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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hi there everyone

Well, considering all of the roller coaster rides, hardships, obstacles, and everything else crazy that 2009 presented to us, 2009 for Homespun Helpers was an incredible year. With that being said, it's hard to know what 2010 will hold for us. It's so difficult to keep an online group going. But I hope that you are still here on January 1st, 2010, ready to make your beautiful items and share your delightful personalities.

As we have discussed, 2010 will continue with some of our traditions -- we'll have our one for one monthly contest, our stars of the month, and the Regional Summer Contest. However, we will not have a cause for the month. Too many people felt like this kind of hampered them a bit. So, it'll be a free-for-all, but I'm hoping in the next couple of weeks to have a stand-alone list of charities that we tend to donate to along with links or information on how to send stuff to them. If anyone wants to help me with that well, that would be great :)

In the meantime, I hope you all have a delightful, peaceful, safeful (?) and wonderful holiday season!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ribbed beanie (#16)


ribbed beanie (#16)
Originally uploaded by craftyone77

here's hat #16 for the One Hundred Hats project. i keep forgetting to post them here, so i'm just going to go ahead and work backwards through them all, so i know they're all accounted for!

ribaroni (#17)


ribaroni (#17)
Originally uploaded by craftyone77

here's hat #17 for the One Hundred Hats project. i keep forgetting to post them here, so i'm just going to go ahead and work backwards through them all, so i know they're all accounted for!

baby beanie (#18)


baby beanie (#18)
Originally uploaded by craftyone77

here's hat #18 for the One Hundred Hats project. i keep forgetting to post them here, so i'm just going to go ahead and work backwards through them all, so i know they're all accounted for!

aviatrix (#19)


aviatrix (#19)
Originally uploaded by craftyone77

here's hat #19 for the One Hundred Hats project. i keep forgetting to post them here, so i'm just going to go ahead and work backwards through them all, so i know they're all accounted for!

A Walk In The Park (#21)


A Walk In The Park (#21)
Originally uploaded by craftyone77

here's hat #21 for the One Hundred Hats project. i keep forgetting to post them here, so i'm just going to go ahead and work backwards through them all, so i know they're all accounted for!

L.A. Winters (#20)


L.A. Winters (#20)
Originally uploaded by craftyone77

here's hat #20 for the One Hundred Hats project. i keep forgetting to post them here, so i'm just going to go ahead and work backwards through them all, so i know they're all accounted for!

Felicity (#22)


Felicity (#22)
Originally uploaded by craftyone77

here's hat #22 for the One Hundred Hats project. i keep forgetting to post them here, so i'm just going to go ahead and work backwards through them all, so i know they're all accounted for!

wurm (#23)


wurm (#23)
Originally uploaded by craftyone77

here's hat #23 for the One Hundred Hats project. i keep forgetting to post them here, so i'm just going to go ahead and work backwards through them all, so i know they're all accounted for!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Well happy holidays!

Regardless of your creed or where you are, the beginning of December signals a time for celebration. Even if it's just because the year is almost over, it seems like there is a general sense of excitement.

I am excited that we, if you can believe it, are nearing a very successful, obstacle-ridden third year of existence. Boy, that seems hard to believe!

You all are among the folks I felt thankful for yesterday, as I do every day, really. I just usually don't stuff my face after saying thanks :)

Hope you are all well. Round of hugs on me!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

our star of the month!

Hi Everyone,

It's time to announce our star for November, and the winner is...

sen_ichi_rei, aka the Yello Hobbit, aka Rachel :)

This lady is a great crafter who offered, of her own volition, to contribute the prizes for our November drawing. And what gorgeous give-aways she's offering!!

Thank you, Rachel. I appreciate it very much, and I know we all do too :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hey everyone!

Well, here we are, the middle of November, and it feels like late August. I can't figure out this weather! Anyway, despite what the weather is making me think, we are heading towards the holiday season, and we are heading towards the end of 2009.

I know that 2009 is a year that many of us will not look back on with kindness, but I hope you all realize how special that makes the fact that we still were able to do so much as a group this year. You really are awesome.

Now, I do have a little goal that I'd like to toss out there just for fun. Right now our tally is at 2,429 items. Do you think we can hit 3,000 by the end of the year? It's a tall order, especially if you are doing a lot of crafting for the holidays, but let's see what we can do.

Have a great rest of the weekend! :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Got Blankets?

Hey folks,

A friend of a friend of mine is collecting blankets here in my hometown for refugees -- drive will last till 11/29.

If you're interested, let me know!

Thanks :)

Also, Sandy has volunteered to create a blog that would just be an information source. We'd like to emphasize charities that you (our membership) is involved in. For example, Sandy's Bridge Project, Robyn's 100 hats work, Ninja's Preemie drive, etc. We're thinking email addresses so that folks can contact you for your address. If you want to create an email specifically for your charity so that you aren't publishing your personal email address, that's fine.

The blog that Sandy would create would be linked to all of our communities. This also might inspire some of you to create your own blogs for your drives like our friend Amy over at Warm Up Winchester!

feedback, again, welcome and desired! :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A change of plans

Although there was not a lot of debate about having a "pet" charity for 2010, the arguments against it were extremely compelling. The best argument for having a single charity to concentrate on is Zort's point -- it gives you time to plan and work on things like outfits, etc.

The arguments against having a pet charity included the fact that a lot of people wouldn't feel able to concentrate so much just on one charity because there are so many great ones out there. Holding on to items to make one big donation might mean missing important deadlines.

I would like to try something new that I think might be the best of all of these opportunities. I'd like someone to create a single place where all of the information about charities we donate to could be found. They'll all be listed. They'll be linked to from all of our communities. I'm thinking maybe a separate blog, a single web page -- something easy but accessible. I thought that our Yahoo Groups page could help with this but I am not sure how many people go there -- and since you need to be a member it's not as accessible as I'd like.

I'm very open to suggestions as to what charities should go on this list and how this database could be made accessible to everyone. I'm also thinking that maybe some of the charities could incorporate their logos or links back to their website -- just thinking out loud here.

Please discuss! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Welcome, November!

First things first. It's hat hat shaky shaky time!

And our winner of the October contest is....Cienna2000!

Let me know what you would like to have sent to you! Congratulations!

In other news, today is the first day you can submit entries for what you would like our pet project to be in 2010. Entries accepted till 11/15. Around that time, I'll post all of the entries as a reminder. Votes will be sent to me in lieu of public polling.

Reminder again -- just because we're going to have a single pet project does not mean you have to donate to that organization at all or a ton. In fact, if someone wants to be in charge of picking causes for each month, that is fine. The single organization will just get all of our donations at once, around the holiday time :)

Speaking of monthly causes, November is all about boys! JezebelSF told me last year that the shelter that she donates our stuff to really needs boy stuff - -apparently crafters make girl stuff a lot more often. So November is the time to get away from those pinks and purples! If you don't have Jezebel's address, please message me.

I think that's everything! Let me know if you have any questions, concerns, etc. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

since we had no major objections

I am pleased to announce that beginning November 1st, people can post the charity they would like us to focus on next year.

I know some folks noted that there are a ton of charities they like to give to -- that is perfectly awesome! I'm not going to count numbers differently or anything like that. It'll just be neat (I think) to tally at the end of the year how many items we as a group gave to a specific charity. I like gathering things :)

So! If you know of someone that runs a charity and you think they could benefit from being our pet next year have them post. Entries till November 15th (I'll cross-post so everyone sees everything). Email me your votes till Turkey Day, and the winner will be announced the first week of December!

Thanks, everybody :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Proposed Plan for 2010

Hi folks,

I'm cross-posting this everywhere so hopefully you see it and feel free to converse!

I have been thinking long and hard about Homespun Helpers and next year, and here is what I have come up with.

1) Instead of having a charity a month, I'd like to choose a single place to focus our work. Now, this does not mean you HAVE to make stuff for that charity, but Zort and other folks have pointed out, for example, that making outfits over just a month is really hard to do. If we're all working on a single goal as a group (in addition to whatever you want to do as individuals) we'll be able to really make a huge impact on that group and there will be more time to make really nifty things.

Let me reiterate - you will NOT have to make things at all or in any volume for the charity we choose. You can still do whatever you want. But for folks who want to participate, those items will all be donated at one time around the holidays next year.

If you suggest a place to donate, make sure you'll have a means to store up several months worth of stuff so it can all be given at the same time! :)

2) In order to choose the 2010 cause, I'd like to open up a contest beginning November 1st and ending November 15th. Submit your cause and explain why you'd like to be able to give that shelter, city, whatever a huge donation at this time next year. People will contact me privately to vote and I'll announce the winner.

3) Once we've announced the winner, I'll set a goal. I'd like to ask people who may not be involved in our organization to pledge to make a donation to the American Cancer Society if we hit our mark.

4) I'm thinking we'll still continue with our monthly drawing, one item, one entry.

5) We'll still have stars of the month.

6) We'll have our Summer contest that will begin around Memorial Day and end around Labor Day.

Any thoughts? Let me know!

And I'd still LOVE to have a volunteer to help me keep various sites updated -- it's just too much for me to do now! Most especially, I'd love help in keeping our Blogspot site updated and active because that is where traffic gets driven from places like Facebook and Twitter.

Lend me your thoughts, fellow countrymen (and non-countrymen!) :)

Hey eveyrbody!

It sure has gotten quiet around here. Did the Summer contest kill everybody? :)

My life has certainly been tres busy. In my crafting life, I have been working on a scarf for my mom -- in lace weight alpaca. Never again. It's real soft and real pretty but just...no.

What are you working on?? Talk to me, pretty people :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

our star of the month!

Well, it's just about that time again -- time to name our star of the month! And our star is.....


VIOLET!

Violet is one of the poor souls that our resident ninja recruited for gruesome crocheting shifts, and Violet has always responded well to Ninja's moral degradations :D In fact, Violet is now running her own charity drive and is making Ninja twitch! It's hard to stay involved in a community when you don't post a lot, but Violet has always been a major producer for us and has been a real stable force in our efforts to reach our goals.

So Violet, cheers to you and best of luck on your drive!

Monday, October 12, 2009

from Violet

Hey folks,

Violet has been posting this as a comment over in Livejournal but I wanted to make sure everyone sees it:

!!! Attn:ALL Hookers & Knitters !!!
Knitting for Kurt Warner Foundation Drive
All help is needed and appreciated
(2ft. x 2ft. in size) baby blankets aswell as
New born size hats,mittens and botties.
All projects will be sent out to childrens hospitals
located through out Arizona.

Intrested? and need more info get in contact with
Longhorns777 or email me at rultrav@yahoo
Thank You & God Bless!
-Violet

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

hat hat shaky shaky!

Hey everyone!

It's the last day of September, so they tell me (I can't believe it), which means it's hat hat shaky shaky time!

And our winner is...

NINJA!!!

Ninja is the lucky winner of Zort's homemade yarny goodness. So Zort, show this gal of ours what she won!

Oh yeah...and our charity for October is Pretty Bird Woman House -- a great charity that many folks here have made me aware of!

Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm putting out a challenge!

Hey folks,

I'm going to be sans computer for a couple of weeks and won't have time to do stuff at work...I'm going to ask you a question.

Don't you really really really want me to have a lot to do when I get my computer back? I thought so.

So here is a challenge -- can we get to 2,500 items by October 15? We're at 2,377 now.

I think you can do it. Can ya? Punks? :D

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Holy smokes! Our star of the month!! Plus other stuff.

You know, I never did name our star of the month this month. I can't hardly believe it!!!

Well, our star of the month this month is...*trumpets* Soapfaerie!!!

What can we say about Soapfaerie? She has been with us for quite a long time now, even though she insisted at the beginning that "all she could do" was soap. Little did we know how amazing those soaps were!

Soapfaerie always has wonderful comments whenever someone posts something. She was a great competitor this Summer even though the Chowdaheads were the David of our David v. Goliath contest -- and she rejoiced in the other teams winning!

And of course, epitomizing the spirit of Homespun Helpers, she has now begun her own local charity as well. For all of these reasons, plus many more, you all must pay homage to this wicked cool gal for the rest of the month (and for a good chunk of October since I'm so late!) :)

In other news...something to think about for next year. I need help -- mentally, yes, but also in the growing world of Social Media, where I think our group can flourish. I'd like for someone to help me spiff up our Blogspot post -- I want to add to our "blogroll" to hopefully add to our numbers over there, I'll need help making sure we post when other people post items, and finding other content about crafting for charity would be good too. I'd also like someone to man or woman our Facebook page, our Twitter account, and our Ravelry page. I can't keep up with all of these in the way I want, and as a result, I think everything is starting to fall off a bit (note my late posting of our star!)

I'd also like some ideas on how to raise some money next year, even though we aren't a not-for-profit. All of the prizes for this year (except for the September prize which Zort is generously offering to cover) have come out of my pocket. I am happy to do it, but at the same time, a little monetary help would not make me cry :) The Penny Homespuns idea did not take off like I hoped. If you want to be in charge of prize giving and want to try to raise funds that way, that's cool. If you have an idea of something Homespun Helperish we could sell on Etsy or Cafe Press to make money, I'm all ears (I personally think Homespun Helpers t-shirts would be AWESOME). But yeah, I'd like to have more contests and more prizes to give, but my pocketbook may just rebel against me, and that would be tough to explain.

Thoughts? Reactions?

Happy Fall, everyone :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ripley hat


Ripley back
Originally uploaded by craftyone77

another hat i've knit for Warm Woolies. blogged about on One Hundred Hats and finished a few weeks ago.

count towards the personal challenge!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Blogger as our central signpost

hello Blogger folks,

I have decided to make this blog the hub for our activity. While other folks are going to continue to post to Livejournal or Ravelry like they've been doing, I'm going to mention those posts here, or link to them if I have permission.

Because this is our hub, I'd like to link to this blog's posts from our Twitter account & Facebook (perhaps Ravelry would make sense too). I need to know if anyone objects to me linking to your posts in that way -- the pictures of your items (and sometimes you) would be visible without you posting.

If that makes you uncomfortable, I totally understand. Just let me know and I will not link to your posts, I will just note that so and so posted x number of items. Speak now, or not ever :) (just kidding).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tubey finished!


Tubey finished!
Originally uploaded by craftyone77

i feel like i haven't posted a finished object in FOREVER! here's Tubey, a hat i created for the One Hundred Hats project i'm attempting. it's actually hat #4, but i'll post the other three soon!

count this one towards the personal challenge for me!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wakey wakey!

I realized I forgot to let everyone know what the charity for this month is, which is pretty silly since it's MY drive! D'oh!

So the idea for this month is making items that go together as a kind of outfit (hat/scarf/mittens, mobius/mittens/socks, etc). They will be donated to a local (to me) homeless women's shelter. And boy could they use help. Please try to have things here by October 1st (sorry for the late warning!).

As for our status, we are at 2,335 items!!!

I'll be posting soon about some ideas for next year, so be ready to put your thinking caps on :)

Have good rest of the weeks!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August winner!

Lest we forget, August also had a winner for our monthly contest.

The hat shakes and...

Raquel is our winner!!!

Let me know what you would like, Raquel!

Along similar lines, CraftingforCats, Jen, DocLegs, and Leftygirl, please let me know what you would like for your prizes!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

And so our Summer contest comes to a close

A hearty congratulations to everyone in Homespun Helpers. I am actually close to sobbing as I tally these numbers. What an amazing group, and you all make it happen.

So, let's get down to it.

Our winners for 2009 are:

TEAM OHIO

!!!!!!!

With a stunning last push, Team Ohio finished with 549 items.

Captain Underpants, please let me know your top 4 performers as they all get $25 worth of prizes!

Some more stats you say?

From Memorial Day to (almost) Labor Day, we booked 1,429 items plus a few items that weren't tagged for the contest. Yeah.

Right now we're at 2,329 items!!!

Simply amazing. I am stunned. And you should be too!

Ticking down

Okay folks...Ima go eat my dinner and when I'm back -- no more entries. And I eat pretty quick :)

September Monthly Contest - One for One

For the month of September, I am going to be sponsoring the monthly contest as a repeat of last year's One for One contest.

Each person who posts a finished, handmade object for charity during the month of September will be entered into the drawing. You can only enter once (no matter how many things you make.) When you post your item which you want to be your entry, tag it with the one for one tag OR post it to the 'one for one' thread on Ravelry.

At the end of the month I will randomly select one winner from all entrants and the winner will receive a hand-dyed skein of yarn. It's 100 grams of superwash sport weight yarn and I have no idea what colours it will be yet. :-) I will post a photo when it's been dyed!

If you have any questions, please do ask!

Monday, August 31, 2009

About 24 hours left for entries

And here are the standings!

Team Ohio: 433

Team Godzilla: 349

Team Arizona: 314

Team New England: 103

Saturday, August 29, 2009

We're over 2000!!!!

Wooot!!!

In what has been perhaps one of the most trying years of any of our lives, we are still well on track to reach 3,000 items. That is just amazing. I am so proud of you all!!!!!

2006 and counting! :)

With just a couple days left...!!

Team Ohio: 336

Team Godzilla: 326

Team Arizona: 314

Team New England: 80

ETA: Entries will be counted for the last time at 7:00 PM EST on Tuesday night (September 1). My announcement of the winner will happen shortly thereafter!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's update time!

Team Ohio: 336

Team Godzilla: 326

Team Arizona: 235

Team New England: 80

We are at 1,884 items right now. Do you think we can make it to 2,000 by September 1st? Do we even want to try? :D

Love y'all.

hurricane hat - complete


hurricane hat - complete
Originally uploaded by craftyone77

i made this to kick off my new big project - i'm knitting One Hundred Hats for Warm Woolies! this is the Hurricane Hat pattern (free, and wonderful!), and i've been blogging about it at onehundredhats.blogspot.com

at any rate, i'm sure there'll be lots more pictures like this to come in the future - one down, ninety-nine to go!

Monday, August 24, 2009

This and that

So, even though folks said they'd be willing to participate in an individual contest, I agree with those who said following straight after a regional contest would be a bit much. I was trying to figure out a way to get it in before the holiday rush, but we'll just let that pass into next year.

One idea I did want to run by all of you, either for this year or next -- gift cards branded with Homespun Helpers, so that at the holidays or birthdays you could send a card to someone and say "An item was made by Homespun Helpers and donated in honor of you." Or something.

Any thoughts?

Have good weeks, everybody, and for those of you starting back up at school -- have a great year!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Six More Hats & A Trip to The Post Office


I have six more preemie hats to add to the pile of itty-bitties. Along with 11 others (which have been accounted for), they'll be making the trip to AZ for one of HH's charity crafters.

I've been busy getting ready for my friend's wedding. I'm making 6-dozen cupcakes and a four-layer 8" choc/choc cake. The cupcakes alone aren't that much work, save for the fact that they each have to go into a small, window-having box, which needs ribbon. I've been pasting wedding ribbon onto these pasty, lifeless boxes for days, now. It's fun, though, and the bride is giving me creative freedom, so it's great, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow's delivery. For sure.

Then, it'll be back to the crafty-craft. Here's to one final push before the contest ends. Once it does, it'll be too late.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Contest update and a question

Hi folks,

Here is your update. You'll be shocked at how amazing everyone has been this Summer!

Team Ohio 336

Team Godzilla 289

Team Arizona 201

Team New England 79

Now for my question.

Last year we did an individual contest as well as a regional contest. I was thinking we could do a one-month run of it this year, from the end of the regional contest to the first of October. The winner would be the person who made the most items (all items counted equally this year, so if you want to participate think small!) and they would win $25 worth of prizes and would pick our charity of focus in January.

Is this of interest to you?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

help save dogs' lives

Hey everyone,

Please check out this post from our livejournal community:

http://community.livejournal.com/homespunhelpers/427718.html

She needs our help urgently, so if you are an animal lover like I am, you will be inspired and will want to chip in. Let's make a difference!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A star, a new charity to think about, and an update!

Hi everyone!

I don't know that I'll have this much time to sit in front of my own computer again this week, so I'm just going to dump on ya! :)

First...our star of the month. I'm a little bit early, but I just gotta.

Our star of the month is Kelli, aka Ugottafriend!

Kelli joined us around the time that HH was in the Livejournal spotlight a couple of years ago. At first, she was enthusiastic but wasn't sure how she could help us...she didn't crochet or knit. Then A Million Thanks came along, and when Kelli found out she could hand-make cards, she started exploding.

I continually thought higher and higher of all of the work Kelli was doing, and then I found out that she battles chronic illness while doing all of these amazing things. She steps beyond herself in every way imaginable, cheering us on, adding to our count, and brightening so many lives. Much like a star would.

As part of Kelli's star power, she has mentioned a charity that folks might be interested -- especially if you like to do things other than crocheting or knitting sometimes. Here is her post:...now I have taken on a few gift projects for a wonderful organization called Spirit Jump. SJ members send gifts to people who are seriously ill in an effort to lift their spirits. As someone who is chronically ill myself, I know what a blessing it is to receive a happy little something in the mail. It can be the simplest thing...a postcard...a bookmark...anything can make a difference in someone's day.
So I'm asking for your help! I am hand making cards, gift tags, and bookmarks for Spirit Jump recipients and would love to be able to include a little gift in their package. It can be a book, a piece of jewelry, a humorous plaque...the sky is the limit here guys. Please note that most of the recipients are terminally ill, some given weeks or months to live. Others are still in the midst of their battle. Women, men, and children. The gift does not have to be hand made (unless you want to...and it would be counted on HH whereas bought stuff wouldn't), and it doesn't have to cost much. The only rule is that it be something that will bring a smile in the midst of someone's suffering.
If you have something to contribute, please email me and I will give you my snail mail address.
ugottafriend4life@gmail.com
Thanks so much everyone!


And now for our contest update, which is getting steamy red hot!

Team Godzilla: 273
Team Ohio: 242
Team Arizona: 156
Team New England: 71

You all are fabulous. Have I mentioned that lately?

Monday, August 10, 2009

8 Little Hats

Hello all! Here are 8 hats I crocheted over the last few days. Most are for preemie heads and some for small children. I'm sending them to a HH crafter who does work with kids.

I've been on a bit of a crafting break: I was in Ohio for a friends' wedding two weeks ago and prior to that I'd been on a reading kick.

Back to it, though, since I just placed an order with the Yarnbank.

Stay cool, all, depending on where you are. It's toasty down here in SoCal.

Yarn Bank Liquidation


new to the yarn bank today
Originally uploaded by craftyone77

It’s with a very sad heart that I write this all. I’m closing the Yarn Bank as of October 1.

Over the last year or so, I’ve had such a great time collecting yarn from people’s stashes and turning it around to people to use for charity purposes. It’s been such a treat to hear about all the great charity projects that have been made, all the lives that have been touched by this venture.

And then, two months ago, I was contacted about helping someone unload several trailers full of yarn meant for charity knitters and crocheters. Thinking it would be an amazing opportunity, I signed on, not realizing the trouble I would be causing for myself.

In these two months I have talked to countless individuals who wanted nothing more than to knit and crochet for charity, and have been stymied repeatedly in getting yarn to them. I have stuck through it, knowing that eventually this yarn would end up in the hands of charity crafters who wanted to make items for those in need.

All the while, I continued to try to keep up with the yarn bank. The two were kept separate, although I was contacted about helping out with this large yarn liquidation due to the yarn bank’s modest success. I hadn’t thought any of this would be an issue whatsoever, until the last few days.

In the last few days, everything has fallen apart. I have been accused of stealing business from local yarn stores, stealing potential charity crafters from this larger yarn liquidation, discovered people have not received yarn who should have, and in general lost my stomach more than once at the demanding, selfish, and greedy nature of a large number of people.

And so I’m closing up the yarn bank. Any yarn that is sent to me between now and September 15th I’ll go ahead and list, but as of October 1 I’m shutting down shop for the foreseeable future. Any yarn left in the yarn bank will be sent to reputable charities for use by their members.

I have always been someone who believed in the good of humanity, and this two month experience has left me sad, disheartened, and closed off to the thought of doing something like this again. I will never say never, and hold onto the yarn bank account indefinitely, so that if I have a change of heart I can start things up again.

From now on, I will continue to focus on my personal charity knitting, on loving on and supporting the charity crafting community as much as possible from a distance, and participating in Homespun Helpers joyfully. If there’s anyone in the group who wants to take the reins with this project, please contact me via e-mail (rmcdevine@gmail.com) so we can discuss it.

There is still a lot of good yarn in the yarn bank, and there will be some needles, hooks and even some great vintage fabric listed between now and September 15th, so please take a look and grab what’s left – it won’t be there long!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Spirit Jump...help me brighten the day of those who are seriously ill...

Hey folks, Kelli here. I usually post to HH on LiveJournal, but our fearless leader suggested that I post everywhere else as well. This is an opportunity for all, whether you know how to hand make stuff or not. :)

I personally cannot sew or knit, so I look for other ways to give. I am a starving artist and love to make cards for charities like Operation Gratitude and A Million Thanks. I've also recently made cards for Pink Heart Funds, and now I have taken on a few gift projects for a wonderful organization called Spirit Jump. SJ members send gifts to people who are seriously ill in an effort to lift their spirits. As someone who is chronically ill myself, I know what a blessing it is to receive a happy little something in the mail. It can be the simplest thing...a postcard...a bookmark...anything can make a difference in someone's day.

So I'm asking for your help! I am hand making cards, gift tags, and bookmarks for Spirit Jump recipients and would love to be able to include a little gift in their package. It can be a book, a piece of jewelry, a humorous plaque...the sky is the limit here guys. Please note that most of the recipients are terminally ill, some given weeks or months to live. Others are still in the midst of their battle. Women, men, and children. The gift does not have to be hand made (unless you want to...and it would be counted on HH whereas bought stuff wouldn't), and it doesn't have to cost much. The only rule is that it be something that will bring a smile in the midst of someone's suffering.

If you have something to contribute, please email me and I will give you my snail mail address.

ugottafriend4life@gmail.com

Thanks so much everyone!

Kelli
ugottafriend.com

Thursday, August 6, 2009

1,496

We're 4 items away from the big 1-5-0-0!!

Who wants to take us there?!? :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Contest update and some new charities to think about

So I'll keep you in suspense and talk about some new charities first. Cuz I'm evil like that :) A good friend of mine from waaaaay back is working as a missionary in Ghana and she passed these ideas on to me.

First: www.stringofpearlsonline.com

It seems like a similar concept to Afghans for Angels

Also, my friend has done some exploring of a children's home near where she lives. It's called The Anfaani Children's Home, and they apparently need anything and everything. Shipping would obviously be something we'd want to talk about -- maybe see if we could pool things together and ship in international flat rate boxes or something like that. But something to think about.

NOW, the contest update:

Team Godzilla: 213

Team Ohio: 192

Team Arizona: 98

Team New England: 67

Just a mere few weeks left. It could be anybody's ball game. Er...ball of yarn. Er...well. There it is.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

august charity!

Doclegs reminded me that I neglected to post our charity for August. Well, you can't win 'em all. Remember, if you are a member of the yahoo group, you can go to calendar and I have blurbs about each month's charity on the far right there :)

So, August.

Our charity focus for August (if you want) is the Red Scarf Project. I know it seems early to start working on something for Valentines Day, but they have been so inundated they wanted to set an earlier deadline so that they don't have to literally stop people from sending. A good problem to have!

Here is the site for more info:

http://orphan.org/index.php?id=9

ETA: SoapFairie said that the link I used takes you to the money donation page. Here is a better link she found:

http://orphan.org/index.php?id=40

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A new month begins!

And you thought I'd forget...heh heh heh

Okay, so it's hat shaky shaky time.

And the winner is...Snoopingmother?!? Again?!?

Clearly *someone* has put a spell on my hat, but snoopingmother, since you won so recently, I'm going to pick another name. I hope that's okay!

Shaky shaky shaky and...

Craftingforcats is the winner!

Let me know what you would like for your prize!

I am really really happy about this July contest, folks. We had the most names in the hat this time around!

Keep it up! Remember, just a little over a month left till our Summer contest ends...the monthly contest will keep going though :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Contest update!

Yep, it's that time again.

Team Godzilla: 213

Team Ohio: 192

Team Arizona: 93

Team New England: 30

It's just more and more amazing every week.

Unfortunately for you other teams, I'm cooking up something that will take Team New England to heights previously unexplored. But it's been a great run for ya! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Contest Updates!!

Here are the standings for this week!

Team Godzilla: 204

Team Ohio: 189

Team Arizona: 93

Team New England: 20

It's tightening up even more with just a bit more than a month to go!!! :) Great job, everybody!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

1 WUA, 5 Hats

5 Hats and 1 WUA piece.

I've been busy working an additional job, which I love. I'm baking professionally, now, which means that I'm having fun making money, but it's an additional part-time job, so I'm working about 40-50 hours/week, which leaves little time for crafting.

I'll do my best to keep up and help Team Godzilla.

Happy Wednesday, all!

a few things to donate, finally!




finally, a few things to donate! the squares go to Ghana Project, and the sweaters and hat go to my new friend Sara and an auction she's having at the end of April. So that's seventeen items for team New England!

Updates, and our star of the month!

Hi there everyone,

Tomorrow is going to be busy busy so I thought I would update a day early!

First, the Summer Contest. Are you ready?

Team Godzilla is up by a hair: 180

Team Ohio (Underpants): 175

Team Arizona: 93

Team Chowdaheads: 3

Woo boy! We have about a month and a half left...it's going to be an exciting finish, I think!

And now on to our star of the month.

Our star is: SNOOPINGMOTHER!!

Snoopingmother (and her daughter Jen) joined us a little after we got into the spotlight a couple of years ago, and they both have plugged along, making some of the most beautiful items you could ever imagine. They are kind-hearted in every possible way, and if nothing else, you have to appreciate the fact that Snoopingmother got herself a Captain Underpants icon for the Summer contest :)

Congratulations Snoopingmother!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Regional Contest Update

I'm going to be doing a big move tomorrow so I thought I would post an update here in the calm before the storm. This regional contest is really quite amazing, and we're only a month into it! You should ALL be quite amazed at yourselves :) Here's where we are!

Team Godzilla: 160

Team Ohio: 142

Team Arizona: 93

Team New England: 3

Now, I don't want to alarm you other guys, but Team New England is going to get one heck of a boost over the next two weeks once my move is done. I am going to want to sit on my big round butt for a GOOD long time after all of this hubub. So be ready :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

More WUA Pieces

Here are 13 more pieces for Warm Up America. Does anybody know what to do with them? I have the main office info, but it seems that they'd rather the pieces get together with other pieces to make a blanket in a community. Is anybody involved in a WUA blanket-making group? If not, I'll try to find somebody to take them. I don't think I have enough to make a full blanket.
I could make strips, like WUA suggests, and then send them off.
I'm open to suggestions since this is my first attempt at making these pieces.
Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

straw hat time!

Okay, so, the straw hat is filled with the names of June entrants. And shakey shakey shakey...and.....the winner is: RebelFanJenny!!! RebelFanJenny has become an awesome addition over at our Ravelry group -- if you haven't checked out her work, do so now!

And now the contest update!

Team Godzilla is in the lead (for now!)

Team Godzilla: 121

Team Ohio: 100

Team Arizona: 93

Team New England: 1

Happy July, and in advance, I hope you US folks have a great Fourth!

2 for the total, 1 for team New England

Hey everyone,

I feel bad that I haven't posted here in forever, since I haven't been making many items for charity, since I had/have a zillion projects on the needles. But I decided I'd crank out a hat tonight.

From Craftiness


It's probably sized for a toddler, but I'm not around kids much, so that's just a guess. It's made from handspun merino, left over from another project (though there's a lot of it left.)

Also, as an experiment, a while ago I made a pair of baby socks. It was an experiment because I double-knitted them, with one inside the other, both of them on the needles at the same time. (See here for an excellent tutorial.)
From Craftiness

I'm not sure whether or not I'd do this again. It was a fun knit, but I don't think it actually saves time. It's more something fun to knit if you want to show off your Extreme Knitting Skillz TM. I probably should have taken pictures while it was in progress, but oh well.

The socks were done a while ago, so they can't count towards the summer contest. But the hat was done just this evening. Maybe now that I'm done with my master's and I'm unemployed, I'll be able to singlehandedly save team New England.

Not sure where to send them to; they're all made of wool, nothing is acrylic. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last day of June

And a great month it's been.

Remember, today is the last day to get entered into the June drawing -- make and post one item and you're in!

The announcement of the winner will happen tomorrow along with an update on our sizzling hot Regional Summer contest!

For July, our charity focus will be Ninja's preemie drive. As some of you may know, Ninja joined our group in honor of her son, who had been a preemie, turning 10. She has been an invaluable member of our group ever since, so I can't think of anything more fun than drowning her and her favorite charity in cute hats, sweaters, booties, and mittens :)

Ninja, please email me your address so I can post it to the "files" section of the yahoo group and so people can e-mail you or me with the address -- or if you want to post it yourself, that's cool too :)

As always, you do not have to do work on this, but it's just our focus for July :)

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

8 More for WUA

Over the last few days, I made some more green WUA pieces.
Happy weekend to all.

Friday, June 26, 2009

In absentia

Hey folksies,

I'm going to be away from the computer for most of the weekend. I'll tally when I get home but if I miss your post, please poke me to let me know :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

WUA Pieces and 1 Lonely Hat

Over the past few days, I've been busy using the Spring Greens I bought from Robyn's (Rockin') Yarn Bank over on Etsy.

Here are the 14 WUA Pieces and 1 hat that I made. It might take a little more time before I tire of the 7" x 9" dimensions, so I plan to produce more. These are crocheted; maybe I'll try knitting.

Anyway, I wanted to get these counted for Team Godzilla, since it seems that there's a close race.
Go team!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wednesday Update -- on Tuesday

I know, why do I even try to set patterns? My middle of the month person can get announced anywhere from the 1st to the 30th. My Wednesday updates can come between Tuesday and Thursday. Oh well :)

So, first, as I mentioned before, we have hit the 1,000 mark. We are now at 1070 items, in fact! This is very very cool. Do you think we can get close to 2000 in the next week? That would be a lot of posting, but you all have made me pee myself in shock before (yes, it was gross).

Oh, yeah, the regional contest. So, here is where we are so far:

Team Godzilla: 97

Team Arizona: 93

Team Ohio: 56

Team New England: 0

I am so glad I announced that I would be crafting for Team New England. As you all can see, I didn't enter myself into the contest because I am so valuable for teams...*snort...chortle* No really, I will play. But I have had a need come up for two "big people" afghans -- one for friends who just got married and one for friends celebrating a special anniversary. I am desperate to get them done, not only because of the timing of these events but also because working on giant afghans in the Summer STINKS!

Just a reminder, please make sure to try to visit one of our sites that you don't often visit -- Ravelry, Livejournal, Facebook, Yahoo Groups...everyone is doing amazing work. Show your support!

And finally, don't forget to worship at our shrine for Robyn, our star of the month, who brought into our midst 2 trailers worth of yarn for charity work :)

Love and hugs to you all!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Blankets for Buddies

I heard back from Jennifer at Blankets for Buddies. She says:

There are no size requirements for the blankets...although, I would recommend smaller blankets which would most likely be used for the cats and smaller dogs. The larger dogs might destroy them and larger blankets take up more room in the washer/dryer. The shelters and certainly the animals are not picky about materials, however, I would just suggest making the blankets as durable as possible...they are going to get dirty and will have to stand up to some major wear and tear.

I'm going to start making small blankets as per her request. I'm guessing that acrylic would be the best bet here due to durability and ease of use. Anybody have other suggestions as far as material goes?

Praise for Yarnbank

I got my Spring Greens in the mail today. I'm pretty sure that Robyn's awesome because I made that purchase online a mere 72 hours ago. I'm so excited to make my WUA squares with the colors.
I'll likely also make some blankets for Blankets for Buddies with the washable, acrylic, user-friendly yarns.
Yay for yarns!
Yay for Yarnbank!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

HELP ME UNLOAD SOME CHARITY YARN!!!

so this is going to seem like a form letter, because it sort of is. i just didn't know the best way to get this info to as many people as possible, as fast as possible.

I’m in contact with a woman who has two semi-trailers full of yarn she wants to get to charity knitters.

Two. Trailers.

She wants to get it to the fine knitters of the world so they can make some great charity projects, and I’m hoping you all can help me.

Here’s the details:

For $20 (to cover shipping) she’ll send a FedEx box to anywhere in the United States, packed to the gills with acrylic yarn. It’ll be Red Heart, Lion Brand, etc, and is all discontinued colors. You can request worsted, sport, or baby weight, but I can’t take color requests.

If you’re outside of the US, contact me first so I can get a price estimate.

If you’re interested, send me the money to the following paypal address: rmcdevine@gmail.com

Include your shipping address, what yarn weight you’d like, and any additional information you feel we’d need to know.

Also, feel free to pass this on to any other knitters/crocheters you know who are making things for charity and could benefit from a super cheap pile of acrylic yarn. Remember, acrylic is great for hospital and nursing home donations, baby items, and Warm Up America squares!

We've broken 1,000!

1,063 everybody!! Great job!!!!!!

Off to Flagstaff, kbai


I'm shipping these seven hats and a few other things that I made and were tallied a few months back to The Dulaan Project.

Not much else to say. I've a few other things going and will post them when they're done.

Go Godzilla, Go!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's Wednesday!

Awwww yeah.

So regional contest first...Team Godzilla is at 83 items, and Team Ohio is at 56. If you are on Ravelry, please check out the work that GeekGirl and RebelFanJenny are posting over there for Team Godzilla. It's really amazing!

I'm sure Team New England is just thrilled that Ive become such a major contributor to the team. Don't worry...it's coming :)

And the Army of the Ninja is just threatening us with their presence. *threaten threaten*

Don't forget that our cause for this month is The Dulaan Project -- warm fuzzies of any material for anyone. I think they are collecting things July 9th? Something like that.

As for me, I am doing the unthinkable and am trying to work on 2 projects at once. I am working on an afghan, which is a wedding present. I haven't made an afghan for about 8 months...i've been making hats and mittens and socks and LITTLE things. All of a sudden, it's quite hard to get excited about an afghan. So, after doing 5 rows of the afghan, I work on something for charity, and right now, I'm trying to make a hat on a new set of circular needles.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Card from Lucy at Scott & White

Today, I received a very sweet card from Lucy Matkin, the Program Coordinator at Scott & White in Temple, TX. She said the "patients undergoing treatment really appreciate the hats and...love getting homemade goodies." Yay!

Blankets for Buddies

Happy Monday to us all.
Really.
So, yesterday, running errands, I came across a new (to me), local (San Dimas- 60 miles away) organization for which we can make stuff. It's called Blankets for Buddies (http://www.blankets4buddies.org/index.htm) and they distribute blankets (used or new) and towels to keep chilly shelter animals warm during the wet and chilly months. I think there's a national organization similar to this and maybe it's already on the radical resource lists that are already floating around among our crafters, but this is local and I can facilitate drop-offs/donations, if you are interested.
In addition to blankets, they also collect towels. A friend of mine collects old and worn-out towels from hospital facilities and donates the would-have-ended-up-in-the-landfill towels to shelters. It's not crafty, per-se, but it's part of the B4B program.
Is anybody interested in making blankets for these little fuzzies? I would be more than happy to facilitate drop-offs, if you want to mail things to me, here, in Cali.
I'm planning to participate. Are you?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Our star of the month!

It's a day early, but I guess I kind of gave up on doing these announcements *exactly* on the 15th a long time ago :)

So, our star of the month is Robyn, aka craftyone. What can I say about Robyn? Well, sit back and get comfy. This could go on for awhile.

Robyn has always been a major force wherever Homespun Helpers has gone -- LJ, Blogger, Facebook, Ravelry -- she's always there.

Robyn continues to do wonderful things for our group even though she often encounters obstacles or frustrations -- she started the TypePad site for us, she started the Ravelry group (great idea!), and she took over and ran with the Yarn Bank idea (as evident in her last post).

Robyn and her mom have made and collected probably countless scarves at this point for women going through chemo.

And perhaps most impressive to me, Robyn kept working on charity stuff, including the Yarn Bank, while she was preparing for her wedding!

Robyn, you are an all star for sure. I worship at your feet :)

yarn bank on etsy

so, i've been contemplating this for a few months, and i'm just going ahead and doing it. while some of you have been AMAZINGLY generous with donations for shipping, not everyone has. and i get that not everyone can always do it. but i need more regular help with shipping costs as i was spendng tons of my own money to send stuff to people.

so the Yarn Bank is now an etsy shop, with costs minimal to cover shipping only. i'm getting a bunch of batches of acrylic yarns listed today, that were generously donated by a friend of a friend. i'll get the bulk of the rest of the yarn bank up over the next week or so, but for now this is what we've got.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tell me if you mind

But since Team Chowdaheads only has 2 members right now, I thought I would join them to help out in the contest. If we win, of course, the other 2 folks would win the prizes :)

Let me know if anyone objects -- I can still objectively tally...I PROMISE.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday Update

So far, everybody, it's Team Godzilla with 81 items and Team Ohio with 32!! This contest has a Loooooooong way to go, so anything can happen :)

The make an item to get entered into the monthly drawing...thing...is still going too, so get those hooks and needles a'crackin! :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The scores

Team Ohio: 20

Team Godzilla: 68

Team New England and Team Arizona yet to get on the board :)

June mission and other tidbits!

So, it's June 3rd and we have made and donated 908 items for charity! We still have a bit of a way to go to reach 2,000 by July 1st, but I think we've totally got it nailed :)

Our charity of focus for this month is on the Dulaan Project, which apparently is still alive and well despite rumors it was going the way of the dodo bird. They accept pretty much any warm garment, and their deadline for this year is July 1. You can get all the info here:

http://www.fireprojects.org/dulaan.htm

I'll post the contest results tonight -- Team Godzilla is going to be a formidable force this year, it seems!

Monday, June 1, 2009

YO!

no, I'm not just saying "yo."

I found a story today on MSNBC about a project in Elkhart that is teaching people how to knit as a way to help ease their massive tensions. I thought to myself, "Knitting...help...Homespun Helpers to the rescue!"

I have a couple of ideas in mind -- could Homespun Helpers use our yarn bank concept to help them out so the folks wouldn't have to worry about materials? Or, could we donate harder things to make, like hats, mittens, socks, to go with the scarves that a lot of the folks are working on?

I think this is a really neat opportunity for us to step up and help.

Would someone like to take a leadership role in contacting YO! about these ideas and any others you may have?

Here's the story:

http://elkhartproject.newsvine.com/_news/2009/05/31/2883069-a-novel-prescription-for-knitted-brows

and the winner is..............

Okay, I shook the magical hat when I woke up this morning, and I pulled out a name...

And that name was...

SNOOPINGMOTHER!!!

Congratulations, Captain Underpants! Let me know what you would like your prize to be :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Last day of May

Hey folks, I will be pulling names out of a hat sometime tomorrow, so you have alllllll day today to post an item and get entered into our monthly contest! This is the most names we've had yet, so the competition will be stiff! :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

First week of the contest is almost over!

Well, this contest is going to be one heck of a thing, I think!

Team Ohio (Captain Snoopingmother) is off to a quick start with 17 items already!

Team Godzilla (Captain Kindergoth/Ozangel) has 5 items on the board

And the other teams...well, they'll jump out, you just watch!

Also, we are at 826 items now! Woot! Great way to end the month (and it's not even *technically* over yet :)

Captains, don't forget to keep track of your team members everywhere they may be! :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let's Go!

Let's get this party started! I moved again-- to just down the road, so I'm unpacking and organizing and all that. I'm hoping to start crocheting my hands off soon.
I hope you're all ready for the fun.
I know I am.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

From Juniper!

So these 9 items are from Juniper -- 2 hats & a scarf for a local school, 2 GORGEOUS afghans for Afghans for Afghans (these things are amazing, I've seen them), and 5 squares for the "Pay it forward" project over on Ravelry.





Tomorrow's the Day!!

Alright folks, tomorrow is the big day -- from tomorrow until Labor Day, if you are participating in the Summer contest (you can even if you haven't signed up, just let your captain know when you post) make sure you tag your post with "regional summer contest" and your team name. Captains -- don't forget, it's your job to monitor your members and make sure they are tagging.

May the best team win, but most of all, may we all have fun!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's Wednesday. I post :)

So, today is May 20th. We are a mere, MERE 5 days away from our Regional Summer Contest (take 2). Someone make me a good acronym for that :)

It's actually beautiful where I live for once. I think this is a good omen.

Whatcha doing?? :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

We're Shipping Out

I'm shipping the box of items to The Scott & White Cancer Facility in TX tomorrow, I hope. I finished the last two hats yesterday.
While my efforts resulted in 20 items, I did not have the even ratio of 10 hats:10 scarves. It was more of a 17:3 ratio. The fact that I got there at all is an accomplishment.
And, only the two hats should count towards anything. I believe all the rest have been tallied.
I hope they help the facility to raise a heap of funds for the patients.

Doings

I've been away. Away from the computer. Away from crafting. Away from HH. I've been reading for a few weeks; I was on a hiatus from the crafting world.
I don't have photos right now, but I finished two crocheted hats this weekend for the TX gift shop. Lady Bug...will you send me your address so that I can send the goodies for the TX people to you, please?
Working on inventorying my stash of yarn a bit, too, in preparation for the contest.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our start of the month! And t-minus 7 days!

Hey everybody,

I know I'm a couple days late, but it IS time to announce our star for May. And our bright and shining star is....


ZORT!!

Why is Zort our star of the month? Well, for one thing, he endures being a guy amidst a LOT of crazy chicks. For another thing, he endures being a quilter amongst a LOT of hookers and knitters! He is a strong presence in several different iterations of this community (livejournal, Yahoo, Ravelry), and he is always supportive!

And of course, he lets us see pictures of his famous model, Penguin.

So Zort! Accept your praises, my friend!

A week from tomorrow, on Memorial Day, our "regional Summer contest, take II" will get started. Remember, teams that start a real-life Homespun Helpers group (meeting and knitting/crocheting/quilting) will get 20 points, and for Team Godzilla, if you bring in ten legit members, you will get 20 points.

Captains, be ready! :)

The winning team's 4 top producers will EACH get $25 worth of prizes. Oh yes, it's on, babies. Er, well, it will be. In 8 days :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A note about the Summer contest

Hey folks,

Just a reminder that you are on your honor system when it comes to the upcoming contest -- you should only tag posts where you have made things within the dates of the contest. It's not fair to teams that have newer members to stockpile a whole bunch of almost finished stuff to boost your team, k? A lot of folks weren't part of our community back when we first started talking about this :)

On your honor!

Thanks, ever'body!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's Twednesday!

Yeah, so tomorrow is going to be a super busy day, so I am starting Hump Day early I guess :)

Hey, it's...not Wednesday yet, but tell us what you are working on anyway!

I am working on designing my first ever hat. Yep, designing. I have one of those sampler books where you do squares of all of the stitches, sew it up, and POOF! Afghan! I got to looking at one of the stitches (Flame Chevron) and I thought, that would make a DARNED nice hat, says I. So I asked around and apparently, because these are stitches, they can be used as much as just a regular single crochet or knit stitch! So I am working on a flaming hat of joy. We'll see what happens. :)

Captains, you have just a couple of weeks left before the contest starts -- Memorial Day is on May 25 this year, I think. Are you ready? Do you know who your team members are? Team members, do you know who your captains are?

Hope everyone is well. It's been quiet around here!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Our first Wednesday in May!

Hey hey hey!

How is everyone? Is it Summer yet?

We are counting down -- 25 days till the Regional Summer Contest (take 2) begins. Captains, are you ready? Gladiators, ready?

By the way, I should mention for any new folks that you absolutely do not have to participate in this. It's just a fun thing we started to get some competition going and to help us get to know each other :)

Post here with what you've been up to, and remember we are shooting for 2,000 items by July 1! Right now we're a bit under 700.

Woot!

Monday, May 4, 2009

That Bake Sale Fundraiser

My friends report that they brought in about $700 during their one-day, bake sale for The Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour. They had hundreds of donated baked goods and a great turnout of support. Yay!

Friday, May 1, 2009

And our winner is...

Okay, the names of everyone that made and posted something this month are in my hat. I shake my hat. Shake shake shake...I reach in, and the winner is...

Geekgirl!!

Geekgirl joined us in Ravelry and she makes AMAZING stuff. She is reason enough to sign up for Ravelry if you haven't yet :)

Remember, with May, we are focusing on our friends at Warm Up Winchester. They are primarily on Ravelry, so if you are not on Ravelry and don't want to me, let me know and I can give you Amy's e-mail address :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tick tick tick

We are but a mere few hours away from the deadline for getting entered into the April "one item win a prize" contest. Winners will be pulled out of my straw hat early tomorrow morning!

Regarding our regional Summer contest, I have the following captains so far:

Team Godzilla: Kindergoth

Team Wicked Chowdaheads: Soapfairie

Team Arizona: The Ninja

So I think the only team still needing a capitan is Ohio + stragglers. And I think I am going to see if snoopingmother is up for the nomination :)

If you do not know who your captain is please let me know and I will make sure you are able to "meet" each other. Captains, make sure you visit other sites where we exist so that you can talk to all folks that might want to be on your team. If you need my help, just let me know!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's not quite Wednesday yet....

But I won't be around tomorrow, so I'm planning ahead.

Whatcha up to? Do you think we can get to 2,000 by July 1st? Do I have any more team captains for the Summer contest?

Talk to me, pretty people :D

Me 'n' My Macs

Today, I made 5 dozen mini coconut macaroons for the bake sale. I hope people like them and buy them so that we can raise money for The Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour.

I also hope that I don't eat any more before tomorrow's hand-over. I can always make more, I suppose.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cookies!

Cookies. Crispy cookies. Shortbread cookies. Buttery cookies. 3 1/2 dozen cookies.
I made these cookies today for a friend's bake sale/fundraiser.
My friends' organization Century of Compassion is organizing a team to ride the Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour in October and they're having a fund-raising bake sale this Thursday. I've made cookies. If I don't eat all of them before I hand them over on Wednesday, they'll sell them, along with lots of other sweet treats and raise oodles of cash to help fund the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's research.

I plan to make more cookies tomorrow. Happy Monday!

Just 3 days left!

Hey everyone!

This is your friendly reminder that April is almost over! You have 3 days left to post an item and get entered into our monthly drawing!!

For May, we will be concentrating on Warm Up Winchester, a group that one of our original members went off and started! They exist primarily on Ravelry, so if you want the info you can find them there or just ask and someone can send the info to ya :)

We're still trying to get to 2,000 items by the end of June to be at our halfway point, and we're at 675 now. I think we can do it, don't you? :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Penny Homespuns is go for launch

Okay folks,

I've started recruiting for Penny Homespuns!

I created a Facebook cause, which I'm assuming will be the best chance of spreading the word. There are three levels of sponsorship people can do, and 4 causes they can donate to.

Level 1: sponsor us during the Summer contest (Memorial Day-Labor Day)

Level 2: sponsor us during any 6-month period

Level 3: sponsor us from May 1-December 31

The causes are:

Doctors w/out Borders
the international arm of the Humane Society
the American Red Cross
World Wildlife Foundation

I've asked people to email homespunhelpers@gmail.com if they want to participate. Sponsors can certainly remain anonymous, but I need to know who is doing what. At the end of the year, we'll tally not only the items we've made but also the money we've helped collect for each of those charities.

If you on Facebook, look for the cause and join but if you are already crafting for Homespun Helpers, I absolutely feel that you do not also need to be a Penny Homespun -- you are doing enough! Don't feel obligated, just help me spread the word if you feel like it.

Thanks all!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ittttttttttttt's Wednesday!

And Earth Day, so that's pretty exciting :)

So let's see...

I just tallied item #670...woohoo! You are all awesome!

A couple of weeks left for the Afghans for Afghans drive...I *still* need to send my 2 pairs of socks but I keep thinking I'm going to do a couple more...maybe I should stop fooling myself, eh? :)

Regarding Penny Homespuns, I think what I'm going to do is invite people to donate to one of 4 charities -- 2 are US, 2 are international, 2 are animal-related, and 2 are people related. This way, I think everyone gets covered. Internationally I'm looking at the international arm of the Humane Society and Doctors w/out Borders. Domestically, the World Wildlife Fund and the American Red Cross. Of course US citizens can donate online to an international organization and someone in the UK can donate (I would assume) to a US charity, so I'm not going to monitor that. I'm also thinking of offering 3 pledge options: during the Summer contest only, 6 months, or the remainder of the year, starting May 1st. That being said, unless anyone here wants to give pause, Im going to start promoting this this week.

And of course, today, is works in progress day! What am *I* working on? Fun fur scarf #9 of 10 for my first batch of items for the Scott & White Center. I was figuring 10 scarves, 10 hats, etc., but I have never been so excited to start working on hats, let me tell you. Fun fur is NOT fun to work with. I wish I would stop buying it :)

What are you up to?

10 Cards for Operation Gratitude



















(2 are hiding underneath the others)

These are going to out to Margie tomorrow!

Monday, April 20, 2009

several belated projects

man, nothing like getting married to help you fall down the rabbit hole! i've got several e-mails about the yarn bank i need to get to (no, nothing is lost in the mail - i'm still digging my way out of presents!), and these projects i've made and donated in the last few months that i'm just now getting around to posting! sheesh!


first up is this crochet blanket, using my two day baby blanket pattern. it's getting donated to the local NICU.


then there's these booties, donated to a blogger who's trying to gather up 31 gift baskets for her local hospital.



finally, there's these adorable spring shirts, made from a super easy pattern. they were meant to be for some little girls i know, but they ended up being too small, so they get to be donated!

How about this?

It seems like folks are interested in having donations go towards an animal charity since so much of our crafts go to people, and I have had one person point out to me that we should go for an international cause since we have members everywhere...

I found this: http://www.hsus.org/hsi/

Tell me what you think. Would you be motivated to craft if sponsors were donating there?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A poll and some other stuff :)

Hi everybody,

Not many answers yet on the pennies idea but I think I'm going to create a poll about it anyway -- if you have deep-seated feelings against it, or any other thoughts, please let me know, but here is my more refined thinking on how it'll work:

Our sponsors will be called Penny Homespuns. Technically, the goal will be to get sponsors to pledge to donate a penny for every item we make and donate. In doing more thinking about this, I decided it would be better if we as a group determine what charity we want our sponsors to donate to -- I think that'll be more meaningful than having one person donate $5 to one charity, another person donating 75 cents to another, etc. Not that money is the point, but at the end of the year it'll be nice for us and our sponsors if we can all say, we raised blah blah dollars for this charity. Woo! Make sense?

So, I present a poll for your votes -- if this happens and we get Penny Homespuns, where would you like their donations to go?

1. Red Cross

2. AMFA (Aids organization)

3. UNICEF

4. Humane Society

5. Cam Neely House/Hospital (the one the "Cheers" guy donated to in Boston)

Or any others.

Also, some reminders...I've got my captain for Team Chowdahead, but I need my other captains! I'd like to try and have my captains figured out by the end of this week so you can have plenty of time to gather up your team members and see if you want to try for the 20 extra points!

We're halfway through April -- your chances of winning a prize at the end of the month in our drawing are pretty good because we have very few entrants! 1 item and you're in! Not urine...that'd be mean AND gross.

Also, before the month is out, try to check out a version of our group where you haven't been in a long time or ever. Your options include:

Livejournal

Facebook

Ravelry

Blogger

Yahoo Groups

I don't really count Twitter cuz that's really just kind of an alarm system :) But it is there...and you're welcome to follow!

Alright, I'll keep the "poll" open until next Sunday. Have a good week, everybody! :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pennies add up

So I just saw a commercial for this cause a guy started -- collecting pennies and adding them all up to help people in need.

It made me think...

What if we gathered sponsors who would be willing to donate a penny for every item we make and donate?

We could accept some nominations, vote on the charity we'd want people to donate to, and go from there.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

WIP Thursday?

Didn't post yesterday, but I did stuff:

I'm working on a handful of things, mostly hats and scarves for the Scott & White Center in TX. I've knitted two scarves in about 10 days and yesterday I got tired of being impatient, so I made three hats. I finished another hat today.

I've started another scarf, but I'm crocheting, not knitting.
I finished my 15-hour long audio book (which was keeping me stitching as well as educated). I'm starting a book (reading), so I might not be as productive with the items.
And that's my WIP Thursday report... or Friday, soon enough.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

hand made cards & stuff

Hi everyone,

I have 2 boxes heading to Operation Gratitude that still have a little room. If you want to make some handmade cards, let me know. I'd like to have them by late next week if possible!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Our star of the month!

It's close enough to the middle of the month that I want to name our April star.

And that April star is: Sandy!!

Sandy is a blogger blogger (sounds like the ole "pizza pizza" commercials). She joined us last year and has been a mass producer of items, and ALL of them are always gorgeous. Late last year, Sandy took the initiative to start a parallel project for her local community called The Bridge Project (http://homelessbridge.blogspot.com/).

Sandy has been going through a very hard time over the last month and she needs all of our support now as she has done so wonderfully in supporting our group and those around her. So please stop by her blog and give her virtual hugs and tell her she's a star, because she is indeed.

We love you, Sandy!!

Check check

Hi everybody,

I wanted to check in with you all to make sure that you are still having fun with this group, and if you are not, to see what I can do to make it more fun! Please please please feel free (and encouraged) to make this community about crafting as well as charity work. If you are using your talents to make a present or a sweater for yourself, share with us! If you have questions there are very skilled crafters here. Don't disappear or worry about whether to post or not! :)

Anyway, if there is anything I can do or should do, just let me know (within reason) :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Regional Contest - Details1

Hi Everybody,

Today is the day! No, I'm not talking about Easter or the end of the weekend. It's the day I announce how this year's Regional Contest is going to work!

I'm going to try a few different things this year, but if any of them really make you want to pull your hair out...we can talk :)

So, first...it seemed like starting in June would work best for everyone, so once again, our contest will begin June 1 and end on Labor Day, whenever that may be. That's round about 3 months of competitive fun.

Second - because I am running the contest this year, my items aren't going to count for any team. I think that's fair.

Third, I see the teams breaking out like this:

The Chowdaheads (New England primarily)

Team Ohio (which can also include Michigan and Pennsylvania stragglers:))

Team Godzilla -- anyone not in Ohio or New England (that includes those of you who may be in, say, Korea...)

Team Arizona -- Ninja's slave shop!

So what's different this year?

I'm making these announcements early because I would like each of these teams to have a captain. The captain's job is basically to make sure that everyone on your team is tagging posts :)

Also, I will award 20 extra points if teams choose a single, local cause that they will work for and incorporate their community in their efforts.

I am also going to do away with counting different items at different amounts. It's true that some items are smaller, some are larger...some people knit like the wind, others knit like, well, me. But I don't want to devalue anybody's work. The key is that you are doing things! I hope that is okay with everyone.

What are you playing for? For the winning team, the top 4 producers will win a $25 gift certificate to a craft store of your choice. Again, I'll depend on the captains to help me keep track of who is really carrying your team.

I wish I could give more than that, but that is about as much as I can afford right now...I'll try to play the lottery lots between now and then :)

So that's it...please let me know who my captains will be, if there are any other teams, etc. And if you have any questions or concerns, just let me know!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

a great project for us!

Hey everybody,

I've made contact with a young lady named Alicia who is running a project called http://homelessbagproject.org/ in San Francisco. She mentioned on her site that she is looking for donations of resuable bags like the ones you can get at grocery stores and I said, "Hey...we could make bags that would look pretty!" And she said, "Yay!"

This is a good opportunity for quilters who don't get a whole lot of projects tossed your way -- bags would be a chance to be creative. Just make sure they're durable. Also, if you've always wanted to try cutting up your plastic bags and crocheting with the strips -- this is a perfect time to use those skills!

All of the contact info is at the URL I attached above.

Have fun :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Taking it to the Streets

Hi Everyone,

I am trying to get Homespun Helpers to take over the interwebs! Oh noes!

Actually, that's not quite my goal. However, I've done the following and would welcome you checking it all out (cuz otherwise it gets very boring).

I can't seem to get the group concept to work too well on Facebook, so I've started a Facebook account for Homespun Helpers. Look for Homespun Helpers and friend me! Hopefully this will make the exchange of ideas a little easier to accomplish.

I've also started a Twitter account. Now, Twitter is kind of going to serve a different sort of purpose -- in addition to doing updates on our group, I'm also hoping to develop it as a source for seeing what charities are looking for items, so it'll be kind of a reference source for crafters who give stuff to charity. Amazingly, the name I set up over there is HomespunHelpers. I know...I don't know how I come up with these names :)

Anyway, if you are on Twitter or Facebook, check it out why doncha!

Yeah, I knew you'd want to :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Itttttt's Wednesday!

Hi Everybody,

Hope y'all are well. It's been quiet around here lately!

As for me, I'm working on a present project this week. Almost done :)

And don't forget, give me time preferences and your general area of living by this Sunday so I can hammer out some details for our regional contest.

Thanks everyone!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Regional Contest

Hi Everyone,

Kindergoth brought up whether we were doing the regional contest again this year. I'm all for it if you are, but I feel like we need to reduce a bit of the confusion, so if we move forward I'll be a bit more.......ehm....bossy about the rules :)

I'd like this to run at a time when the most people feel they would be available.

So, please comment here with your general region of living and what 3-month span this year would work best for you. I'll do my best to make ever'body happy :)

Answers will be noted for the next week, so you have till April 12.

Thanks!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Some Sad News

Due to a growing mound of problems, I am going to have to shut Homespun Helpers down.

It's been a great run. Keep on with the good work!

Crafts and Illiteracy

I don't use patterns. I wish it were because I'm a free-spirit and I don't like to be tied down to somebody else's idea of a cool hat or because I'm so original that I design a new one each time I work.
No.
I can't read. That's right. I don't know how to read or follow patterns. I fail in both crochetland as well as knittsville.
I'm not proud of it, but I've vowed to try to learn...
To begin that process, I did some research. I found a blog that might give me a good start. I wanted to share:
http://mamachee.blogspot.com/2009/01/all-crochet-very-helpful-i-think.html

We have a winner!

And the winner of our March contest is.....

EliseAmelie!!

Now since you are big into jewelry making, if you would rather choose a thing of beads or wire or something like that, that is totally cool. But you win...something! So congratulations to you :)

We are now beginning the make one and possibly win something drawing for April, so don't forget, one is all you need (in the words of the immortal John Lennon).

In terms of a goal for this month, why don't we try to reach 900? We are at 590 right now. Sound good? Then we'll be able to aim for over 1,000 already by May!

Take care all, and Happy April Fools! Be good!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Um...where did March go?

Wow. This was one fast month, and not an altogether good one, I might add! For a lot of people.

Still, it's ending today, and hopefully April showers will bring us May flowers.

You have a few more hours to post an item to enter into the March contest.

Our charity for April will be Afghans for Afghans!

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hats: Round One

I'm 1/4 of my way through the goal of 40 items for The Scott and White Cancer Facility in Texas. I've completed 10 hats. I previously posted photos of the first two. Here are the remaining eight. Most are adult sizes, with the exception of the three pinks and blues in the 'trio' photo. I think the little pink one, in the photo by itself, is also too small to fit an adult head, but who knows.

Next, I intend to make 10 scarves. I hope to knit them, but crocheting moves much more quickly for me, so if I'm feeling especially impatient, which is usually the case, I'll crochet. My goal is to knit the majority of them, though.

Hats are faster projects, so I might be away for a bit while I entangle myself it my knitting needles and yarn balls.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

'nother Hat


I got to work early this morning (you never know what to expect with local traffic), so I finished it while I waited to clock in.

This is another one for the gift shop in TX.

Off to make more!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tres Mas Sombreros

Three more hats are going to needy heads.
The pink/blue combo hats are both going to AfA and the black & white one will be my first contribution to the Scott & White Center in Texas. The first of many.

My goal is to make 20 hats and 20 scarves. I'll likely to ten hats, then ten scarves and then go back and do the same-- to keep it interesting for myself.








That's all for now. It's time to go through my yarn basket and see what's what.

Keep on keepin' on, y'all.