Sunday, March 8, 2009

Charity / Sanity

Swirled stripes

Times are tough. Everyone, I mean, everyone is feeling the strains these days. Last night DH photographed a Boys Club Benefit dinner and auction. The event was well attended but NO ONE bid on the silent auction. Not one thing sold! He said it was a bit embarrassing, and I imagine it was a huge disappointment for the organizers, because they did not raise the funds they hoped for. It will have the effect of hurting the Boys Club and all the kids who attend.

It hit home when I heard this story. There will be more stories like this in the days to come. And so, the entropy continues. Not good.

When the call out for charity arises, I am lucky to have a skill and a ready supply of materials. While I might not be able to bid on an auction either, I can dive into my treasure trove, apply basic knowledge and a little time to yield some decent results. It's small, but it's something.

Stripe corners and edges

These squares, eight of them, were knit up in the last week. They are destined to become a blanket, part of a Knit-Along involving a community of knitters here in Brooklyn, and our winter contribution to the charity Afghans for Afghans. Life in Afghanistan is harsh for kids. Their winters are long, resources are few. These striped squares are filled with as much color as I could inject. They are my way to hopefully brighten the lives of kids living in war torn poverty and strife, halfway around the world.

(eta: In reading the above sentences, I am suddenly hyperaware that I may be construed as some sort of bourgeois dilettante for thinking the Afghan kids are suffering and living lives of bleakness. With all the politicizing that goes on these days, I suddenly feel the urge to delete what I wrote just to avoid the controversy. Gosh, it's terrible to feel so paranoid about expressing thoughts for fear of being politically incorrect. What is correct these days anyway? Oh, crap, I will carry on. Internal dialog concluded.)

Not having seen the other squares from other knitters, I have no idea how this blanket will look when it's all done. Being a bit of a control freak I thought about knitting all 20 squares, but decided to let that go, it will be okay however it turns out.

Stripe Mosaic

These are really easy to make. Fast, fun, amusing, very pleasing to make and to look at. The yarn was a sale purchase from Webs last year. At the time I ordered, I had no idea what I would do with all these bright colors and kind of regretted my impule buy. Rather than go through the hassle of returning, I figured they would come in handy for kid knits and so far, it's worked out. I've made some toys and a Baby Surprise Jacket with it. And now these squares. There's plenty more of this stuff in the stash closet, so future toys and blankets are certainly possible.

The simplicity of knitting garter stitch squares is a blessing. The day job grinds on and it takes so much stamina and time that by the end of the day, garter squares are all I can handle! These helped me keep sane all week, where other projects were downright hateful. (The yarn is hateful to work with, the socks are lovely otherwise. Nearly done, decisions were made, more on this later).

Fanned stripes

Do you really want to know the specs on these squares? Oh, okay.

Pattern: Oblique Blanket Squares by Tony Limuaco
Yarn: diVe Zenith, lots of colors
Needle: size US6
Time spent: one week off and on.


JoAnn said...

Oh my - you're right, how embarassing for no one to bid on an item. Much less, disappointing. I never heard of such a thing.

I love your squares and think you're right when you say the kids will like the bright colors.

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Really cool squares, I'd never seen that particular pattern before. And don't stress about your statement re: the Afghan children. Their nation is caught in the midst of extreme turmoil, and your comments were not missplaced.

e said...

super cute :)

Marie said...

We made squares like that at school when we very VERY little and our teachers would stitch them into very unpredictable woolly quilts.

Katie M. said...

Very cheerful squares! I'm sure any child -- Afghan or otherwise -- would enjoy the bright colors and appreciate a new blanket.