The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Have an Idea to Run Past You....

I get these ideas sometimes. Occasionally they're not too bad, often they're crap. For instance, putting expensive plants in the deer buffet cleverly disguised as a bed by my driveway--crap. Making a scrub top that resembles nothing so much as a disco ball--definite crap. Attempting to make a sugar free cake sweetened with fruit juice--well, let's just say it smelled like vomit and leave it at that, shall we?

Today, though, I have a wonderful idea. It has to do with knitting (a good sign) and a bunch of scared families, and half a dozen men trapped at least half a mile under the earth possibly dead, possibly alive, certainly in a terrible situation. I'm talking, of course, about the miners in Utah who have been trapped now for over a week and a half after a collapse blocked their escape. At this point, it's possible that the collapse itself killed them, and it's possible that they're still alive, and everything in between is also quite possible. For some reason, this story haunts me and moves me and tugs at me and won't let me sleep. It's like a little mouse pulling on my sleeve, and I find myself pouring over the internet every day, looking for stories, a glimmer of hope, something. Instead, I find things like the story about the children of one of the miners sleeping on the floor in the school gym every single day since the cave-in, because he doesn't want to sleep in comfort if his father can't. My heart spasms with that one. Or the pictures of the town with handmade signs up all over the place, offering the families support and comfort.

I racked my brains, people, I really did. And I finally got this idea: what if, just--you know--what if a whole bunch of knitters (I know a few of those) were interested in knitting 10 inch squares in any pattern, in any worsted weight wool? And what if, having done this thing, these knitters were to send them to me to stitch together into warm, loving blankets made by caring strangers for people in pain and fear? And what if these blankets were mailed off to Utah, and maybe offered a smidge of comfort to any one of those suffering people? I honestly think the world would be a fraction better in that moment....which is probably why the mouse is tugging even harder at my sleeve and whispering "yes! yes! Do it!!!"

What do you guys think? I'd need a fair few squares. There's only six families, but I'm wanting biggish blankets--how comforting is it to snuggle in a lap robe? I was thinking 6 squares by 5--so 30 squares per blanket for a grand total of 180 squares. I'd make a bunch, too, of course. Oh, and I hope to convince the knitters to add notes pinned to their squares--just words of support and care, nothing fancy. Names only if you want to.

Anyone game? Please let me know. I don't know why this is so important to me....but I've learned to just listen and then go along for the ride in these situations. The mouse is usually right.

26 Comments:

  • At 8:55 PM, Blogger Dianne said…

    I'd surely do 1 or more..it brings me warmth and comfort doing this for those in such need of care and concern during this time..great idea Ms.K..but you always have them..Any preferences?

     
  • At 10:29 PM, Blogger Kate said…

    De-lurking to say that I would knit a few for you. I'm up the coast from you in Canada, btw.

    Oh yes, and I enjoy your blog very much! I've even been known to read a bit out loud to my husband :)

     
  • At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Paula in Iowa said…

    Count me in. Do you want only wool? I can do that. Just don't have as much wool yarn as "other". And, do you see my email address when the comment shows up? I'm blogless, also clueless a good part of the time. (Wolf spiders are HUGE - I don't like any critter with more than 4 legs.)

     
  • At 11:08 PM, Blogger Angeluna said…

    I understand what you mean about worrying about these pour souls. After tonight's awful news, I don't know what one can say to these poor families. It's a lovely idea.

     
  • At 3:57 AM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Good for you. I'm game if it is okay to mail you them from here in the UK - I don't think it should take too long with airmail and I'd get them in the post to you early next week. Let me know if you'd like me to send you a couple.

     
  • At 4:02 AM, Blogger Paula said…

    I'm game.

     
  • At 5:21 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    I'm such a bumblehead (quite the theme lately) I forgot (I'm so sorry) to mention in my last email...I think it's a wonderful idea and YES, of course I'm more than happy to help, so count me in!

    I'll also try and get a little post up and link it to you...

     
  • At 6:27 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Ooh, dang, drat, darn - yesterday was Shopping Day and I had this real pull to look at the yarn at Freddy's, and told myself firmly that I didn't need to. And I listened! Boy, was my intuition meter not working right. (All my wool is either sock yarn or Wool-Ease, which ain't. And KnitPicks has lovely prices, but slow shipping from OK or OH or wherever.) Ok, local web shopping to the rescue. I'm in. No guarantees how many, but surely there's someone around here who sells decent amounts at reasonable prices. And ships Priority Mail.

    Lovely idea, hon. Blessings on you! {{{{Flo}}}}

    (Hey, want me to pass this on to the PDX Knit Bloggers Yahooo group? If some of them got in on it, it'd be fast mailing to you, from a neighboring state...)

     
  • At 6:32 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    PS - regular or superwash?? Or no matter?

     
  • At 7:25 AM, Blogger Lynn said…

    I'm in. Those are my peeps. I'm just a little embarrassed that I didn't think of it first. [Blaming that on LittleBit being in Choir Boot Camp this week. I'd forgotten how *busy* I am when she's home.] But not too busy for this. Bless you!

     
  • At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Em said…

    That sounds like a lovely, thoughtful idea. For all the "charity knitting" you read about, I don't think anyone's ever said that a blanket has gone by unloved by it's recipients.

     
  • At 9:00 AM, Blogger ambermoggie said…

    great idea Flo count me in. puts things in perspective somewhat:)
    hugs
    amber

     
  • At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Jean said…

    I'll happily contribute to your wonderful project for the miners' families. Jean

     
  • At 10:12 AM, Blogger Mary said…

    And extra squares could be used for the families of the rescue workers injured during the attempt...just thinking out loud...

     
  • At 10:37 AM, Blogger Tola said…

    asking if Wool-Ease or similar is okay?

     
  • At 10:46 AM, Blogger Michelle said…

    i wanna play! im new at knitting, but i promise you 1 square, you are such a sweatheart! so cast on about 60, for 10x10 wool yarn, think i got it

     
  • At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Jean from Cornwall said…

    From someone who grew up in a mining town in the far southwest of Britain. I have started so where do I send my square when it is done?

     
  • At 12:20 PM, Blogger Ms. Knitingale said…

    ....for once, I am speechless. You have literally brought me to tears with your generousity. I wanted to do this so badly but I really wasn't sure I could make it work. Silly me...I know how wonderful you all are. Thank you, thank you, and again thank you. My next task is to find a contact in Huntington Utah to send the blankets to. I'll answer all of your other questions in a post but, for now, any yarn that works for you works for me, as long as it's worsted weight. I'll post an address to mail them to.

    I love you guys, so much.

     
  • At 12:37 PM, Blogger Vivienne said…

    I'm Jean from Cornwall's daughter, and I'm five inches into my square now - because while there may be no working mines left in Cornwall now, we remember what it was like, and this story has been haunting us for days.

     
  • At 12:47 PM, Blogger Julie said…

    I'm definitely in! I recently did this same thing to comfort my dear friend, Betty, who is battling cancer. I knew I'd get a good response from all the wonderful people in blogland, but was totally blown away by how good of a response I received. Each and every square brought me great comfort as well as Betty.

    You are a good person to be doing this! I'll post about it on my blog and I'll also bring it up at my next knit night on Tuesday.

     
  • At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Judy said…

    Great idea and I'll be glad to help. I'll take it to my knitting group and the charity group at the LYS, too. Just let us know where to send. I humbly suggest that washable whatever would be a good idea . . .
    Judy

     
  • At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Frequent Frogger said…

    In April when the tragedy happened at VA Tech, the LYS issued a call for blanket squares. She hoped to get enough for 32 blankets. At last count she had over 8000! Knitters are a wonderfully generous community.

    I would be happy to knit a couple of squares for the miners' families if the deadline isn't too close. Living in VA, it might take longer to get to you.

    Thanks for suggesting this worthwhile project.

     
  • At 4:04 PM, Anonymous marti said…

    oh ye of little faith! thank you for allowing me to take part in the hatching of an idea. i am going to enjoy watching and helping it come to fruition.

     
  • At 10:03 PM, Anonymous Fiberjoy said…

    Please put me down for a square, or two. (I'm a slow knitter.) My heart breaks when I think of the families.

     
  • At 8:10 AM, Blogger Dana said…

    I'm in. Great idea Flo!

     
  • At 10:50 AM, Anonymous debbi said…

    Count us in. My wife, bff and I have 2 1/2 done already, more to follow this weekend. Will put edge on, more to follow. Mentioned on blog, will add button tonight. I think that if people would like to send a little money with their squares that would be good too...help defray the costs of mailing them.
    Great thing you are doing. My wife loooooooooooooooves your blog and is often sitting by herself laughing out loud. (Especially the one about the CAT)

     

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