Only a small percentage of young people coming out of the foster
care system make it to college, but for the large number of
those who do, the Orphan Foundation of America provides
scholarship assistance, mentoring, and, on Valentine’s Day,
packages in which they try to include, from Red Scarf
volunteers, a scarf that will be as warm and cherished as a hug.
Scarves should be at least 7 inches wide and 5 feet long, and
they don’t really have to be red. But my first one, done
in two evenings, is. It’s at left--thick and warm in one strand
of handpainted Brown Sheep Burly Spun (1 ½ hanks, and great
leftovers!), in the colorway Strawberry Patch 050--reds,
burgundy, gold, and blue—that I combined with a strand of
Cascade’s Di.ve mohair Kiss Ombre mohair/wool/nylon colorway
23063 (2 balls) in the same colors, worked together in 1 x 1
ribbing (17 stitches wide) on #13s, and had enough left over to
make a Not-a-Scarf for myself. The fabric is shown in close-up
in the button, which connects to the Project website for further
information, including the mailing address and dates, and a
possible pattern from Lily Chin.
OFA can accept scarves only in January. It doesn’t have
space to put them until it’s packing the gift boxes. It
encourages volunteers to enclose washing instructions and hopes
you’ll attach an encouraging note, and a fast food, telephone,
or other gift card in a modest amount.
None of this needs to be costly, nor is this very time
consuming, so I hope you’ll pitch in with your skills and your
stash, and encourage your friends and fellow knitters to do so,
as well. Yes, I went a little overboard, in hopes of a picture
that might persuade you to do this, and in memory of my late
father, who was orphaned at 10, dropped out of school at 14, and
returned, in his late 20s, to study for his doctorate, with no
intervening formal education.
From time to time, I will let you know about some of the many
charitable organizations that hope you will knit for them. Help
is needed all year, and needs range from blankets, scarves,
hats, and mittens to tiny hats for newborns.
From Jenny M, of San Jose,
California, comes this picture of her beautifully worked storm
hood. She writes, “Thank you for a great pattern! I have just
finished the Storm Hood, which will be a Christmas present for
my sister in Winter Park CO. You'll see that I changed one of
the motifs to include a paw print motif, as she is a major dog
lover. She and her huge dogs often go cross-country skiing
together, so I thought this would be a well-used gift. She is
also allergic to wool, so I made this in a sport-weight alpaca
(Frog Tree Alpaca Sport), in the hopes that it would not give
her a rash!”
For your favorite musher or dog walker,
I’ve charted paw prints, using Chewbacca’s paws as models.. You
can use the one on the left to march around the band. The one
on the right is oriented as Jenny used it: straight up. Now
she’s on to some lamb mittens from the multi-size mitten
And from Barbara B, of the wild and
wooly canyons of Manhattan, who has knit for years but has just
made her first pair of socks, the following:
I have been having the most fun with
Socks 101 and 102. It is absolutely amazing to see the ungainly
thing shape up into something that actually fits the human foot.
Your lessons have given me a clearer idea of how it all happens,
so it now seems less a miracle and more a tribute to the
ingenuity of those brilliant forbears who first figured out how
to turn heels and make gussets.
I didn't have any appropriate washable wool on hand
but I did have several flavors of sockweight. I used the
ugliest of the lot for the test pair -- self-striping Regia in a
slightly depressing combination of brown, tan, blue, pink and
burgundy. Re-jiggered the gauge for #1 and #2 needles,* which
was simple enough, and lengthened the foot part to match my own
feet. Oh, and did just a ribbed edge with the remainder in
stockinette since I don't much enjoy ribbing. Following your
directions was a cinch and the result, while not especially
refined, is quite wearable…. Too bad the Dutch heel, which
worked out nicely with the stripes, won't show. I do intend to
make a pair of authentic big thick Feeley specials to go inside
my snow boots, which are never narrow enough and always need one
or more pairs of heavy socks inside to keep them from pulling
off in the slush.
So thank you for the great tutorials. I think I'm going to be
hooked on socks….
*True confession: I
love working with those skinny little bamboo needles, five at a
time. They inspire awe, if not fear, on the subway -- that
lady's got sharp sticks and she knows how to use them!