Monday, July 7, 2008

Knitting for a Cause

A couple weeks ago, Martie over at Taos Sunflower (her blog is still MIA in cyberspace) shared this note she had received from Carol Anderson (creator of the Cottage Creations knitting pattern booklets that many of you knitters are familiar with). Carol lives in Iowa, which has been devastated by flooding this spring, and has come up with another way for knitters (and crocheters too) to help our people who have lost just about everything. Please read Carol's note below for more information

Tonight on the news we learned that 69 of Iowa’s 99 counties have been declared “disaster” counties. The tornado that hit Parkersburg (Iowa) is less than 50 miles south of us.

While our county is not one of the devastated ones, we too had problems at our house. Deer Creek flows through our property and six miles downstream it flows into the Cedar River, which of course empties into the Mississippi. On Sunday, June 8th, we woke up to well over a foot of water in our basement, Deer Creek swollen to within 100 yards of our house. All is under control, though today, two weeks later, the creek is still high and our sump pump continues to work. Our basement is just that, a basement and I’m glad we’ve not entertained the idea of finishing it—and of course my yarn is stored upstairs! In the big scheme of things our problems don’t even register.

Eleven years ago, Cottage Creations collected hundreds of items for the Red River flood that inundated Grand Forks, ND. Working with the Salvation Army, Paul and I and our friends, the Morrow’s, delivered hand-knit items there. The event was heart-wrenching—people were so appreciative. I’m sure many recipients were comforted simply by knowing someone else cared. I’d like to repeat the drive, this time distributing hand-knits to communities along the Cedar River (35,000 displaced in Cedar Rapids alone) and nearby tornado-ravaged Parkersburg. I will work though proper channels.

After talking with Red Cross or Salvation Army people I’m sending out a plea to my fellow knitters for the following items: mittens, caps, scarves, afghans, prayer shawls, baby blankets, dishcloths, socks, infants, children’s and adult sweaters. If you’d like to participate—one or two articles is quite sufficient, mail or UPS any items to me before November 1st. I will enlist the help of my local knitters group to sort and re-box items and because my husband and I are Lions members I know that I can enlist the help of that group too. We’ll store and sort in my hubby’s workshop! If you include your e-mail address or phone number I will acknowledge receipt of packages, but I won’t be sending letters again at $.42—I’m sure you understand.

Please attach a card to items with the following information:
1) Name of item
2) Size, if applicable
3) Fiber content (most items should be machine washable and dryable)
4) If desired: your name and address and any word of encouragement.

Send to: Post office address: Cottage Creations, At the Farm on Deer Creek, Carpenter, Iowa 50462
UPS or Fed Ex address: Carol Anderson, 4562 Zinnia Ave., St. Ansgar, IA 50472

Questions? 641.324.1280 or cotcreat at rconnect dot com or address above. Thanks….Carol Anderson

So, knitters and crocheters are you with me? I've got only 1 more hat to knit (for my pledge of 10 hats) for Kristy who's planning to deliver 300 hand-knitted hats to Ukrainian orphanages this fall. I think I can keep on knitting hats, but as Carol says in her note above, there are all sorts of things we could whip up between now and November 1st. And I also think that even though we can't physically go to Iowa and help clean up from this disaster, creating something handmade for people affected by this disaster will still let them know we care enough to help in our own special way.


Trixie said...

You know I'm in!

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Trixie....I knew you would {{HUG}}

Anonymous said...

I remember when you went to Farge/Moorhead a couple of times to help with clean-up there after their terrible flood and how people thanked you so much for coming, it seemed to make their task so much easier especially when a stranger comes along to lend a hand. This time you'll lend a hand by knitting things for them. From what we hear there is so much clean-up to do and it keeps on raining. Folks still have water in their basements and some can't even go back to their homes because they are unsafe, like floors could give way, or walls could give way. I can't imagine being displaced and where do you go cuz everyone else is in the same boat. May your blogging friends answer your letter and come across, to bad I don't knit or crochet. Say I do love to sew is that something I could do? I have a lot of patterns that I saved.

Debbie said...

I would love to do something. I cross-stitch for kids right now, but could maybe squeeze in a project or two. I'll have to get my head together and hit the yarn boxes in the storage room.

Jayne said...

And that's a very special way to say you care. Hats off to you Ruthie. :c)

LauraHinNJ said...

I'm really impressed with this, Ruthie!

How long did it take you to make all those?

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
I wonder if you could sew some flannel baby blankets or lap robes? I'm sure those could be put to use and OSFA!

Thanks Debbie, that would be great. As Carol's note says, every item helps!

Thanks Jayne. It's nice to be able to do something I enjoy and ultimately help other people stay warm.

Thanks Laura, hats are nice because they don't take long at all (and remember.....I'm a knitting addict!). I think I started this hat project in May--I worked on the lavender and striped ones while I was North Dakota and completed the 3 on the left and orange in the middle since I got back.

Marsha said...

What a cool thing to do Ruthie! I hope you get a good response from fellow crafters.

Anonymous said...

Our church, Progress-Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg, PA is taking part in this project. Our minister is a native Iowan and he and several others from our church have been out to help with the clean-up through Lend-A-Hand. So we have a special connection to the people of Iowa. Our knitting group will be sending as much as we can produce. This is a great project! Eleanor

Laura L said...

Hi All,

This effort came up with a knitting group I belong to in Southern Maine. And it touched our hearts. May God bless you and guide you in this difficult time.
Laura L.