Creativity and Ramblings from the heart of NYC and around the World

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Knitting fun -- HK style

My last day in Hong Kong I was able to get together with the Hong Kong Kniteratti... fun as always!!! This time there was the biggest crown I've seen so far!! We met at a large Starbucks and knit for HOURS!!!

Look at the size of these needles!!! I think she was using Rowan Big Wool. Can't wait to see the FO!

I walked away with 6 squares knit by these lovely ladies to donate to the blanket project (THANKS LADIES!!!!)

Next we went to a number of yarn shops. I, being on a yarn diet, bought only yarn to give as a gift and yarn for a project on the plane home (can't fly 16hrs projectless now can I.)

Marjorie, Susan and I went out for some Shanghai food followed by some amazing XTC Gelato -- WOW is it yummy!!! From their website..."XTC gelato is an Italian-style artisan ice cream. Our gelato is hand made in small batches with fresh ingredients and is 100% natural." We shared Hazelnut and the Valrhona in one cup (together it tasted like Nutella!) and we tried Kalamansi (lime) and Ginger Cinnamon in the other --- so refreshing! There are a few of these shops around Hong Kong -- put it on your list if you go!

Thanks again ladies for such a wonderful time... hopefully next time I'll get to meet Joy (who made a lovely Navy square with a beautiful eyelet worked heart in the middle!) Home to NYC tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Wednesday in Shanghai

Firstly -- this photo has nothing to do with Shanghai or it being Wednesday... it's the last lunch that they made for me in China earlier this week and it was so beautifully presented that I just had to take a photo. And, yes... this Asian curry tasted THAT GOOD as did the soup that I taught them to make last spring. (We do a lot of cooking theory there! Lots of fun sharing!)

This is for all of you who always tell me how fun it must be to travel so much for a living.
A description of my day today...
...not a complaint as it's the normal way things go:

~Hotel Alarm set for 6:15am.
~Blackberry alarm (back-up) set for 6:45am and across the room -- just in case -- but I never need it for flights (I can will myself out of bed.)
~ My blackberry goes off and I bolt out of bed... the hotel alarm clock somehow lost power (nice!) and is blinking 45 minutes late!
~ Dash to get ready, check out and taxi (10 min) to the Airport Express to check my one small bag (carrying the purse-o-fun and the computer case)...get there just in time to make the cut off for my luggage and my plane to be the same.
~ Hop the speed train to the airport. Bat eyes & smile for the only seat available. Get it.
~ Get a skim (ick - trying to be good) caramel (not being good) macchiato and a fruit cup (good!) at Starbucks and board the plane

Time check: 9:35am

~ Fly 2hrs to Shanghai
~ Land at 11:40am to find this airline parks in East Jabip and we'll be bussed to the airport terminal. NOTE: this is my first time on this particular airline.
It's 90F with air so thick you can chew it.

Time check: 11:50am

~ Now to whiz thru immigration and snag my tiny bag and be on my way... yah, me and 500 other people. (Strike 3) It's now lunch time in China... so only 3 windows are open for passport check... wait... am entertained by screaming Chinese man who's verbally assaulting an Immigration Officer. Wait some more. Get my toes stomped on and thrown aside by business men who dive for a new opening window. They knocked the older couple behind me right over. Yes, I helped them up.

Time Check: 12:10pm

~watch carefully to see a new window opening and I'm fast enough to be the 4th person in line...Finally thru Immigration...and have my one little bag that was waiting on the belt for me...

Time check: 12:30pm

~ Marilyn meets me at the airport and we grab a quick lunch (because by the time we reach the hotel it will be between lunch and dinner - good luck!)

Time check: 1:15pm

~ Get in the car to head for the hotel. Should take 1 - 1.25 hrs. Drop bags and go the 45 min. to factory to get 2 hours in before they close @ 5pm. Trust me -- you haven't seen traffic like there is in China. I can say its better in Shanghai than in Dongguan. At least in Shanghai they all know which side of the road to drive on and you don't randomly see a car coming at you.

Arrive at the HOTEL!!!!! Time Check: 4:10pm Too late to get to factory and I loose today's work time. Skys open, thunder/lightning and torrential rains... it does clear some humidity.

Recap - left hotel at 7:15am for a 2 hour flight and arrive at hotel @ 4:10pm missing workday (all the more for tomorrow!)

So, I sit here in my hotel at Midnight - with OK room service, catching up on the paperwork that I haven't had time to get to yet, watching reports on Rita -- now a #4 hurricane, repeated over and over on CNN (one of three English channels that are coming in today.)

Thankfully I love what I do... otherwise I'd go nuts!

Current work hours logged this trip: 167 hours = 13 days...and counting
...the day after the night of food poisoning was a short one - 10 it brought average down.

Good news -- I did get 6 rows of knitting in on the car ride before the stop-start got to me and I had to close my eyes.

A funny to leave you with in case you haven't seen it yet...
Artists erect giant pink bunny on mountain

I did a few searches and haven't found it to be a hoax - but who knows --- funny if it's true -- funny if it's not! Click on title above for the article.

Back to work I go... lots to do before meeting up with the knitteratti in Hong Kong on Saturday evening!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Self Portrait Tueday

Tuesday in Hong Kong

This is what happens when you spend 10% of your time taking photos of your creations on yourself because there isn't anyone else there to put it on...
...and you forget to zoom out...

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Thanks Catherine for the note about Nyxxie being on the RAOK list... I've contacted her to confirm she's the one and only Nyxxie (I mean...c'mon), but I'm being fair.

As for the opera -- thanks for your comments -- I'll keep them in mind and post later on after I decide what to see! Thanks!!

Back to work - last day in China... off to Hong Kong tonight!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

WE HAVE A WINNER...well...sort of
...and OPERA advice anyone?

So I counted all of the votes for the SP6 Button contest (from August 30th) and The Pin-up Girl won hands down (3-to-1).

So I typed all of the names in, printed, cut them up and asked Jessie if she'd select the winner (I think she thinks I'm a little crazy...)

So the winner is nyxxie!!

And I clicked on the comment nyxxie left me -- and VOILA --- Profile # 4590831 isn't viewable to the public... Awe -- c'mon -- PLAY NICE!!! I agree with Blogger, "If you're a Blogger user, we encourage you to enable access to your Profile."
Being that nyxxie chose the pin-up girl... makes me wonder what's under wraps on her blog...hmmmmmmm?

So - Nyxxie -- you've 'til Monday, September 19th @ Midnight NYC time to reveal ones self to me... Or we move on to a second pick! Those are the breaks. (I'm a fan of the tough love...) I've packed the names into a small ziplock baggie and they will journey with me to Hong Kong where a second name will be drawn if need be!!

OPERA FANS OUT THERE --- I have a question... if you're seeing an opera you've never seen before, it is worth while to read the Libretto before going? I've never read one. Also - what if it's your first opera? I like to see Broadway shows without having read the story... but then again opera could be in a language you don't speak and reading the super titles takes your eyes off of the stage... (I saw my first opera in Florence, Italy - sung in German with Italian supertitles... I speak neither but still followed along and enjoyed it!)
Thanks for your comment!!!

Another knitting note... The ladies here are RAVENOUS for yarn... they have used up the 32 large skeins we bought and they went out for more in order to reach their goal of 100 squares! I have only seen a few so far (keep picturing arriving at the office to find a pile...) and will post photos of some soon!!

My boss/partner in crime arrives here at the factory in a few hours and I've a few last things that I want to wrap up before he does!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Squares and Pals Aplenty
(Note: updated at 11:53pm China-time - Lotsa good stuff at the BOTTOM!)

Have you worked on your square today?
Last night a gaggle of gals came into the design room to work on their knit squares for the afghan project. The table I work at in this room is about 12 feet long and 5-6 feet wide. Lots of room for ladies to come in and treat me to the light clicking of bamboo needles as I work.
Another few worked on the winder clickety-clicking balls of yarn for others to knit with. There will be more than 150 balls wound when all is said and done!

To the left you see the bundle of needles bought at the market... this is about half...the others are being used. Gals crept in one by one last night to get needles and yarn.

Secret Pals (6) are being sent out...I got mine today! Yeah! Here we go again!! I'll be pulling a winner out of a hat for the SP6 Choose-a-Button Contest this week -- work is BUSY!

TO MY SECRET PAL -- For my answers to the SP6 Questionaire click HERE!

To my Hong Kong knitting pals -- I'll gladly pack squares you have for the blankets into my suitcase to carry home! Thanks for the comments letting me know you may have some!!! Looking forward to seeing you all on the 24th!!

Finally -- Today, September 15th, is National Felt Hat Day. Break out those cool fall toppers folks and celebrate!

Back to work I go!
Added Later -- It's 11:53pm in China and I'm still at work, enjoying a great bowl of SPICY noodles.

It's been a productive day - which is good. AND -- got this to share with you all from my PR agent...

I've a velvet clutch (Called Set in Stone) in the OCTOBER 2005 edition of LUCKY MAGAZINE (page 196!) Yeah!!!

And -- Being that today is PAYDAY for this month... this evening I made my months charitable donation to (drumroll please...) DONORS CHOICE!!!
When Hurricane Katrina hit, a group of New Orleans teachers evacuated to Houston. Their old school was flooded. Many of their students also ended up in Houston... with no schools to go to. These teachers decided to open a school in Houston just for young victims of Hurricane Katrina. Not only are they an Nonprofit Innovation Award FINALIST, but they are doing this COOL initiative to get all the supplies together to open the school!! We're talking about everything from glue to globes, from books to blackboards, from... you get the idea.


If they receive the most donations (out of the nine charitible organizations in the Finals) in the alloted time frame, then Amazon will match up to 1 Million Dollars!! So... click on over and drop them a fiver! Even $1 can make the difference!

[Getting off my charity soap box!]
Again... back to work I go!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Compassion...Near and Far

On my way to and from the factory each day, from my hotel, I knit. I know, you're shocked. Inevitably I am asked by Mag what it is that I am knitting. This trip I was alternating between a 12" square for an Afghan Drive For Victims/Survivors of Katrina (more on that later) and a cotton washcloth (cotton really makes my hands ache after a while!) for Cloths for Katrina.

Later that day I plopped a pile of US magazines to share with the girls and on top was the copy of people from last week with a cover story on Katrina. The girls asked Mag to translate what they were looking at. Only one had heard a little about it on the radio. The looks of horror, shock, sadness and unrest that fell across them all was exactly how I'm sure we've all been feeling. Then Mag asked me, "Could we knit a square for an blanket?" Of course I said YES...
And thus it began... Mag went about her way to show the article and talk to all of the gals to see who might want to knit a square. Not only were these gals who live in nice dorms here (and send much of their paycheck home to far off towns) jumping at the chance, they were excited to be able to help people out who had lost everything...even though they live on the other side of the world.

Fu, (pictured left) who's job it is to clean the offices and take care of customers (like me) when we're here... Fu-Tsi knit the first square last night -- Eva...I've finally met someone who knits FASTER THAN YOU! Who knew it was possible!!! Mag asked Fu-Tsi if she'd be willing to teach people to knit if they wanted to learn. She GLOWED with excitement and pride. She's been so good to me and, being fairly new to the region, this project was bringing her a whole new world of respect from the ladies here. Very wonderful to watch!

Today we went to the fabric market so that I could find the remaining fabrics and trims to work with for the new line I'm designing. In the van on the way Mag, Candy (pictured above) and I were all knitting squares --- made me feel like some kind of knitting charity missionary! When everything in my list had been found at the market, we went to the other part of the the yarn market (photo left.) These are photos from the market where I picked out 32 large hanks of yarn and we bought 25 sets of 8.00mm bamboo needles. Above right you see Mag and Lee negotiating a price for the needles. We also picked up a winder as the yarn comes unwound in batches of 5 hanks per larger hank. The gals will knit 2 strands together for a thick and cushy feel.

We returned to the factory after a lovely lunch at my favorite Thai restaurant... and Mag went about chatting up the girls again that they yarn and needles would be available tonight!
I set up the winder and they brought a makeshift spinning holder that they use for a much heavier braid (it works!) Slowly ladies came thru and picked up needles and yarn. Some of them wanting to wait for a certain color or to take it to wind themselves. A few left immediately and came back a few minutes later with friends!

After everyone had begun...I brought out the big guns --- Reese's Peanut Butter Cup mini's for everyone!!! I knew they'd come in handy when I packed them!! :-)
It's warming to the heart to watch this. Amazing what one little square can do!
They have a goal to send me a box with all of the squares they can knit in 10 days! WOW! Now...What's going to happen to these squares???

So glad you asked! Add Sonni to the picture! Ladies in her church will put these squares together into afghans and they will send these finished afghans to a church in Jackson, MS and a church in Houston, TX who will then distribute them to those in need!

How can YOU HELP???
Make a square and send it along!!!


See, It's FUN!

Guidelines are as follows:

1. 12" squares ~ Crocheted or Knitted
2. Any color or fiber of yarn appreciated!
3. ANY pattern you choose would be wonderful (The more a variety of patterns, the more stunning the afghan...)
4. Please do not finish off the squares, that will be done when the assemblier is piecing the afghans together.

PLEA for YARN donations - if you don't feel you want to contribute
to being a square maker - would you enterain the idea of donating yarn?
If so, the guidelines for yarn donations are as follows:

1. There are no yarn guidelines
a. any color
b. any fiber
c. full or used skeins/balls welcome
d. any kind of home (smoking, non-smoking, pets, etc)
Any yarn or square donation will be greatly appreciated.

Send 12" Squares and/or Yarn to:

Sonni Strong
321 Howard ST. #4
Medina, OH 44256

Please be sure to email Sonni that you are sending package!
Her email:

I must get back to work...something difficult with the lovely sound of the ball winder whooshing and the ladies all giggling and chattering in Mandarin as they knit...

These are my kind of people!!!

Happy Tuesday all!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Bridging the East and West...One Cookie at a Time

I'm at the main factory that I work at...the factory that I spend the most time at - it's oddly like a second home. (Photo at left is an average shop scene in this town/area.) In talking at lunch yesterday, they asked me about baking cookies. Apparently since ovens are nearly absent from homes in China, so is baking cookies.
Mag, (factory head and friend), had Fu bring over her new deluxe oven to the kitchen where we eat lunch -- which she assured me has a temp guage-- and I was asked to find/print a recipe from the internet.

The's a deluxe toaster oven... And the temp guage...well it says “turn to 8-12 for cookies” on the front.

There was no getting around it - they wanted to learn to bake cookies!!
Many of the ingredients had to be bought in HK and brought in today with our team member Jessie...and there was a chance I'd need to do some creative substitutions (like making my own brown sugar) as so much of our standard basic cookie recipe is REALLY FOREIGN here.

You had to see them all yesterday --- SO EXCITED! They were already looking forward to taking turns watching each batch bake!! (Which won't be a problem with cooking capacity for 4-6 cookies per batch!!)

Monday morning rolls in and Jessie arrives with the special "imported" ingredients! Everyone looked over the strange ingredients as they sat upon the shelf all morning and thru lunch. About 30 minutes after lunch, Tony, Mag's husband and disbeliever that that little oven would work for cookies, popped his head in to see if I was ready to teach the ladies how to make cookies. (Apparent visions of cookies in his head!)

At lunch I'd surveyed the options and given a list of tools to bring up from Mag's kitchen.
Keep in mind that having never baked, there was no technique mentioned in the standard recipe... so each step was watched with great care. We had a 2.5 cup liquid measure, and a single tsp & Tablespoon measure available. By measuring the volume of a few of the drinking glasses I found one that was exactly 1.25 cups! Perfect for the 2.5 cups of flour! Again, showing the technique of NOT rapping the poor glass on the counter to settle the flour (what tough cookies we would have!) All eyes on the lesson and eager to get there hands on for a try!
As we mixed and added the excitement built. Apparently it takes two to stir (Fu on right and Mag needed to help on left!) I tell you - Mag was SO EXCITED, and Fu was in awe. The moment we mixed in the vanilla -- the OOOOhs and Ahhhhs began!!

They were nervous to have me alter the recipe too much -- it was standard Chocolate Chip Cookie batter -- but we were already replacing the choc chips (which they couldn't find in HK) for Raisons and Almonds. So we baked the first test cookies with the recipe as is. The Excitement in the room...even Tony came in to check on the progress!! Look at Mag -- she hadn't understood why I'd said only 4-6 cookies would fit on the sheet... in theory atleast 10 should fit...she couldn't BELIEVE that they MELTED and SPREAD!! WOW!! When I had shown Mag the recipe, she wondered what on earth they would do with 48 cookies? (She did not know the general rule of cookie good they SMELL!) It was amazing how people suddenly found reasons to come to the design room's kitchen... one by one. **grin** We were told you could smell them all the way outside on the quad!
After thinking they might be a bit sweet for their tastes, they took my suggestion to alter the recipe after all by adding some oatmeal. Now THAT was a COOKIE!! They liked the flavor EVEN MORE!!! As they came out of the little oven (6 at a time) each cookie was cut into fours and brought thru the offices. A few were saved in the freezer to share with the bosses (mine and theirs) come next weekend. Folks keep poking their heads in to see if there might be a bit left.

Verdict: A SUCCESS! They are already planning for the next type of cookie to make!

Even with all of that -- I have gotten a lot done today for work (so far -- the night is young!)
After all, I only had to help thru the first batch -- from there they were off and running!

Back to making hats I go!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Those were my thoughts this morning when I woke up!!!
Or in otherwords -- BEGONE EVIL FOOD POISONING! I'm in China, land of darn tasty food and you will NOT keep me from it! Yep - - being the food rebel that I am, I got back on the horse -- er -- shrimp and enjoyed some at lunch. IT WILL NOT BEAT ME! :-)
It's good to be able to eat regularly -- I think I made out lucky with my bout of food poisoning. Glad it was likely 1 shrimp rather than the entire meal!!

Knitting news today: I am blocking the cloth I knit on the plane on the way over. I'm shocked at just how small it is? So -- I will add a few rows of crochet all around and perhaps a scalloped edge? I don't want it to look too frilly -- I don't do frilly. Feminine or elegant perhaps - but not frilly. What size (finished) is a washcloth supposed to be anyway?

I'm also proud of myself -- I DIDN'T sign up for the Needle Exchange -- I just haven't that extra time to make the Oct 1 deadline for it! (good girl.) Although the sign-up closed Friday -- it is mentioned that late comers over this weekend will likely be included --- so check it out...there's a little time left!

BTW -- Thanks for those of you who have voted for which SP6 Button I will post on my blog. Remember --- If you haven't VOTED between the two that I chose -- get on it by Sept 12th -- there are PRIZES to be had!!!

This is funny --- since I can't ever picture myself actually wearing those boots - ICK! It does describe what happens when I'm single and dating. Who know I was that hard to approach? LOL!

You Are Big Black Boots!

You can be best described as: attitude
You've got lots of it - and you love to give it
A guy has to be pretty gusty to hit on you
But if he's your type, you'll warm up... a little

What Shoe Are You? Take This Quiz :-)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Good Packages and Bad Shrimp

The trip over was good. I had 3 seats all to myself (yes, I fly coach 15+ hours to China many times a year.) It’s a long flight but not so bad between the movies etc. The important thing is to have your knitting, a good book and a TV screen of your own (which means options for entertainment for all of those hours. This was my little slice of heaven on the flight over… giggles when reading and relaxation while knitting and watching some TV/Movies.

The night before I left I was excited to receive my final package from my Secret Pal (5) who hails from Australia! Thanks Nichola!!!
Before I spend the next few paragraphs excitedly telling you about the package --- go check out her blog – NikkiShell -- She’s auctioning off a knitters set of needle holders, bag, pin cushion and more with proceeds going to a family who has a child needing special medical care. Go GO GO!!! The auction closes Sept 16th.
handmade cardOK OK – So What is all of this stuff you see to the right? You WON’T BELIEVE just how lucky I (and my BF!!) are! FIrst was this beautiful card (left) that she made. Enclosed in the package was a circular needle holder and a crochet hook holder to match my previously received knitting needle holder. WOW right? But wait there’s MORE! After reading that my dear BF knits (he’s about to start his next project in fact!) Nichola made him a “Manly” knitting needle case with Black corduroy on the outside. It’s just wonderful!! He was so happy and surprised to receive it! Also – not to be forgotten or overlooked – There was some lovely Opal yarn and a cone of some fun pink yarn (it’s got a lovely texture.) PLUS – another Aussie Mag and a new PEZ (Cookie Monster!!!) for my collection. Hee hee!

The first day here in China went well. I got organized and planned out my next 11 days here. Finished the day at the usual (YUMMY!) Japanese Tepanyaki (hibachi) restaurant in the hotel. I thinking last night I figured I’ve eaten there nearly 100 times. Now what would get a girl to thinking about something like that? Perhaps the excruciating pain she’s experiencing from eating BAD SHRIMP! I was up all night last night – not my idea of a quick weight-loss scheme! I sit here having was my Aunt Anne calls a sick breakfast – tea and dry toast. J Feeling weak but a MILLION times better than when I was in the thick of my body rejecting the shrimp. It’s amazing how your body takes over and just fixes it at all costs! Yeowzah! Although my general rule in life is that I’ll try most things twice… this hopefully will be the exception!

knitty banOn a happier note – the new KNITTY is out!!! Go Check it out!!! A fellow NYC SnBer (although she gets her butt there a lot more than I do!) Heather Dixon– she has a Great Shrug called Lacey in one of my favorite colors!!!

A note for safety
My friend, Linda, passed this site to me. It shows you in a disaster how to carry your baby/toddler/small child on your person with household items (trousers/jeans, shirts, towels etc.) so that you have your hands free and can use both hads when needing to walk and steady yourself thru debris. This is also good knowledge if you find yourself or see someone else in a situation where their baby/child isn't safe and will be better to have the baby/child on them (ie: the Astrodome, shelters... any areas where you would usually have a stroller on hand.)
Check out: Babycarrying

Time to get back to work and get as much done as I can while I'm awake and feeling up to it. I"m sure after only 4-ish hours of sleep last night I'll need a nap! I still can't believe I'm feeling as well as I am! A big thanks to Sandi who helped me via telephone with the how to's of getting thru food poisoning. I only wish she hadn't gone thru it herself!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Washcloths and flying cars

This will likely be the last entry until I'm well in China.
A few things come to mind...

Our nation's tragedy in the Pan Handle -- continueing on the my soap-box... here's another group making a difference one wash cloth at a time that will be given to displaced Pan Handlers...
www.yarn.comSee: KNITNANA or simply sign up for the Cloths For Katrin KAL to help

Reminder of places to send funds, place change and send your extra linens/blankets etc:
Send your Extra Bedding (linens/quilts/afghans)

To my friends in Hong Kong -- I'll be seeing you for some knitting on September 24th. If any of you feel moved to knit up a square for a blanket (9" x 7") or a washcloth (I can forward some links for patterns if you don't have any) -- I'll gladly carry them back to the US and ship them to the needed parties.

A Page of links for everything from donating that spare change in the jar by your bed to whipping up some crafts to sell all in the name of lending a hand... these and many more can be found on Dani's Blog's Hurricaine Katrina Relief Efforts page. On a non-hurricaine note... if you haven't voted yet -- you've just over a week before I pick a name for a fun prize!!

Tomorrow - - - I was able to score some SUPER-inexpensive tickets to an early show of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for Tuesday night. A nice way to spend my last night in NYC for a while.

I'm off to dig out my cotton yarn skeins so that I can knit up some washcloths & some wool yarn for squares for blanket squares while traveling! PACK!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Send your Extra Bedding/Blankets right to the Refugees!
Many of us have discussed these past days the tragedy of what has happened in our countries panhandle... and how can we possibly help?
This was sent to me by a fellow knitter... and I also have seen it posted on CurlyPurl
If you have extra bedding etc -- you can send it directly to an agency in Houston, TX and they will give to refugees NOW -- no waiting for a government vote.
Best to you all -- and here's hoping all of your family and friends are well!

QUILTS FOR COMFORT -- A Cooperative Project To Comfort Victims of Hurricane Katrina
I've recently learned that the International Quilt Festival is taking donations of bedding -- sheets, blankets, quilts, for the refugees being brought to Houston. They are apparently in dire need of blankets as these people are sleeping on cement floors in heavily air-conditioned buildings.
This isn't limited to quilts, they need bedding of all sorts, sheets, blankets, etc.
Many thousands of the Katrina refugees are being sent to Houston RIGHT NOW, and no one knows how long they will have to be here.Most of them escaped the hurricane's fury with only the clothes on their backs--nothing more--and they may have absolutely nothing to go home to. They don't even know. The Astrodome is ready as temporary housing, but there is a serious shortage of bedding. QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA is the collection of quilts/blankets of all kinds to be distributed to the refugees here in Houston so that they have something soft to sleep on instead of the hard concrete floors of the temporary shelters and something warm to cover up with against the chill of otherwise welcome air-conditioning (we've been in the 90s and 100s for weeks now).

Many of us have unfinished projects filling our closets and cupboards. Get out one of those projects--twin size preferred but no smaller than baby quilt size, please--and finish it up for this. Use lightweight batting--do whatever binding is the quickest, even a close zigzag stitch. You don't have to quilt it--tie it!

Knit it! Get a group of folks together and knit up a blanket!

If you have only small projects, add borders. Think about a mother lying on the floor cradling her baby--that's the size quilt we need to provide. These quilts are not meant to be heirlooms, although they will probably be treasured for many years as a symbol of the caring of strangers. Tie them, machine quilt them, knit them, crochet them... work in a group with your friends and finish several on an assembly line, do whatever it takes to get these finished quickly.


If you already have some finished pieces that you don't have plans for, send them too, as long as they are no smaller than baby quilt size. If you are a professional, you may have sample quilts that have become shopworn or faded but are still clean and very usable in an emergency--send them!--we are IN an emergency! Be sure to put a label on the back of your quilt or sign it with a kind thought and your name and date. Every piece will go to a refugee family driven from their homes by the hurricane.

To participate in QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA, send an email to (subject line: COMFORT AMERICA) to let us know how many quilts you are sending. That will help us help the Red Cross in its planning. Please do not expect a confirmation that your quilt has been received or any kind of nice thank-you.
Sometimes we just have to do things because they are the RIGHT things to do--this is one of those times. People need help...the kind of help WE can give.

Use this address to send your quilt/s:
c/o International Festival
7660 Woodway, Suite 550
Houston, TX 77063

Please note: for security, do NOT use the word 'quilt' ANYWHERE in your address label!

Many of us have also amassed linen closets full of old but completely usable sheets--perhaps a size you no longer use, or juvenile prints that your college age kids don't like anymore.Clean sheets and blankets are also most welcome to QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA. Naturally, everything should be clean and fresh.These folks have lived with enough mud and dirt to last them the rest of their lives--let's give them a clean bed to rest in.
Please note that we cannot use fabric, patterns, scraps, etc.

Quilt Festival will serve as the collection point for these quilts, and we will deliver them DAILY to the American Red Cross staffing the refugee centers in Houston, where they will be distributed by the Red Cross volunteers. Because we are right here in Houston where more than 10,000 of the refugees will be, we can make a difference RIGHT NOW...if you'll help.
Time is critical--the need is NOW! People are arriving by the hour, children are bedding down on the cold concrete, bedding is needed by people of all ages who have lost everything in this horrible storm. Please help if you can.

If you live in or around Houston, you are welcome to hand deliver your donations to us.
Our address is 7660 Woodway, Suite 550, Houston 77063.
You can find it on Mapquest. Please note that this is one block of Woodway that runs perpendicular to all the rest of Woodway.

Thanks to everyone
Karey Patterson BresenhanDirector
International Quilt Festival--Houston and Chicago

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Buy Yarn - Help the Red Cross
Today's post is mostly about charity - lots of good links too!

I saw this on the NYC Stitch-n-bitch yahoo group today.
Go to: and fill your little yarn-buying desire! They will donate 10% of all their sales through September 10th to the Red Cross relief fund.

Another SnB member had a great idea (thanks Ruth!) which I'll pass along! Monday, being a holiday, if you don't have anything planned, perhaps gather some of your kniteratti for some charity knitting. Ruth's planning some here (which I'm hoping to attend!) She brought up a great point that many of your local charities will also be effected when the funds go to help with the Katrina disaster.

SoudzukakiaLast night I made a pot of homemade Soudzukakia which is a Greek meatballs/sauce dish that I learned many years ago from the Greek foreign exchange student we'd hosted (I healthed it up a bit...changed ground lamb to ground turkey --- not quite as tasty but my arteries thanked me!) As I sat watching Dateline and the coverage of Katrina -- I felt guilty that I have a freezer full of food and that I was sitting there alone with leftovers while so many on the television were wondering when their next meal was going to be! I sit here feeling so helpless. At least after 9/11 I was able to help a little by opening my home to more than a dozen friends & pets who needed a place to stay while their homes were being cleared as inhabitable down town. I've donated what I can financially afford to the Red Cross... What else to do???

Some links I've found:
If you have room and can offer up housing to victims of Katrina: I clicked on print a full list and it's heartwarming to see offers posted NATIONWIDE from kind folks willing to help!
You can also go to Craig's List in any of the effected areas...housing offers have begun to be posted there.

LA/SPCA -- What they provide: food and shelter for pets that have been separated from their owners.

AmeriCares -- What they provide: relief shipments of cleaning supplies, personal hygiene products, and other basics.

America’s Second Harvest --What they provide: hunger relief.They also need: donations of food, transportation, and products (bottled water, utensils, bleach, disinfecting household cleaning items, and diapers).

Wishing I could do more -- but perhaps one of you will read this and have housing you can offer up or a garage full of cleaning items without a clue how to donate them!

SoudzukakiaOn a final note for the day... I began reading At Knit's End on my way to work today.
I think I giggled at 95%+ of the entries (and I'm only up to page 26!!) Many of these I've though myself and yes -- reading it is like coming home (and realizing I'm not crazy afterall!) I kept noticing folks on the subway doing the head "bob & weave" as they tried to catch a glimpse of the cover to see what I was reading! A great way to start the day! Off to the subway now for some more giggles!