Sunday, March 9, 2014

Making A Difference ...

Audrey is doing well! She had her first vet visit earlier this week! She weighs exactly 10 lbs and is happy and healthy. She was very curious while at the Vet but quickly calmed down. This is her just relaxing...




She was also introduced to catnip and toys this week too. When we first adopted her we were told to hold off on the toys and catnip for now, just let her get acclimated with the house and us. They didn't want us to over-stimulate her that fast. I understood and it made sense to me. Well, we felt that this week would be a good time to introduce her to her toys. SHE LOVES HER TOYS! I put some loose fresh catnip on the carpet and she just rolled all over in it! She knocked one of her toys underneath the sofa so Mom and I lifted up the sofa for it only to find a small treasure of toys from when my parents cats Abercrombie and Fitch were still alive. Audrey went nuts and claimed all those toys as her own. Especially the catnip cigar, she loves it!


And there's this mousie you see.... its her best friend now....



I love this little girl. She woke me up so sweetly this morning. It was the first time that she had done that. So I took a picture of her....she is so photogenic!



So, yesterday was our monthly Guild meeting. This was the meeting that I had to race to find a program for because our original speaker had overbooked herself and was committed to another event. You can read about my race to put together yesterdays program here. I can't believe how well everything fell into place the way it did. We had a wonderful turnout for the meeting as well, I think we had about 32 people there, maybe a few more than that. We had a few new faces as well, including one of my doctors who is a weaver and a knitter and spends just about as much time at Village Wools as we do although we've never run into one another which is impossible to explain. It was one of the largest meetings we've had. I meant to take pics of the room and how it was set up for Anne of Wooly Wonka Fibers...the room was so colorful! With her shawls draped on the tables and baskets of yarn and roving for sale, it was wonderful. It seemed like everyone was buying yarn at the end of the meeting. I sure did and let me show you what I walked away with...


Its merino/cashmere/nylon, the bottom colorway is Newport and the top one is Scottish Heather. I already know what I want to do with them. I already have a design floating around in my head for these two, its just a matter of when I'll actually be able to get to it. I have many projects lined up that will follow the shawl I'm working on now that must come next. But I cant wait to get to this. Look at that twist! Isn't it just fabulous!?!

The highlight to the afternoon was a very special gift I received. I will have to preface this with a little history. I went back through my blog and cannot find where I ever talked about this which is odd but it is what it is. One of the organizations that many of the Monday and the Tuesday night knitters donate towards is the Grant's Women's Prison Project. We mainly donate yarn. (Man, this is all sounding so familiar but I swear I cannot find it anywhere in my blog). The women at the prison mostly crochet rather than knit. I don't know if that's personal preference or because knitting needles can double as weapons. Our contact at the prison, Kay Hughes, is also a knitter and knits with us when she can on Tuesdays. She had explained to us last year how there was so little yarn that whatever they had was divided up into 1 ounce balls and given to the women to work with. I cannot even imagine. Last year I decided to see what I could do about changing their yarn circumstances, so to speak. I wrote letters. I wrote to at least 50 companies asking for yarn donations on behalf of the Grant's Women's Prison.I explained that the women had so little to work with it had to be split up into practically nothing for them to work with. And what they did work with, they produced for their community like scarves and hats for the kids for wintertime. We affectionately referred to this project as the Grant's Women's Prison Project. I started to receive boxes. At first they were small but then they grew. I believe the largest box of yarn we received was about 30 lbs. We have a standing offer in from Brown Sheep yarn; resend them the letter and they will send a box of yarn every 3 months. I received yarn from some of the biggest names in the business...companies I never thought would donate and lo and behold, boxes would arrive. Some of the boxes were so difficult NOT to open! Of course we wanted to see what was being sent but like I said, there were some companies that donated that I never thought would. We always wanted to see what was in these boxes when the arrives. The women of Grants received some of the best the industry had to offer to work with and work they did. Over the holidays were learned that because of these donations, not only from my letters but also from the many people who have donated yarn from their personal stashes, the ladies at Grants donated approximately 1500 scarves to the local school children in their area for the winter. It was truly amazing. Okay, fast forward to the end of the Guild meeting yesterday. Kay Hughes approached me with a bag and told me it was from the women at Grants. I opened it and was speechless. It was a beautifully crocheted rectangular stole with 2 colors. It was unbelievably soft. The tag attached to it let me know that it was worked in Blue Sky Alpaca 50/50 alpaca silk. (That's a little hint as to the kind of donations I had been receiving in the yarn department!) They saved enough yarn from that particular shipment, and I remember that shipment, to make this for me. As I understood, it was crocheted by one woman on behalf of everyone at the prison to thank me for working and diligently writing letters to keep them supplied with yarn. I was moved to tears and cried as I hugged Kay Hughes. I went to get my Mom to show her as she was wrapped up in the spinning fiber. When I told her what it was and who made it, she cried too. Slowly word got around the room to the remaining people there who were still shopping, and the people working at Village Wools and everyone wanted to see it. I was happy to unfold it for anyone wanting to see it. When I think about it I am still so moved by such an incredible gesture. Let me know you...


That's Kay Hughes to the left of me....



When we left Village Wools and headed to China Luck for lunch, Mom told me how proud she was of me. That meant so much to me I started to get all chocked up all over over again. I don't care how old you are, there nothing like hearing your parent tell you that they are proud of you. Mom also pointed something out something to me. She said..."If you've ever questioned whether you've made a difference in someones life, this ought to tell you." And she's right. Its something I've said often in the past in response to the question "What do you want to do with your life?" I would say, "If can make some kind of difference in someone else's life, than I've done all I ever set out to do." Things have changed a little but those basics remain the same....making a difference.

So until next time, make differences where you can....and knit on!

2 comments:

  1. Hey there! A friend Amor referred me to your site and this blog post specifically because I'd just written about another knitting program for inmates called Knitting Behind Bars. You're doing such a wonderful thing for these women. No wonder they crocheted you such a beautiful stole! I really believe that knitting can change people's lives, and you're helping to do that with your volunteering. So encouraged by your work! Keep it up!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Davina!

      I replied to you also on Ravelry! Thank you so much for your kind comments. Yes, the program Knitting Behind Bars is a wonderful one indeed. I would love to go to the prison to knit with these women and hopefully at some point in the future that may be possible. You are encouraged by my work, I am encouraged by yours! I just visited your site and what wonderful things you are doing there! Its so nice, this wonderful community of knitters, that we can reach each other over the globe! I have friended you on Ravelry, hopefully you will do the same and we can stay in touch!

      Thank you again for your kind comments! Bookmark me and continue to follow me along in my world of knitting and designing!

      Claudia

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