A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Sunday, February 19, 2006

New Button, New KAL

Those of you who have gotten to know me through my blog already know that I have had a sporadically regular involvement in charity knitting. I have knitted scarves, hats, baby blankets and washcloths for Cloths for Katrina, Red Scarf Project, Sedona Godmothers (now defunct), breast cancer support groups, and other charity endeavors. Well, perusing blogland early this morning led me to Annie, by way of Margene. Annie has sponsored a "40 Days for Others" knitting project to inspire charity knitting for the Lenten season (don't you think the button, above, is just beautiful?).

You can participate whether you follow this religious tradition or not, just set aside some of your knitting time between now and Easter for charity work. Marguerite's blog provided me with this link to the Children in Common website, which is one noteworthy recipient of your efforts, but those in need are all around. You can help in your local community or globally, depending on your interests. You could make washcloths to donate to the local battered women's shelter, socks for the orphanages that CIC supports, or vests, or you could make hats for Bad Rad Beanies (button to your left on my page here), which supports Big City Mountaineers in their efforts to take urban teens out into the wilderness, which is a very empowering way to combat the poverty and stress of inner city life.

My first contribution is a pair of Diamond handwarmers from a pattern created by Ruth:

The Diamond fingerless mitt - I have one done, and am "fixing" the other, to make it match.... seems I got a little carried away while knitting during a meeting the other day and added an extra two rows! The yarn is a worsted weight called "Tuffy" from Briggs & Little Mills in Canada, and is 80% wool and 20% nylon. It would make some great boot socks!

I am also finishing up an order for a felted purse this holiday weekend, well at least the knitting. My DH has installed a new floor to our antique back porch, in order to put a washer out there just for me to use for felting (we have a wash house on our property which we share with our tenants for laundry), but he will still need to plumb it next week, when he returns from a cycle of family visits.

My standard purse to sell has evolved into a bucket shape, narrower at the top with two shoulder-length I-cord handles and fun fur trim around the top... I can add a zipper for closing if the person desires, but tend to just put an I-cord loop and fancy button on the top for closure. This particular model is a nice silver-grey for a customer who wanted something neutral.

The sun came out for the afternoon, and we thought we would go to the lower foothills to seek a place for an afternoon hike, but while driving down through that country, switched plans and headed in a roundabout way to Grass Valley to shop for a knitting chair for me. My Christmas present hasn't ever arrived, and was supposed to encompass my birthday as well, and Glenn had decided last week that a special and comfortable chair would make a great make-it-up-to-me gift. I had thrown out an old upholstered glide rocker that was something like forty years old and had become very uncomfortable, and replaced it with the little chair up in my studio, but it too isn't that great for extended use (I will keep it and look into getting it reupholstered eventually). I discovered at the huge, but local, furniture store, that it isn't that easy to be 5'3" and shop for a chair... either the seat was much deeper (probably designed for a 6' tall man), straining my lower back and keeping my feet from touching the ground (remember being ten years old? now you get the idea!), or the arms were too wide, stuffed, or high to allow for comfortable knitting. I did find a very nice Arts & Crafts chair with wide wooden arms to set a mug or knitting tools on, and comfortable for my frame size, and it will get picked up and brought home later this week, when Glenn and our son Rex are returning from a visit to his parents.

It was just as well we hadn't planned to haul it home in our own truck; as we were heading out to Nevada City and parts north, we were caught in a snow squall, which had already dumped an inch on the highway in a very brief time, snarling traffic around a pickup truck on its side... an ambulance was on the scene as the driver must have needed medical attention. We took a detour around another accident scene a few miles up the highway, through a back road back to the highway north and drove out from under the storm, but tonight is colder than usual once again. The weather is set to become clear again this week, and it has been quite lovely with snow on the ground, but I was certainly reminded of how glad I am to be living where there is little traffic when the weather turns nasty.


Blogger Becca said...

I've had an idea percolating for awhile now about "adopting" the drop-in shelter that's within walking distance of my house. I need to contact them to find out what kinds of knitted items they could use.

And I've been editing a book about hikes in the Reno-Tahoe area, and it's reminding me of all the nice places I've been around Quincy and the Sierra valley.

8:41 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

Ah Birdsong, that's a lovely button and is so properly placed on your blog! Of everyone I know, you and Jane are the most giving of your knitting time!
(don't forget Cloths for Crisis, formerly Cloths for Katrina, too?)

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Hi Birdsong! There's another charity effort, a yahoo group called Squares4Survivors. I knit many squares for this last fall, and they now have a renewed effort to keep providing afghans to hurricane survivors. This time they call for a 12 inch size (last time it was 6 inch). I'm not sure if I will knit or crochet, but I have a whole bunch of yarn to put to this effort. I am "working off-group", as I am never sure how much I can get done,as I am not as fast as some!
That would be great to live where there is not much traffic in bad weather. I am pretty confident of my truck and me, it is always the others I worry about on the road.

12:02 PM  
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