My Latest Obsession

November 21, 2008

This is my Granny, Laura Walker

This is my Granny, Laura Walker

Maybe it’s because I’m getting all sentimental since my Granny passed away this year, but I’ve been obsessing a little with my crocheting and knitting talents (or lack thereof).  Granny babysat me during the summer of 1987 when I was just six (turning seven that June), and taught me how to knit and crochet.  I must have made fifty random squares and circles using different stitches she had taught me.  Those squares were mostly used as coasters by my mother and step-father, if I remember correctly.  In the word of my mother, I “piddled” with the craft for numerous years, not making much of anything.  And for all of you who know me pretty well, you know that one thing that I do best is not finishing projects.  It wasn’t until I was pregnant with W that I made and completed my first crochet projects, two baby blankets.  I’ve continued to “piddle” with it over the last four years, but just recently got myself reaquainted with the craft. 

When Jeff & I took a trip to Vegas in April this year and was stranded in the Chicago airport for half of our vacation (That’s a long, frustrating story in itself!), I bought and read The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs.  It got me remembering how fun it can be to create something out of a cheap ball of yarn.  So I knitted a scarf.  Then I started another.  Then I searched the internet looking for charity groups that donate handmade items like scarves, hats and gloves to the homeless.  I found more deserving charities than I’d ever be able to help.  But a few in particular pulled at my heartstrings and I’ve now been obsessed. 

One group I have joined is called “Ameican Angels”.’s made up of 56 women from all walks of life across the country.  We crochet or knit 12″x12″ squares in red, white and blue then attach a note of condolance for the family of a US troop that had died in the line of duty.  These are called “Heroghans”. We then send them to a few assembler volunteers in the group.  They attach fifteen squares together to make one afghan and get it to a family who has lost a loved one.  Seeing copies of some of the thank you notes received from the families is enough to make you cry.  I guess I’d like to think that a random act from strangers would give a little bit of comfort to a greiving family.  I was both proud and sad when I mailed my first two squares this week, as you can see why. 

A sample of a completed heroghan

A sample of a completed heroghan

Another group I joined is Warm Up America!   It encourages people to make various items like hats, scarves, gloves, socks and baby layettes to distribute to those in need locally.  I’m in the process of starting a group at W’s school to teach the older students to crochet for this charity.  warmupamerica-photo



 Yet another group I’ve become interested in is Save the Children’s Knit One, Save One campaign.  They distribute simple handmade caps to babies in third world countries that would otherwise go without.  And that can mean death for some.  The caps are sometimes partnered with basic baby supplies and given to new mothers in impoverished areas.knit-one-header

If any of you have a skein or two of yarn taking up space in the back of your closet and want to find a good use for it, please let me know.  I’d be glad to use them for the Warm up America! projects.


2 Responses to “My Latest Obsession”

  1. Corie said

    I think it’s really cool that you’ve joined those groups and are doing this. Who knows how many strangers’ lives you might be brightening (or saving)? Awesome. I’ll pick up a few skeins of yarn for you the next time I’m out and about. Just tell me what you like (obviously red, white or blue for the one, but anything in particular for the others?). And I am proud to be the owner (OK, technically my son is the owner!) of one of your original baby blankets! :o)

  2. Michele said

    Corie, I forgot all about Gabe’s baby blanket that I made! I guess that was officially my first completed project! I think it’s officially classified as a rhombus though! lol.

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