Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn Crawl is on through Sunday, September 25.

An Afghan, for afghans for Afghans

Dear Ann,
Every time I think the Afghanalong is over and done with, it isn’t. A stone was skipped back in 2004 and the ripples are still rippling. (For those just joining the program, you can read about the Afghanalong for Afghans by putting “afghanalong” into our little search machine down on the lower right sidebar. We had a lot of fun. We made a ton of squares. Then we sewed them up and sent them to Afghanistan with these folks.)
Shopping for afghans for afghans for Afghans
Here was the situation in 2004: to my shock and awe, every day my mailbox was stuffed with 8 x 8-inch squares from all over the world. The end of every month was NUTS. I started sorting squares by color and hyperventilating at the thought of sewing them all up into blankets.
Early on, I woke up and smelled this Universal Truth:
The Knitters: They like the Noro.
Oh sure, they whine about the scratchiness of Kureyon and the crunchy Vegetable Matter they have to pick out of the Silk Garden, but do they stop knitting with it? Negatory. They never, ever stop knitting with it. The colors are too purty. And not for nothing, but do you think all those Booga bags just auto-knitted and flung their own selves into washing machines? No, my friends, the knitters made them, out of the Noro they supposedly hate and despise.
So I was yakking with Polly about this pile of Noro squares, and saying, in a completely non-hinty way, wouldn’t it be nice if we happened to get enough Noro squares — I may have mentioned a figure of 36 to 40–to make an All-Noro blanket for the Afghanalong? And then, as surely as day follows night, Polly brought over 20-some-odd Noro squares and a bag stuffed with random Noro scraps that had been scrounged from the stashes of Britannia. (Polly claimed that most of them came from Jill R. I haven’t met Jill R., but I envision her walking the streets of London, trailing oddments of Noro.)
In the fullness of time, the Dream of the All-Noro Afghan became a reality. And the knitters who had contributed the bulk of the Noro squares talked among themselves, and they agreed that it would be a good idea to auction off the All-Noro Afghan to raise money for afghans for Afghans, which needs money because chartering planes to carry loads of blankets and sweaters and hats into Afghanistan is a very expensive proposition.
That auction is happening right now, and for the next 5 days. I am really proud of myself for figuring out how to do an eBay charity auction, as this is not the sort of thing I am Good At. I am hoping it raises a nice chunk of change for A4A. The All-Noro Afghan is a showstopper on its own, but the story of how it was made–by talented hands and big hearts–makes it priceless. So everybody please head on over there and bid it up. And if you happen to have a textile-mad big-spending pal: You Know What To Do.
Non-bidder’s remorse is a terrible thing.
But Wait! More Ripples!
Kelli Ann has taken many boxes of squares for her knitting group in Montreal to sew up. This has lightened the load tremendously. But, being Kelli Ann, she was not content to sew up what she got. This was not laborious enough for the likes of Kelli Ann. She wanted MORE WORK. So she asked the knitters of Montreal to knit a whole bunch more squares, and they did. Hoo-boy, did they ever. When they finally were satisfied with the number of squares, they sewed them up. By my calculations, they turned 2 afghans worth of squares into 6 big blankets.
All the green squares were Made In Montreal.
Ain’t they gorgeous? (See them all at the slideshow; maybe you’ll spot your own squares!)
Thank you, Kelli Ann and Knitters of Montreal. Mwahs upon your heads. Ya done good.
For a sight more gorgeous than any handknit, go over to Kelli Ann’s and see her brand-new baby girl. (Yeah. Kelli Ann was shlepping boxes to the post office throughout her third trimester and well past her due date. She’s a worker, that one.)
And now I’m ready for the Knitting Olympics. I’ve got my skates on and I’m ready to crank hats like a madwoman. (“Like” a madwoman?)
(My personal Team Dulaan mantra is: A Hat a Day? No Bleepin’ Way! Must adjust attitude.)
Love, Kay
Don’t forget about the auction.



  1. ok. wow. I’m so sorry I nagged you, Kay. This is a masterful post! I should have realized there would be more than just a modest snippet.
    I gotta go visit another site now and see how my bid is doing.
    xoxo Aara

  2. Oh how I wish my salary would allow me to bid what that blanket is worth. (Market value, shmarket value.) It is stunning, and I hope it raises as much money as that kook paid for the St*rmore yarns…

  3. Holy Jeebus! I can’t…WOW. I could not stop staring at that afghan.
    Congrats on the current status of your auction…that’s a lot of shipping charges covered, ladies!

  4. It is absolutely gorgeous. Great idea to auction it off.

  5. I’m just in awe of your sign/headstone/heart message generating prowess. You are a Goddess of the Useless Tools of the Internets. Proving after all that they aren’t so useless, but instead can promote Noro Loveliness and increase the Guilt of Big EBay Spenders.
    Awesome post!!

  6. Fabulous ! You,and everyone else,are wonderful.

  7. Diapers schmiapers! On second thought … But you had me there for a moment with that headstone. (Not so sure about the church sign – if the end is near, what do I need a blankie for?)

  8. It is absolutely gorgeous, and such a worthy cause. I hope it goes for big big bucks!

  9. Wonderful sign and headstone support for the afghan! Work of art afghan! It appears your eBay auction is going well! Congratulations for a job well done (afghan and post included!).

  10. It is beyond beautiful, the Noro Afghan and the mission. And I really miss the afghanalong.

  11. Wow, even my husband thinks the blanket is beautiful. Me, I’m sadly beginning to be more impressed with the photo-shopping–I want my headstone to say something about knitting (or the local church)

  12. the blankets warm my soul……

  13. Blimey! I’ve got mentioned on your blog! Me, walking the streets of London? (that has a slightly different connotation over here….). I had a love affair with Noro for several years (but I’m better now) hence all the odd balls. It was purely and simply the colours – Polly will tell you I don’t do subtle. Delighted to see auction going so well. Hope to meet you one day! Jill R. from London – have got the book ordered from Amazon!

  14. Aara! I’m pulling on my Silk Garden socks and cheering for you all the way. xo, c.

  15. Goddess of the Useless Tools of the Internets! That is both hysterical, and quite the title to live up to! I love the afghan, and the useless tools, and the putting on of the knitting skates. Me, I’m bobsleddin’. Hope I don’t fall off.

  16. The price, she is a climbing! Go afghan, raise money, go afghan, go! go!

  17. Oh, stop it, now. I’m all teary and I can’t DO teary right now.

  18. An all Noro afghan! Beautiful and luscious to the eye. Great job to everyone involved.

  19. Beautiful afghan! And look how high the bidding has gotten – amazing!

  20. oh, my. i didn’t even know where to put my comment, i was catching up on all of the gorgeousness. pretty pretties everywhere: afghan, quilt, baby in dragon jacket — you all know how to do a thing!

  21. I love that blanket… and how did you know that there was a trail of Noro behind Jill? Seriously, she was wearing Noro when I saw her yesterday and I reckon I can recognise the left over bit that went into the blanket.
    well done for and good luck on the auction!

  22. that afghan is beautiful — all of them are — and since i’m a bit of an afghan freak and i love noro, i may have to make my own rendition … after the olympics.

  23. LOL on the tombstone. I personally think your tombstone will read: STILL KNITTING. SEND DENIM.

  24. I would gladly bid (again and again) but the price has now exceeded my carneedsnewbrakessoon student budget. Seeing all of the work that went into it brought a new hope in people, and that alone is worth more then I have in the bank!

  25. Wow the All-Noro afghan came out amazing. I’ll have to admit that I too complain about Kureyon’s scratchiness, and I have yet to pick out the VM in Silk Garden but I know I will be.
    I wonder how much of my stash I’d have to sell on Ebay to afford to win the afghan.

  26. I so love the Afghan!!! It’s glorious in thought and apperance!
    The auction is going gangbusters!!
    Good for….everybody!
    And thaks for the chuckle…you make me smile!

  27. Wow, them’s some gorgeous blankets! The bids are rapidly approaching my monthy salary. Yeesh.

  28. How about a way for people who would like to bid on the afghan but can’t afford its (worthy) current bid to donate a little something to Afghans for Afghans? It might be fun to see what the rest of us can come up with before the auction ends…

  29. Wouldn’t that be a terrific afghan to wrap up in on a cold, gray day? Gorgeous.
    Signed, One who complains about scratchiness but falls for Kureyon everytime.

  30. That is absolutely gorgeous. I am such a sucker for Noro…God I love the stuff….my license plate should read … Oooh Noro!


A bit of news from us, every now and again.

(Your email is safe with us.)