Posts Tagged ‘pay it forward’

Pay It Forward #2

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

This afternoon I delivered my second pay it forward handmade gift.  I signed up back in November to do a pay it forward challenge, where I had a year to make 3 gifts and send them to the first three people that signed up on my blog, provided that they also promise to make 3 gifts, and pay it forward to other people.

Since November, I have sent a pair of mittens to Lisa

…and I have received a lovely package from the sweet sheep

…and today I delivered a package to Noor–the very first pair of butterfly mittens made from my handspun yarn.

These are the mittens that are inside the package.

When I arrived, she was in the midst of applying henna, so I got to watch and learn.

It’s neat to get a glimpse into other cultures, and their traditions.  Henna is applied to decorate women’s hands during celebrations.

This weekend is Eid, a celebration which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.

This is the colour that the henna stains the skin, after the paste dries and comes off.

Thanks for the tea, goodies, and interesting lesson today Noor!

How have you payed it forward today?

A Sweet Surprise

Friday, May 28th, 2010

I got mail!

To arrive home after a busy Friday at work, before an even busier Friday night and see a package stuffed into my little mailbox was the sweetest surprise imaginable.  I know that this kind of squishy package can only mean more wool, or knitted stuff, or fibery goodness.  This package is part of the Pay It Forward Challenge that I signed up for in November.  Each person that signs up for the challenge will get a handmade gift, but they must promise to give 3 handmade gifts over the course of the year. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Michelle from who sent me the most scrumptious blend of merino, silk and angora yarn.  It is soft and warm–hard to imagine wanting to wear something warm now that May is almost over…

click to enlarge

Self striping, softly spun singles…..the most perfect alliteration….almost too perfect to knit with.  I need the perfect project.  I wonder if it will go well with my impulse purchase of discount merino/alpaca/silk

It would certainly be a vibrant project….

I have given away one pay it forward gift to Lisa who told me that these mitts were useful for this past cold snowy winter.

It warms my heart to know that there are people out there who are paying it forward, spreading the joy of handmade crafts far and wide.  I hope that the chain that we’ve started will continue.

How can you pay it forward today?

Snowflake Mittens

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

My first pay it forward gift reached its destination, so now I can reveal what was in that envelope.

I designed this pair of mittens using a great book.  Folk Knitting in Estonia, by Nancy Bush.  It was fun to play with new design elements like braid and pattern.  They are made from 100% wool from Topsy Farm on Amherst Island, a short drive and ferry ride from my home.

I tried four different stitch patterns on the cuff, palm, thumb and back of the hand to come up with a unique pattern that I call “snowflake mittens”.

There are loops on the mittens, just in case you’d want to hang them up, or put them on strings.  There’s nothing worse than losing mittens–specially when they are one of a kind.

I hope that these mitts keep Lisa‘s hands nice and warm this winter.

How Will You Pay It Forward Today?

Monday, January 4th, 2010

A while back, I signed up for a pay it forward challenge.  Someone has pledged to make me something, provided I promise to make something for three other people, who will each make things for three other people.  Eventually a lot of people will be receiving hand made gifts!

My first pay it forward envelope is in the mail!

I love the idea of paying it forward–doing something nice for others, and trusting that they too will continue the chain of niceness.  I enjoy the change of perspective–not thinking about what you’ll get, but what you can give.  My envelopes contain knitting….but that is not the only way to pay it forward.  Bake someone cookies, shovel someone’s driveway, give a kind word, share a smile….there are endless possibilities.

How will you pay it forward today?

Knit Night

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Today is Friday the 13th, and it is a good day!

I went to see the Handloom Weavers and Spinners show and sale (still running Saturday and Sunday 10-4). If you are in the Kingston area, check it out. There are some very beautiful items.

My art of the day is the continuation of the puffy mittens, and the appreciation of the complexities of the weaving I saw today!

There were wall hangings, and polar bears…

handwoven bears

handwoven bears

….Felted Angels dressed in handwoven garments…

…beautiful wooly blankets…

…delicately patterned scarves…

…lots of handspun yarn…

…and the cutest little sheep ornaments…

I have belonged to this group in the past, and learned a lot from the knowledgeable instructors who taught me how to spin, and weave

my first weaving

learn to weave workshop--scarf in progres

After getting totally inspired, I headed off to knit at Wool -Tyme, where you will be able to find me on any Friday the 13th.  There were snacks, and coffee and cider, and lots of keen knitters, and beginner knitters.  I enhanced my yarn stash with a lovely skein of Cascade 220 in red.  New mittens are in my future!

dinosaur mitts

dinosaur mitts

There were some interesting projects being worked on this evening:  Dinosaur mittens, a baby bear suit, earflap hats, shawls, a tea cosy, and some were knitting their very first socks.

being mathy

being "mathy"

Anne, at Wool-Tyme challenged us to determine the number of stitches used in this garter stitch afghan.  We were all given an opportunity to be “mathy” and figure it out.  The winner got to choose any skein of yarn, or any set of needles!  (it is now that maybe being swatchless is not the best plan!  I’m not used to such calculations).

puffy mittenthe puffy mitten is getting bigger

The puffy mitten made an appearance, and grew a thumb hole and got a lot longer.  I enjoyed showing others about this thrumming method, and we all marveled at how fast hands heat up when they are surrounded by fleece.  I have to keep reminding myself of how big these mitts need to be!  Lots more knitting to do.

I hope you all had a very productive and creative Friday the 13th!

P.S. Congratulations to Lisa, Noor and Ru who are the three participants in Pay it Forward!

Pay It Forward

Friday, November 13th, 2009

I signed up on The Sweet Sheep blog for the Pay It Forward challenge. Sometime in the next 365 days I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment that includes your name, location, favourite colour, and your willingness to participate. The catch is that you then have to pay it forward to 3 people of your own…and so goes the handmade gifting! Spread the love!

I will notify the lucky three participants by email. Be sure to enter your email carefully when you post your comment!

If you miss the cut-off, all hope is not lost! (visit the blogs from the first three comments frequently, and sign up when they announce the challenge!)

Charity Knitting

Friday, November 13th, 2009

As knitters, we generally enjoy sharing warmth with others. Many of my friends and family members have been recipients of my knitted goods over the years, but I also try to do my bit and knit for those in need, or to raise money for worthwhile causes. Stay tuned for an opportunity to use your knitterly talents to PAY IT FORWARD (this special post will be added sometime in the next 24 hours)

pay it forward

This time last year I was helping a group of high school students knit hats for people who attend a hot lunch program at a downtown church. We knit a total of 30 hats, and brought them to the lunch program toward the end of November. We mixed and mingled with the lunch program patrons, and let them choose a new hat, hand knit just for them. The joy on their faces of the knitters and new hat owners was wonderful to behold.

Donated to the Lunch Program

Donated to the Lunch Program

Some of the same high school knitters had also come together to make a blanket for a local women’s shelter. We delivered the blanket for Christmas 2007. The blanket was made from donated yarn knit up into garter stitch squares and rectangles by beginner knitters, and fancier cabled and intarsia squares and rectangles by the more experienced in the group. The large pile of pieces were put together “Tetris style” to form a very unique blanket.

almost finished (lots of ends to sew in)

almost finished (lots of ends to sew in)

This year we are making a blanket for Project Linus, a charity that delivers blankets to children in need of comfort in times of illness or trauma. There are many new knitters in our group this year, so some of the pieces have been more free-form than in the past. It will be an extra challenge to piece them together this season.

next blanket (not nearly enough squares yet)

next blanket (not nearly enough squares yet)

I challenge you to get together with your friendly neighbourhood knitters and put together a blanket to donate



Every now and again I get asked to donate some of my knitting for different silent auction tables. I’ve made stranded mittens, thrummed mittens and more recently slouchy hats. I am always surprised what types of things bring in the most money at these types of events. A slouchy hat I made in a single afternoon brought in twice the money that my lovely thrummed mittens did (that took significantly longer and more materials to make).

Auctioned for a school board breakfast program

Auctioned for a school board breakfast program

This week I was asked to knit mittens or a hat for a charity silent auction raising money for “green initiatives” in the local community which is being held at the beginning of December.

What knitting donation do you think would bring in the most money for this worthwhile cause?