Friday, September 22, 2006

Fun Doing Good

Fridays are when my seniors' group, part of the national RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) program, meets at the local senior center. When all 20 or so of us show up, we have even more fun than usual, as we did today. Now, please remember that about 98% of the yarn we work with is cheap donated acrylic, like Red Heart. When we get better yarns, they go into hats or scarves for the boutique. All the nicest items are put aside for our Holiday Boutique, and if any of us want to grab the item beforehand, we actually pay for them. Our prices are ridiculously low, ranging from $5 for hats and scarves to $25 for lapghans, so it's not a problem to pay for them. Items that are more ordinary are given to the various hospitals, hospice groups and kids' charities that we support.

Of course our 'Show and Tell' is an important part of the day. V made a terrific and cheerful baby blanket from some chunky blue and yellow yarn, with a pretty ruffled edging. M had finished yet another scraps lapghan (lapghan = lap-sized afghan). She is our Queen of Scraps, and finds all sorts of ways to use leftover bits of yarn. The latest project is done with an afghan stitch and a lattice design, from all sorts of unmatched off-white yarns. JB found a new purple/hot pink/teal color combination for her terrific knitted slippers; she has a great eye for color and this double-stranded pattern comes out looking like expensive tapestry. I've bought two pairs in shades of burgundy, pinks and greens for Christmas gifts. G came in with 3 of her gorgeous pieced quilts. These are spectacular in color and in workmanship. (Why work"man"ship or crafts'man'ship? Need to fix that in our language!)

Today we received a donation of about 4 big leaf bags full of upholstery and drapery fabrics. These clearly were the samples from some upscale shop. A couple of years ago we found a nice pattern for tote bags, and M and her mother make up a lot of them from any heavier fabrics we receive, about 15in square, with sturdy straps and 2 outside pockets. With today's haul, we've got enough for tote bags for a couple of years! Last year we sold these for $8. Really.

A couple of weeks ago I brought in to the group the idea of supporting the Caps to the Capitol project, which is being organized by Save the Children, several yarn companies, and The National Needlework Association (TNNA). It has been found that many third-world babies die soon after birth from some simple reasons, including not having the warm little caps that are routinely give to newborns here. So crafters have been asked to make a small crocheted or knitted hat, to be sent to Congress in Washington, DC, as a reminder of the help to needy mothers and babies worldwide that US crafters provide. The goal is to encourage (or shame!) Congress into voting more money for world relief. Click on
the link to get more information about how you can participate.

Last week the ladies brought nearly 2 dozen caps, and I think nearly that many today. While the Caps project asks for one cap only, with an optional tag showing the maker's name and location, our plan is to send a LOT of caps and a cover letter signed by all of our members. The ladies said they were glad to use up some of the baby yarn we have in smaller bits, and why stop at just one? LOL!! Gotta love every single one of 'em!! As the Taco Bell dog said, "I theek I need a beeger box!"


jayne said...

I like those hats, and the love and care behind them even more. I've always wanted to know more about your work with the seniors group. Thanks for the details.

benne said...

Barbara, good for you devoting time and energy (and yarn) to such a caring cause. I find these types of programs very affirming and link us all closer in the human family. Lots of good going on in your group and it's not all about hats and donations. I know you have brightened all their lives, and in turn, yours.

Bri McStan said...

See, now, when you want yarn, please think about doing good Friday and treat yourself. You're a woman after my own heart.