Special Olympics Maine receives hundreds of handmade scarves

Posted Jan. 24, 2011, at 8:58 p.m.

Before I get too far, I want to share some big news. Lisa Bird, director of media relations at Special Olympics Maine, reported that as of Jan. 19 the knitting and crocheting community provided at least 400 handmade scarves for the organization’s Scarf Project.

“My office is completely full of scarves,” Bird said in an e-mail.

The deadline to donate a handmade scarf made of Red Heart yarn colors turqua and blue 886 is Jan. 28. Can’t make the deadline? Make the scarf and send it when you can — there is always next year’s Special Olympics winter games. So keep those scarves coming! For more information, call Bird at 879-0489 or visit www.specialolympicsmaine.org.

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The items I end up knitting or crocheting are usually dictated by what I have in my stash, housed in four or five — I forget which — big plastic tubs.

My stash is a mish-mash, and is, I am convinced, a mirror of what the inside of my mind looks like these days. One tub is filled with woolly yarn. I’m guessing that symbolizes my love of tradition and history — and that I am a fuzzy thinker.

Another tub has mohair yarn in it, testimony to the part of me that is attracted to the soft, fluffy and not especially practical, despite the fact I am quite down-to-earth in most other ways. However, knitting with mohair yarn can make you want to tear your hair out, especially if you make a boo-boo and have to rip out the last 3 inches of knitting. The wispy mohair fibers intertwine and make ripping out a nightmare. On the plus side, ripping out mohair rows can teach patience, but only if you really enjoy the agony of defeat.

Another part of my stash, much smaller than the wool or mohair, consists of tape yarn, eyelash yarn, and weird stuff with nubs and sparkles. Every time I look at it I can’t believe it isn’t a whole lot larger. I love frivolous things, such as yarn that twinkles, yarn with oddly twisted fibers that twine around a slender strand of gold or silver thread. Every time I look at those yarns, a voice in my head whispers, “Go nuts, lady!!” Really, I need a ton of that yarn. I mean, who wouldn’t?

Then there is the tub of odd balls of yarn that strayed into my knitting life, like pathetic cats looking for a cozy place to curl up. This is the yarn I have been attracted to of late. I’m not sure what this implies in terms of the decor inside my head, but it can’t be good.

In that tub were a couple of balls of recycled cotton, four balls in two colors — yellow and lilac — of cotton and acrylic, and several balls of cotton in strange ombre shades.

The thing I like about the odd balls stash is staring at it, thinking what I might knit or crochet from those yarns that is as utilitarian as the yarn. Well, it came to me several months ago — those yarns would look great made up into tote bags for use as grocery bags, a substitute for the plastic bags the store provides. So that’s what I did. I crocheted a shoulder bag, two granny square bags and an all-in-one-piece bag.

Not bad for a fuzzy thinker.

Snippets

  • Here’s an idea that ought to spread to towns everywhere: Knitters in Stockton Springs knit mittens for children and take them to the town office where children who are residents may take a pair — for free. The same idea would work great at local schools, too.
  • Knitting Night takes place 4-7 p.m. Thursdays at Quilt Divas, 607 Main St., Rockland. The event is free and open to all. For more information, call 594-9447.
  • The Rockport Public Library will show the multilayered, mixed-media work of local artist Robinsunne. The public is invited to an opening reception 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26, at the library. Robinsunne creates her work in a meandering, meditative process — brown grocery bag paper is colored with ordinary crayons, then manipulated in several ways, such as backed with felt, embroidered and beaded into small art quilts.

    Robinsunne will teach the technique of making crayon papers at a workshop 1:30-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29. Materials will be provided.

    Visit www.robinsunne.com for more information about her work.

  • Ashwood Waldorf School in Rockport will hold its second annual knitathon with a Cast-On Party at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1, in the grade school building on campus. Knitters of all ages are invited to pick up their yarn, meet business sponsors, learn from more experienced knitters and enjoy a snack. The event is free and open to all.

    Over the course of two months, the knitters will create as many 8-inch squares as possible, with sponsors pledging donations for each square knitted. The squares will be stitched together into eight blankets at a Cast-Off Party in April. The blankets will be donated to local social support organizations, while the donated funds will go toward the school’s tuition assistance program and operating expenses.

    Classes for beginning knitters also will be offered at the school 3:45-5:45 p.m. Mondays, beginning Jan. 31.

    For more information about the classes or the knitathon, call Sarah Reilly at 785-2619.

  • Interweave announced that it has launched a new free Knitting Daily app for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

    The app offers Knitting Daily blog posts and videos. It also includes a glossary of knitting terms, search features and options for sharing on Facebook, Twitter or e-mail.

    The app is available for free download at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/knitting-daily/id410414039?mt=8#ls=1.

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