Category Archives: charity

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Resolutions

Earlier in the year, I wrote a post outlining my crazy goals for 2011. Well, 2011 is over - how did I do? First of all - the total! I wanted to hit 100 knitted projects, plus 11 sewn projects to make a total of 111 in 2011. Did I make it? Boy howdy, I sure did! 100 knitted projects, from cast on to bind off, finished in 2011. To me, that's really the biggest achievement, considering how much else I've been working on. But, what were they? Well, here you go! (see them all after the jump!)

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It’s a great time to give back.

Because I was raised with two skis practically attached to my feet, winter is my absolute favorite time of year.  Any opportunity that I have to play in the snow, I take it!  One unfortunate side-effect of me being around snow is that the cheesy grin you see below is pretty well perma-glued on my face the whole time.  There are worse things, I suppose.  Sadly for me, Portland's winters are generally pretty chilly and wet, but not the kind of wet that I like; the kind that comes down in raindrops. We don't get a ton of snow (except for that one year when we did) but the air at night is absolutely bone chilling.  While not ideal for a skier, the lack of snow is actually a really great thing.  Portland, Oregon is home to approximately 20,000 homeless men, women and children; approximately 13,000 of which do not have any place to go for shelter at night. Obviously, homelessness is not just a concern in Oregon.  A study done in 2009 reported that one in every 66 people living in major US cities used a residential homeless program in the subject year. Before she retired two years ago...

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The spirit of giving

If you're reading this, you can safely count yourself among the comfortably fortunate. Access to the internet, heat, warm clothing and a family with whom to gather this holiday season are things we might all easily take for granted. But not everyone is so lucky. Although need has no season, the season of sharing and giving seems to highlight the contrast between those who have and those who have not. It's this season that reinvigorates my commitment to charitable causes. When I found out about the Mittens for Akkol drive by The Motherless Child Foundation, I knew that I'd found a cause that would truly make a difference. This group of volunteers is spearheaded by parents who adopted children from the orphanage in Akkol, Kazakhstan, but couldn't bear to leave the other children behind. It all started with a Ravelry post in the Charity Knitting board requesting socks. Since I'd knit a bunch of kids' socks earlier this year, I figured a few more wouldn't be a problem. But as I read on about the charity, and especially about the recipients of these socks, it struck me just how much a simple thing like warm socks can make a huge difference in the life of someone halfway around the world. So I started knitting.

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TNNA: Interview with Doris Chan

One of the best parts of TNNA was being around so many crafty people and sharing in this amazing community of smart, talented knitters and crochets. While we were there, we were able enough to meet so many of the designers involved with the Independant Design Program. And lucky for us, we got the opportunity to meet Doris Chan, author of Crochet Lace Innovations! Not only is Doris a talented crochet designer, but she is also one of the contributors to the pattern, Pam's Comfort Cables, which is available through the IDP program.  

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My visit to Doernbecher

This past Friday, I had the honor and privilege to visit with a woman named Peggy Adams from Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon.  Peggy works as the Child Life Specialist in the Family Resource Center and is working hard to arrange a program for the parents of children to participate in while their sons and daughters receive treatment. I reached out to Peggy a couple weeks ago because I thought she might know of some local charities who might benefit from yarn donations.  After speaking with her for a few minutes, she mentioned that she was in the process of starting a knitting and crochet class for the parents of kids at the hospital.

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Yarn for our Friends

Most of you know me as the Independent Designer Partnership Coordinator (quite the mouthful of a title isn't it?) but another wonderful part of my job is working with local charities.  While most of our yarn stock is in Ohio, we do end up with quite a bit here in Vancouver - leftovers from projects or photoshoots mostly.  Lots of people ask what we do with all of it - and no, we don't take it all home with us.  We actually donate all of our discontinued yarns & colors it to a couple of lovely local places.  One of those places is Friends Of The Children, a nonprofit group in Portland that provides the most at-risk children with intensive and long-term mentors.  We've worked with them in the past and they have a group called "Crafty Friends" that loves playing with our yarn & teaching children (and mentors!) to knit or crochet. Since we are discontinuing a bunch of colors right now to make room for our fall stock, I went down to the small warehouse we have here to load up a box for our Friends.  That box turned into two..

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Good For Goodness’ Sake

Funny Alisha mentioned hats and charity in her last post - those two things are near and dear to me! In fact, at the end of January, I shipped off 25 little baby hats to a local medical charity. All of these hats are made out of Swish Worsted (except for three - one in Stroll and two in Comfy). They are super simple, quick and cute, and use only a little yarn. All of the yarn for these was scraps from other projects that would have been destined for the garbage or a long, lonely wait in some random scrap bin. But, I saw other potential in the yarn. Even a few grams would be enough for a stripe in a hat this small! Over the last few years, I've slowly amassed a pretty good collection of these scraps, and have found that charity knitting is the perfect use for them. Got scraps? Keep reading for a free baby hat pattern!

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There’s a lot of hats being made around here

When I took this job at Knit Picks, I knew pretty instantly that knitting was going to quickly become one of my new favorite hobbies.  Since completing my first hat a couple of weeks ago, I have already made another one and started on a third.  The first two were just my way of testing my skills and trying out new stitches.  Because they are a little too big for my head, I have decided to donate them to charity in hopes that they will keep someone else's slightly larger head warm in this winter weather.  The one that I am working on now is the first one that I am using a pattern on and I am really excited to see the end result.  In case you didn't see a picture of my first hat on our Facebook page, here's what it looked like: I unfortunately haven't captured a good picture of my second hat yet but here is what it looked like in the process: My third hat is a cloche pattern that I got from Ravelry.  The pattern link is here: Cloche Hat So far, I have just completed the brim section but I hope to get a good start on the body of it tonight. My new-found love for knitting is starting to rub off on others in the office and a couple of people have even stepped up and finished projects that they were working on for quite some time now...

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The Season of Giving

This time of year, no matter what holiday you celebrate (or if you celebrate one at all), I think it's pretty natural to look back about the past year and see your successes.  All of us at Knit Picks and Crafts Americana had a great year here and are so happy to be be doing something that we love ...which makes us want to share our joy with our local community! Angela, Alisha, and I have been going through our catalog samples over the past month & finding local charities to donate them to.  We found a bunch of charities - some of which members of Crafts Americana volunteer their time at - and we are so excited to share them with you.

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