_active_1. Chevron/ zigzag patterns are all the rage right now so this one is especially timely and very smart looking for either a baby boy or a baby girl. I really want to focus my comments on these baby canopy designs because the do meet a range of needs are are so innovative
I guess what attracted me to the idea of the car seat canopy is my own experience with car seats. I've seen some of those really nice car seat covers where a baby is basically snuggled down and mom can zip the top closed while transporting the baby in and out of the cold breeze. My daughter and son were born many years ago now but we had car seats for both of them. My daughter was ALWAYS warm. She really fussed if you tried to wrap her up tight in anything and the idea of zipping her into something would have caused an infant outcry like you would not believe. The car seat canopy design would have been perfect for my daughter. A way to protect her from the elements but also allow breathing space she needed. (turns out she used to get very car sick as a child so that didn't help the whole car seat situation) I know I am not the only mom who has this experience. If you live in warmer climates, and I have made commissions for those who live in Southern states, or a new mom just wants a little extra coverage in the Spring, Summer, Fall in the North East, this is the PERFECT solution. Heather's Craft Corner runs a special https://www.etsy.com/listing/111958220/crochet-pattern-any-2-patterns?ref=shop_home_active_2, buy two patterns for $8.00 (US), which of course I may have to use :).
I've introduced you to Heather Ormond's car seat canopy but she has another innovative design which I thought was brilliant! https://www.etsy.com/listing/210856620/crochet-pattern-chevron-car-seat?ref=shop_home_active_12 Check this out! Hand knit and crocheted car seat blankets often come with spaces through which the straps go. Nice idea and really perfect for those moms who don't want something heavy over the baby this design also helps a baby feel secure. HOWEVER Heather Ormond's new design is made with straps that attach to the car seat handles for a mom on the go or a baby who just isn't that into its car seat. Isn't that great?! This blanket would have been perfect for my two kids. Its unisex and matches the Chevron car seat cover very nice idea!
You know you can find Heather Ormond on her Ravelry page and Etsy. She also has a blog http://www.heatherscraftcorner.com/ where she spotlights not only her designs but the designs of others! (some totally adorable Amigurumi toy patterns for Laterose Jumbles to try her hand at), She has a spot at Craftsy shop http://www.craftsy.com/user/684301/pattern-store. Sign up for the newsletter on her blog page or join her facebook community https://www.facebook.com/HeathersCraftCorner?fref=ts Great stuff! I love designers like Heather Ormond because they are so original in their thinking, practical in their application, and ready to help when necessary.
I'd like to thank Heather Ormond for her great designs. I really appreciate beauty and practicality and I am sure I'm not the only one! Please check out Heather's Craft Corner. If you have any comments or questions you can leave a comment below or find me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OutoftheParcDesigns?ref=hl
Today we celebrate a wonderful mile marker in the existence of one of my favorite charities. Of course you remember that NHAP is charity serving the UK. They had a BANNER year. Let me share their accomplishments with you.
The accomplishments for the year according to Nikki Morris and Bea McDonald the coordinators and founders of NHAP:
"GRAND TOTAL OF ITEMS SENT OUT 58,540
420 Boxes to Hospitals 36000 items sent out
63 angel packs 720 items
35 memory packs 260 items
72 going home packs 1484 items
150 preemie care packs 3060 items
7 boxes extreme sos 302 items
469 twiddle muffs
16 boxes and 11 sacks homeless 840 items
11 boxes and 8 sacks of children's items 4300 items
399 items as Christmas presents last year"
6 homeless charities
knit for nowt
st elizabeths hospice
4 womans refuges
social services special babies
the 100 project
12 care homes
Newcastle breast feeding group
Here is how they accomplish all that great work: In 12 months they grew from 2 members to nearly 3400 members,
They have 49 ladies who are not in the group as they don't use facebook, the have chldrens after school clubs who knit for them,
they have knit and natter groups who make for them, they have 22 ladies and gentlemen in residential care homes who make for them. (this is roughly at least 300 outside members)
they started with one hospital now they help 160 Hospitals (SCBU NICU CHILDRENS units)! AMAZING AND WELL DONE!
This fantastic team of people runs like a well oiled clock. The Facebook group is more like a family then a group. Not a disjointed group of people all operating in tandem but a family of people all forming a circle together to accomplish a goal. That goal, to serve the under served in the UK. I marvel at the daily pictures they share of the beautiful and I mean beautiful little hand knit and crocheted items. I look at their work and begin to wonder how it is that I don't accomplish more!
Obviously I live in the Northern Adirondack Mountains of New York State and NHAP is in the UK but they have welcomed me with open arms. They treat me like one of their own because I respect their work, I respect their tenacity, and we love to knit and crochet to warm and clothe those who cannot protect themselves.
They exemplify all that is good in my world of fiber arts. I wish there were more Facebook groups like this in the US. People working together without all the drama. :) They are fantastic.
I want you to see for yourself just a tiny fraction of the items they donate to facilities all over the UK and indeed, the world.
In keeping with my Ravelry theme, Wool-aid started as a Ravelry group. A few great people had come together to make items for Warm Woolies, a group that was formed originally to make warm clothing for children in some of the world's coldest places. When Warm Woolies ceased operation in 2009... the good folks on Ravelry had ideas of woolen mittens dancing in their heads. I quote: "In November 2009, Warm Woolies announced that they were ceasing operations at the end of the year, and suddenly the Ravelry group of more than 500 knitters and crocheters needed to re-group! At the beginning of 2010, the group transitioned to the name Wool-Aid, with the same wonderful group of people committed to the same mission." How cool is that??? I have always said and I shall say that Fiber Artists are the most amazing people on earth.
They had a large undertaking, but true to form, when there's wool and a need, there's a way. The next step: "The year 2014 brought another transition, as Wool-Aid became Wool-Aid, Inc., and was registered as a non-profit corporation in the State of Illinois. In 2015, Wool-Aid, Inc. was recognized as a tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Our tax-exempt status is retroactive to 2014. All gifts to Wool-Aid are now tax-deductible." http://www.wool-aid.org/about.html Isn't that amazing? There is a very active Wool-Aid group on Ravelry where people can share their excitement over the things that they've made to send to children around the world.
Now the question becomes how can you help Wool-aid and where can you find patterns to assist them in their work well, first check out their web page. Extremely well done and extremely informative: http://www.wool-aid.org/index.html
And before you run off to buy wool please examine these guidelines CAREFULLY: http://www.wool-aid.org/guidelines.html It won't do the children any good if the garment you make can't be used for the purpose it was intended. The group is named Wool-Aid because they use wool, at least 80% wool. That's paramount so if you are allergic bear that in mind.
Current Wool-Aid campaigns are as follows: http://www.wool-aid.org/campaigns.html If you are a Raveler, (you really should be if you knit, crochet, spin or weave) check the page for updates as I do. http://www.ravelry.com/groups/wool-aid
As to patterns? Oh yes! http://www.wool-aid.org/patterns.html
I believe the mission of Wool-Aid is very important. The most vulnerable in the world deserve our attention most. Please consider if and how you can contribute.
But first: A word about Ravelry. About Ravelry, "Ravelry is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration. The content here is all user- driven; we as a community make the site what it is. Ravelry is a great place for you to keep notes about your projects, see what other people are making, find the perfect pattern and connect with people who love to play with yarn from all over the world in our forums." http://www.ravelry.com/about Ravelry is where you
will find today's Indy Designer. You'll miss out if you
haven't joined :)
Katherine or Kathok is a mom, knitter, crocheter, knit designer, owns a parrot and "lots of horses". Another reason I like Katherine, I love horses. :) She lives in Queensland, Australia with her 3 children. I was pretty excited to cover Katherine today because I've used one of her designs... a lot add to that the fact that her patterns are well constructed and thought out. Well its a recipe for PERFECT knits!
Katherine's designs are created for babies and children. They are very nicely packaged, some come in the form of ebooks, some in single patterns. I used Katherine's designs as gifts for preemie little ones. Cute! Katherine says "I began knitting in earnest when I became pregnant with my DD1 (dear daughter number 1). I started with simple 4ply baby clothes and progressed into soakers and longies to go over her cloth nappies. Babies and childrens clothing and nappy covers are predominantly what I knit nowadays." Practical experience= practical designs. She tries to make the items seamless... less seams to chafe on sensitive baby skin. Personally I think the fewer seams the better!
I like ALL of Katherine's designs but I'll share the link to two of my favorites; The first is what I consider a gender neutral baby blanket entitled Maple Grove. When you buy the ebook you get the instructions for several sizes of blanket. Brilliantly, Katherine offers a list of yarns which can be used to create the blanket. Find the ebook here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/maple-grove-blanket
My next choice is a very sweet pattern entitled the Blossom Bolero. Now I live in the Northern Adirondacks of New York. There are parts of Canada that are SOUTH of where I live so it gets cold here. However, many dresses for little girls are sleeveless or cap sleeved. Seriously? Katherine comes up with a cute answer that isn't exactly bulky sweater but is enough to keep the core warm. The patterns come sized to fit little girls 0-3 months all the way up to 10 years! Really its adorable you have to see it to believe the variety of options she has included in her ebook. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/blossom-bolero-baby--toddler-sizes Again, totally seamless, whats not to love?
Now to the pattern I have used for preemie babies. Katherine very kindly offered this pattern for free and I have used it for gifting to my friends who have had babies a little early. Its very unisex and works up beautifully. The Paxton Preemie and Newborn Jacket is adorable and keeps the core temperature of a baby warm but has shorter sleeves so new moms can layer you can find Paxton here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/paxton-preemie-and-newborn-jacket
Here is my version of the Paxton Jacket paired with a little sundress and matching hat:
I want to thank Katherine for her hard work and willingness to allow me to cover her designs for my blog today. Remember her designs are hard work so please give her credit for her work. Also the photos of the designs are the property of the owner as well as any charts that may accompany the pattern.
The idea for this bonnet came about as a result of a query by a dear lady named Andrea. She was looking for a bonnet pattern to make but the specific pattern she was looking for online was no longer available. I decided to give designing a try. Yes, I have made designs of my own in the past but never a design FOR another knitter for the purposes of sharing. I'm not a pattern writer, just a knitter with some skills :) WENDY G to the rescue! Wendy took a look at my design and offered to write the pattern up on my behalf for publication. She took my rag-tag notes, made sense of them, knitted the pattern wrote it up, knitted the pattern AGAIN then passed the pattern along in not one but TWO yarn weights. Wendy is British by birth and now lives in Australia. While I can knit using British terms many Americans cannot so as a favor to me she wrote a pattern up specifically for my American friends. She's done all of this without charge so I owe her a massive debt of thanks. This pattern is the copyright of WENDY G. The pictures are copyright Of https://www.facebook.com/OutoftheParcDesigns?ref=hl Out of the Parc Designs' Lyn Bennett Wilson and Wendy Gilbert of Wendyg-Designs. (its legally binding)
Wendy and I designed this as a pattern for charity and gift giving. We only ask that if you sell one give Wendy G and Lyn Wilson, credit for the work AND PLEASE! donate one to a local children's charity. Here is the American version:
The UK version is available at http://wendyg-designs.com/products-page/free/marianna-bonnet-free-pattern-uk-version-worked-in-8plydk-wool/
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.