Thought I’d take a break from writing my latest novella about hat felting, to bring you this Important Public Service Announcement.
(Read on! At some point, Free Yarn will be involved, as well as Snacks and face-to-face interaction with Real Live Knitters.)
Ann and I are mighty pleased to announce the first-ever Mason-Dixon Knitting Community Project. We would be thrilled if you would join us in making knitted patchwork afghans for people who need them in Afghanistan. Click this link to find out more about Afghans for Afghans, the organization to which we will donate our finished blankets.
Here’s the plan, subject to addition or correction if we discover something we didn’t think of:
1. We are putting out the call for handknit 8-inch squares with garter-stitch borders. Cotton, wool or blends of cotton and/or wool with synthetics. The knitter chooses the yarn and the color; raid your leftovers and odd balls! Only one restriction as to design: no figurative representations of faces or animals. Flowers and plants are fine, as are stripe, geometric, cable, or fair isle designs. Plain old garter stitch is fine too. Only one restriction as to yarn: no novelties or delicate fibers please. If the yarn is very fine or lightweight, try using it doubled. Here are my first two squares:
I did these with leftovers that were wasting away in my stash. Finally, the handpainted merino from my ghastly first sweater has a chance to redeem itself!
2. For each square we receive, we will place one entry in our monthly drawing for fabulous Rowan and Jaeger Yarns we got in the Liberty’s sale . (Note to all you colonials out there: think of the provenance! We’re talking Liberty of London! Second only to Holmfirth in the hearts of Rowanettes!) For the next six months, on the first of each month, we will do a drawing from the names of those who sent in squares during the previous month. Then we will toss out the old names and start collecting names for the next month’s drawing. The more squares you send in, the more entries you get.
Our first drawing will be on March 1. The winner will receive:
A bag of 10 skeins of Rowan Kid Classic in Shade 830, “Bewitch”, a lovely, heathery lavender. Enough to make a “Windfall” shawl, an “Emmeline” cardi, a “Steffi” pullover, or 5 (five!) “Hottie” hot-water bottle covers. (All of these patterns are in Rowan 28.)
BUT WAIT! There’s more!!
3. How are we going to put these afghans together, you ask? An old-timey Sew-Up Bee! We are hoping to host not one, but two old-timey Sew-Up Bees, one in Nashville and one in Manhattan, to be held on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon in late summer/early fall 2004. We will give at least a month’s notice of the date so that anybody who can get themselves within range of either city can make it. It would be nice to have some help sewing up the blankets, but the real purpose of these gatherings is just to be able to do some real-time yakking and socializing with knitting pals.
4. BUT WAIT! There’s more! At the Sew-Up Bees, there will be tasty treats.
We may even run out to greet you, wearing handknit shawls and hats and bearing giant mushrooms!
But don’t count on that last part.
Ladies and Dudes: Start your needles. Or your swifts or whatever. If you’re lucky enough to have a Fiber Arts Boy or Girl nearby, get them knitting too. Think of all the squares we can knit during March Madness alone! (Note to Brits and others who may be unfamiliar with our more peculiar native customs: March Madness is an endlessly televised college basketball tournament. It is no coincidence that I took up knitting again as a newlywed in March 1992, when the harsh reality — Marriage Means Watching College Basketball — finally sank in.) When you’re ready to send in squares, email Ann or me and we will give you the mailing address.
Thanks for reading this, and considering this project.