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  • Losing Mom; Knitting Through Grief

    Just after Christmas, my 91-year old mother collapsed and disappeared into the fog of dementia, suddenly unreachable despite her body being still alive, and still here. And I began a long, slow submersion into grief that seemed, at times, to be dragging me down into the darkness where my mother had gone. Because she was alive, it seemed completely wrong to mourn for my missing mother.

    So I became busy instead. I stepped in and became the advocate for her care, the organizer of her visitors, the person whom her doctors and nurses called first rather than my father who was arguably more grief-stricken than me. The busyness helped fill my waking hours with calendars, discussions about care, creating and managing lists of tasks, writing detailed emails to my siblings and nephews. It also intruded on my nights, waking me up with sudden jolts of fear that I had forgotten something important that I needed to look into right that very minute. I worried that mom was inside herself, able to think clearly, but unable to communicate. I wanted someone to tell me how she felt, what she wanted.

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  • Charity Crafting: Be a Yarn Hero!

    Charity Crafters called Yarn Heroes in Costumes

    This giving season, Lion Brand is calling on knitters, crocheters and yarn crafters of all kinds to unleash their inner Yarn Hero and craft for charity! We want every fiber fanatic to know that they can help create a more giving world, one stitch at a time.

    We have assembled a super group of 15 of your favorite yarn bloggers and designers to show you how charity crafting can make an impact on real lives. Over the course of the next month, these bloggers will be posting patterns, hosting giveaways, and sharing their inspiring stories of crafting for charity. Every week, we will post interviews with the Yarn Heroes right here on The Notebook discussing the power of charity crafting and the causes dearest to them. You will find each Yarn Hero listed at the bottom of this page.

    You can also learn a little more about Yarn Heroes by watching episode #30 of Tea with Shira below.

    As fun, colorful, and hopefully inspiring as we hope you find Yarn Heroes to be, we acknowledge that we are just scratching the surface of charity crafting. All around the country, there are people who have dedicated enormous amounts of their lives to knitting and crocheting for others. You are harder for us to find, because you are so busy doing good for your fellow person!

    Please share your stories with us at yarnheroes@lionbrand.com – over the next four weeks, we will be selecting four charity crafters to each receive $250 worth of yarn for the cause of their choice.

    We are deeply grateful to the following organizations for helping us get the word out about giving back this season! These are great resources for learning about and getting involved with charity crafting.

     

     

     

    So be a Yarn Hero this giving season, and put those hooks and needles to good use. Just remember, if you plan on donating a crafted item, make sure that any charity you wish to donate to has the capacity to accept your donation!

    To Our Readers: Submit YOUR stories of charity crafting to yarnheroes@lionbrand.com for a chance to win $250 in yarn support for your charity crafting cause - we'll be picking winners every week, and it never hurts to let us know what you are doing for the world!

    Meet the Yarn Heroes - Crafting for Charity

    [Moogly] [Mama In A Stitch] [All About Ami] [One Dog Woof] [Sewrella] [Delia Creates]

    [Underground Crafter] [Sh*t That I Knit] [Kristy Glass] [Two of Wands] [Twinky Chan]

    [Make & Do Crew] [A Crocheted Simplicity] [Little Red Window]  [B-Hooked Crochet]

     

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  • Where to Donate Your Knitting and Crochet

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    Yarncrafting is fun, but it can also do a lot of good. From kids to animals to the homeless, you can send your finished products to many different organizations to provide warmth and comfort to those in need.

    Below are five charities that will accept knitted or crocheted items.

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    • -Head Huggers provides hats for cancer patients who have lost their hair from chemotherapy. You can mail them to a central location for distribution or find a local organizationthrough their network. For these hats it's best to use soft, washable yarns and make them as smooth and seamless as possible for comfort.
    • -Hats 4 the Homeless distributes knitted goods to the homeless population in New York City every winter. You don't have to be in NYC to donate; they have an address where you can mail your goods. It's not just hats, either -- they'll also take scarves, socks, and gloves.
    • -Snuggles Project is great for anyone who wants to help animals. You make a little blanket for an animal -- knit, crochet, or sew -- and give them to a participating shelter. The Snuggles provide comfort and warmth to the creatures in the shelters while they wait for their forever homes.
    • -Project Linus provides comfort blankets for kids who need them due to illness, trauma, or other reasons. They accept homemade blankets from smoke-free environments, which can be donated in person through a local chapter.

     

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    • -Knitted Knockers gives handmade prosthetic breasts to those who have had mastectomies. They are soft, lightweight alternatives to hot, sweaty, uncomfortable prosthetics that often require special tops or bras to wear. You can find local providers to donate the items, and there are patterns on the site.

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