Monday, 31 October 2011

A Proper Thank You

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I was so busy yesterday selling calendars and looking at the lacemaking demonstration at Castlehill that I did not say a proper thank you for the Linus blankets given to me. In fact, it was not until I was home did I remember to look in the bag. As I hope you can tell from the photo, they are beautiful--the colours invite calmness and comfort; the stitches provide something for little fingers to think over as they wait in the hospital or the ambulance. And they are so soft.

So thank you from me for taking the time and the care to share your knitting and thoughtfulness. I know you cannot join us around the table --I hope someday you will. In the meantime, first of all a proper thanks from me and all the folks who will never get a chance to know you except by the lovely stitches you passed along.

Friday, 28 October 2011

First Northern Loops Caithness Kaleidscope Calendar Sold

Some big companies like to splash out for their millionth customer or their centennial or such. Being new and small, we are instead celebrating our first customer.

Thanks, George.

This is the second time George has been featured on our blog. You may recall seeing him bringing chocolates to a Northern Loops session. Chocolate and calendars both contribute to sustainability!

I am also chuffed that today I received an email from NESTA--the folks whose funding from the Age Unlimited project launched Northern Loops here in Caithness--with a PDF of my article in the Caithness Courier. Definitely a red letter day for Caithness and Northern Loops.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Petit Pockets--More Cheer from Triangles

One of the not altogether anticipated and hence even more welcome outcomes of Northern Loops is the seeds of creativity that sprout in folks. When I saw a description of Prayer Pockets in a shawl ministry book (I'll get the title when the book comes back my way), I thought about adapting some of our leftover triangles into a proper pocket. We sat around the table and talked about it a bit.

That seed found fertile soil with one of our knitters who came up with these treasures. Just the right size for putting in a photo or a little treasure when facing hard times--or celebrating good ones. The idea for the little prayer pockets came from places where a shawl or a lap blanket would be inconvenient. These petit pockets can be tied to a zimmer or tucked in a pocket or kept on a bedside stand. They are warm to the touch and a delight to the eye. The buttons make these tactile and attractive. If doing these for households with wee ones, use an alternative to buttons such as crocheted flowers or bobbles.

The woman who knit these is kind of shy, so I will not mention her by name here, but I hope she sees this and is chuffed. In time, someone none of us knows will receive one of these pockets and all they need to know is that someone thought about them and gave them an opportunity to hold onto something precious.

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Monday, 10 October 2011

October 23rd in Dunnet Church a day for everyone

As every knitter knows, the finished project--even when cherished by the recipient--does not reflect the hours of designing, studying, crafting. Only the crafter (and her closest companions) know all the ins and outs.

I realized with a jolt that Northern Loops is a bit like that now. With two groups going--one in Thurso and one in Dunnet, but with considerable overlap, not everyone knows everyone else. So when an invitation went out to attend an event associated with Harvest Service at Dunnet Cnurch not everyone was included. And that has to be my fault I realized because I am the only one who knows everyone.

An error of the head and not of the heart as my pastor in the US used to say.

So as always, I beg your indulgence and ask your help in spreading the word that that day is a wee token of recognition for everyone's efforts.

For all those who have listened to me about Northern Loops (including those who kindly gave me their names that I have lost in the depths of my pockets) or who told their mums to come and knit blankets for us in Thurso or who dropped off wool or who brought food or who have hosted us in their church homes or invited me to speak at their groups or introduced me to folks who might be interested or dragged their children to group meetings or bored their spouses with tales of knitting, or inveigled them into helping with trays for NiteKirk or chocolates for the knitters or spare wool or extra needles or patterns or knit magazines to sell, or anyone who asked what are you going to do with all those triangles, you are all so very welcome to come to Dunnet Church Sunday October 23rd.

For the knitters whose craft will be blessed, it is an opportunity to meet the pastors who will be distributing the shawls through the central church ministry, and for them to meet you.

It will be an all age service, so I hope to have the happy sounds of kids punctuating the service. It is Harvest time, so, if you like, bring a gift of food to place on the altar, but don't worry about that--you've already made your contribution.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

We Can't Forget Blythswood Shoe Box Appeal

I have been so busy putting together a calendar of our shawl designs that I almost forgot Blythswood Shoe Box Appeal. It is a simple concept, just a shoe box full of essentials and something warm.

The hand knitted mittens, hats, scarves, and pencil boxes not only ensure that the hats will be really warm but also that they will speak of more commitment than store bought mittens.

Hats on and needles up to all the dedicated knitters who have found the time in addition to their own knitting and all the new demands of our Northern Loops effort with more than a dozen shawls and more than a baker's dozen of Linus blankets to fill shoe boxes with their knitting.

I feel warmer already, don't you?
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