FMC’s May Meet the Maker |Becca Bomgardner | Twin Cities, MN, USA

Becca

Photo courtesy of Becca Bomgardner

 

Becca’s crochet journey began 16 years ago when she asked her MIL to teach her how to crochet a granny square. She felt incredibly blessed to have had those moments with her mother in law because Becca was the only family member she passed the craft onto. From then on, she learned to read patterns and also create her own designs for all types of projects. She successfully designed and sold her creations over eight years at local craft shows – mainly fun kid character hats. Now she has moved from selling finished items to selling her designs. She loves the challenge of creating something new and the reward of seeing others make their own versions of her designs.


For the Love of Crochet

Becca feels strongly that a  good rainbow granny square has a way of brightening ANY day. When she’s having a tough day, she can sit down after the day’s duties are done (mainly keeping six kids alive!) and make a granny square in a rainbow of colors. She finds crochet incredibly therapeutic. She does love that it has become a business, but above all, it’s a creative passion which she takes great joy in. It is a very rare occurrence if she doesn’t crochet every day – even if it’s just a couple rounds of a granny square to calm her mind.

Becca’s Fave’s and Facts
Crocheting blankets are her favorite projects. Additionally, she has a passion for filet crochet because the possibilities are endless! However, her favorite kind of blanket is where there are motifs or blocks to be joined up. She also loves amigurumi.

  • Her least favorite color is yellow.
  • She has an irrational (but very real) fear of moths. Just thinking about moths makes her shudder!
  • She could eat pizza every day and never get sick of it. 

Star is Born blanket 1

Photo courtesy of Becca Bomgardner

 

Becca has generously designed a beginner-friendly filet crochet baby blanket called “A Star is Born” to go along with our Charity of the Month, Knit4Charties. For a FREE version of the pattern, scroll below or to get her PDF version, click on this link and use the code “FRIDAYMORNING” to receive 50% off of A Star is Born Blanket pattern. 

 

Want to Reach out to Becca?
Pattern Shop – https://mayhemandmajesty.com/shop
IG – https://www.instagram.com/mayhemandmajesty/
FB – https://www.facebook.com/mayhemandmajesty/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/mayhemandmajesty/

 

A Star is Born Blanket

Designed by Becca Bomgardner

Star is born 2

Photo courtesy of Becca Bomgardner

  • This pattern can be worked with any weight yarn and hook. Gauge is not important! 
  • Yarn amounts are for a blanket with a finished size of approximately 32” x 43” using the specified yarn, hook and repeats below. Yarn amounts are approximate and greatly depend on personal tension.
  • This pattern can be increased/decreased in multiples of 30 +5 stitches across and 19 rows up to make any size blanket. 
  • I recommend making a swatch (one full graph picture, 35 sts x 19 rows) with your desired yarn and hook and then measure and decide how many repeats you need to get the blanket size you want.

Yarn & Supplies

  • Approx. 258 yards per panel using DK yarn OR Approx. 62 yards per block using DK yarn
  • Approx. 150 yards DK yarn for the border
  • 4.5 mm Hook
  • Stitch Markers
  • Yarn Needle

Terms & Stitches Used – US Terms

st(s) – stitch(es) 

ch – chain 

sk – skip

dc – double crochet

sc – single crochet

sl st – slip stitch

rep – repeat

Special Stitches

FDC – Foundation Double Crochet 

A good tutorial by Gleeful Things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t691HnQpBM

Becca’s Guide to Numerical Filet on her blog

A Star is Born – Panel 1

This pattern can be increased/decreased in multiples of 30 +5 sts. Each repeat ( ) will create one star.

Place stitch markers during row one in stitch 5, 35, 65 and 95. Each time you come to a marker, you should have just reached the end of a repeat (or unrepeated section). Move the marker into that last stitch of the repeat/section you just finished, and then start your next set.

Row 1: FDC 125; in repeats DC across (125 sts).

Alternately, chain 126 and dc in 3rd ch from hook and in each across. The ch2 at the bringing counts as a dc – 125 sts.

Row 2: 5 ( 12 , 17 ) x4  

Row 3: ( 16 , 1 , 11 ) x4 then 5  

Row 4: 5 ( 10 , 3 , 15 ) x4  

Row 5: ( 14 , 5 , 9 ) x4 then 5  

Row 6: 5 ( , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 5 ) x4  

Row 7: ( 6 , 9 , 1 , 9 , 1 ) x4 then 5  

Row 8: 5 ( 2 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 7 ) x4  

Row 9: ( 8 , 3 , 9 , 3 , 3 ) x4 then 5  

Row 10: 5 ( 4 , 3 , 7 , 3 , 9 ) x4  

Row 11: ( 8 , 3 , 9 , 3 , 3 ) x4 then 5  

Row 12: 5 ( 2 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 7 ) x4  

Row 13: ( 6 , 9 , 1 , 9 , 1 ) x4 then 5  

Row 14: 5 ( , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 5 ) x4  

Row 15: ( 14 , 5 , 9 ) x4 then 5  

Row 16: 5 ( 10 , 3 , 15 ) x4  

Row 17: ( 16 , 1 , 11 ) x4 then 5  

Row 18: 5 ( 12 , 17 ) x4  

Row 19: Dc across (125 sts)

A Star is Born – Panel 2 (optional)

This pattern is designed for creating a panel of stars that are offset form your Panel 1. If you increased/decreased Panel 1, you will need to increase/decrease Panel 2 by the same amount. This panel will have ONE LESS star/repeat than Panel 1.

Place stitch markers during row one in stitch 20, 50, 80 and 110.

Row 1: Dc across (125 sts)

Row 2: 15 ( 17 , 12 ) x3 then 20  

Row 3: 20 ( 11 , 1 , 16 ) x3 then 15  

Row 4: 15 ( 15 , 3 , 10 ) x3 then 20  

Row 5: 20 ( 9 , 5 , 14 ) x3 then 15  

Row 6: 15 ( 5 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , ) x3 then 20  

Row 7: 20 ( 1 , 9 , 1 , 9 , 6 ) x3 then 15  

Row 8: 15 ( 7 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 2 ) x3 then 20  

Row 9: 20 ( 3 , 3 , 9 , 3 , 8 ) x3 then 15  

Row 10: 15 ( 9 , 3 , 7 , 3 , 4 ) x3 then 20  

Row 11: 20 ( 3 , 3 , 9 , 3 , 8 ) x3 then 15  

Row 12: 15 ( 7 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 2 ) x3 then 20  

Row 13: 20 ( 1 , 9 , 1 , 9 , 6 ) x3 then 15  

Row 14: 15 ( 5 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , ) x3 then 20  

Row 15: 20 ( 9 , 5 , 14 ) x3 then 15  

Row 16: 15 ( 15 , 3 , 10 ) x3 then 20  

Row 17: 20 ( 11 , 1 , 16 ) x3 then 15  

Row 18: 15 ( 17 , 12 ) x3 then 20  

Row 19: 20 ( 30 ) x3 then 15  

Rows 20-95: Repeat Panels 1 & 2 and then Repeat Panel 1 once more – 5 panels of stars. Change colors as desired.

Paneled Blanket Border

Rnd 1: Change colors if desired, Ch1 and start by going down the side of your blanket by making 2sc around each dc post (or row) down the side. Then you’ll do 2sc into the first stitch along the bottom of the blanket (into your FDC or chain), and then sc in each stitch across to the last chain/FDC where you’ll do another 2sc (these increases at the ends make the corners). Continue in this manner around your blanket. Join with a slst to your first sc.

Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as a stitch), dc next st and in each st around, doing (2dc, ch1, 2dc) into each corner sc st. Sl st to top of starting ch3.

Rnd 3: Ch 1 and sc in each stitch around, doing 3sc in the corner spaces. Sl st to starting st and finish off. Weave in all your ends.

A Star is Born – Blocks

Row 1: FDC 33

Alternately, chain 34 and dc in 3rd ch from hook and in each across. The ch2 at the bringing counts as a dc – 33 sts.

Row 2: 16 , 16  

Row 3: 15 , 1 , 15  

Row 4: 14 , 3 , 14  

Row 5: 13 , 5 , 13  

Row 6: 4 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 4  

Row 7: 5 , 9 , 1 , 9 , 5  

Row 8: 6 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 6  

Row 9: 7 , 3 , 9 , 3 , 7  

Row 10: 8 , 3 , 7 , 3 , 8  

Row 11: 7 , 3 , 9 , 3 , 7  

Row 12: 6 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 6  

Row 13: 5 , 9 , 1 , 9 , 5  

Row 14: 4 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 3 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 4  

Row 15: 13 , 5 , 13  

Row 16: 14 , 3 , 14  

Row 17: 15 , 1 , 15  

Row 18: 16 , 16  

Row 19: Dc across  

Row 20 (to prep for ANY joining method): Ch1 and start by going down the side of your blanket by making 2sc around each dc post (or row) down the side. Then you’ll do 2sc into the first stitch along the bottom of the blanket (into your FDC or chain), and then sc in each stitch across to the last chain/FDC where you’ll do another 2sc (these increases at the ends make the corners). Continue in this manner around your block. Join with a slst to your first sc.

Now your blocks can be joined in the method of your choosing!

Share your makes! 

Tag #astarisbornblanket and @mayhemandmajesty on Instagram.

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Charity of the Month | Knit4Charities | Tranmere, Adelaide, Australia

 

Proper Intro for Knit4Charities

While there is a well established national Knit4Charities in Australia, in this post, we are focusing on one specific group of volunteers in Adelaide, South Australia. 

In February 2012, four members of the national group Knit4Charities got together for the first knit and natter (for non-Aussies, that’s the word for chatting)  in Adelaide, Australia. 

At the first meeting, members discussed how there were only a few Southern Australia charities listed for donations. They were also concerned about the rising cost of postage because, at the time, it was often greater than the cost of the wool used to make the charity items. Adelaide member Pam Schartner offered to find local charities in the area to save the cost of postage.  

Charity Growth

She placed a small ad in the newspaper asking for organizations that might want hand knits for people in need to contact her. The response she received was so immense that she soon realized she needed more knitters/crocheters.  Pam then placed a second ad asking, ‘ Do you love knitting and have no one left to knit for?’ Once again, she received a great response and her phone didn’t stop ringing. Today, the Adelaide group has grown tremendously; they have over 900 knitters, 23 local charities/community groups that they assist, and have distributed over 115,000 knits.

Who are Their Volunteers

Most of their volunteers consist of women, who love to knit (crochet and sew). Many of them are living on their own, with some being at risk of social isolation. Knitting for someone in need is a way that they can stay involved in the community, help others who are less fortunate than them, and make a difference.  Because of their charity work, these women now have a better understanding of current social issues in their communities,  such as homelessness, domestic violence, foster care, and those facing poverty. 

The People They Serve

The organizations that they donate their knits to are in many cases smaller charity groups that receive little or no government assistance. These small groups then distribute the knit items to the people in need in their community.  Some of the organizations Knit4Charities serves are :

  • Homeless shelters
  • Elderly
  • Cancer
  • animals/ homeless pets

Visit their website and/or their Facebook page for more information.

Knit4Charities accepts most knitted items, but to get a current list of what is most needed they offer a weekly newsletter, or you can check their Facebook page.  As well as makers, they also have volunteers that will drive to the local neighborhoods in Adelaide to pick up handmade items from volunteers who don’t drive. Currently, they have a huge need for single bed blankets and adult fingerless gloves. Occasionally the monthly challenge is a bit of fun. For example,  make anything in pairs to get gloves, booties, socks, bed socks. At this time, the challenge on Facebook is to make something they dearly need–baby blankets. 

Knit and Natter – Friendships Being Made

When the volunteers get together they enjoy being with like-minded people spending a few guilt-free hours knitting, while also forming long-lasting friendships. The hosts drop the knits from their knit and natters get-togethers to Pam Schartner (SA Coordinator).  The biggest knit and natter is the one at Campbelltown, South Australia, and is attended by 30 to 40 knitters.   Additionally, Knit4Charities is very fortunate to have the support of the Campbelltown Council through the provision of a community grant to cover their basic costs. They also provide storage facilities to store the knits over the months when warm clothing items are not needed.  Without their support, this group could not survive.

Descriptive Tag

Knit4Charities kindly asks that you add a tag to your makes so they know the size of your handmade donation.  Please use yarn or jute to attach the tag to your project. You can go to their FaceBook page for examples of the tag.

Where to send your items:

If you are in Southern Australia, contact them directly through their Facebook page or website to find out where a drop off location is, or if you need assistance in getting the items to them.

Every where else can send handmade items to :

Pam Schartner

Adelaide Knit and Natter

22 Tennyson Ave Tranmere SA 5073

AUSTRALIA 

Email: pam.schartner@gmail.com

Phone: 8331 9360 or 0412 190 609 

Social Media Links:

Website https://groups.io/g/KANadelaide/

Find them on Facebook: Knit4Charities Adelaide Knit and Natter 

 

 

 

FMC’s March Meet the Maker | Audrey Friesen, Valemount, British Columbia, Canada

Audry 1Photo courtesy of Audrey Friesen

About 12 years ago, Audrey was sharing with a friend that she was bored while watching TV in the evening with her husband. Her friend suggested that she try crocheting. Audrey immediately went out and bought a crochet hook and a skein of yarn, opened her computer and found tutorials on Youtube.  She started out crocheting scarves that were donated to a couple of missions in her local area. Scarves soon graduated to hats and then she began selling her makes at craft fairs. Before long, she was designing her own patterns and selling them on Etsy.

Crafty

Audrey has always considered herself crafty. In the past, she did woodworking,  painting, and now crochet. She truly enjoyed the other crafts, but crochet has become her therapy. When she is crocheting and creating new patterns she feels completely at ease.  Additionally, crochet allows her to give back, and in a huge way. She donates many boxes of hats, scarves, shawls, and blankets every year to multiple charities.

Her favorite projects to work on are hats and scarves. They are usually quicker projects and she doesn’t get bored.  She does love to make blankets, but she considers her attention span to be quite short, so those types of projects often get set aside for the shorter projects.   

3 Fun facts:

  • Audrey loves to watch sports while crocheting. 
  • She drove a school bus for 17 years and thinks it’s the best job in the world!
  • She loves moose and collects anything related to them

Operation Gratitude Scarf

Audry has designed a scarf pattern for Operation Gratitude and has generously offered to discount it 70% off on her Etsy and Ravelry accounts from March 21st to April 1. Type in the coupon code CHARITY for the discount. Please note: Operation Gratitude requires specific measurements so Audry has adjusted her Tundra Unisex Scarf pattern to fit the requirements needed. You will find the new pattern with adjusted measurements on the last page of instructions. You can find the pattern here and here.

Audry 2Photo courtesy of Audrey Friesen

If you would like to connect with Audrey check out her social media accounts to find out more. 

Links:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/canoemtndesigns/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/199928530563074

Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/canoe-mtn-designs

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/CanoeMtnDesignsCo

Love Crafts: https://tinyurl.com/y4yf6t2w

March Charity of the Month: Operation Gratitude, Chatsworth, CA

OG 1Photo courtesy of Operation Gratitude

After 9/11 Carolyn Blasheck, a full-time mother of two felt compelled to help in whatever way possible.  She was turned away by both the Marines and Army because she was too old to enlist but she knew she had to find a way to help.  After several months, she joined the USO and began volunteering at their Los Angeles airport facility.

It was in March 2003, she had an encounter with a serviceman that would change her life. The soldier shared with Carolyn that he was on military leave because he just buried his mother, his wife had left him and his only child had passed away. He felt that for the first time in his career he was going back into a warzone and didn’t think anyone would care if he came back alive. 

That encounter led to the creation of Operation Gratitude. Carolyn decided she would send out care packages to the troops to let them know they are never forgotten. In her first year, she sent out just four packages to the troops which were extremely appreciated.

Over A Million Volunteers

Since then, the American people have rallied behind Operation Gratitude and the organization has since grown to more than 1,000,000 volunteers each year stretching across every corner of the United States. They may have started with just 4 packages that first year, but they now send 20,000 – 30,000 packages each month!

To date, Operation Gratitude has sent more than 2.5 million care packages to deployed troops, the children left behind, veterans, wounded heroes and their caregivers, first responders, and new recruits who have just graduated from boot camp. Carolyn truly believes the success of the organization is due to grateful Americans who are looking for a way to thank our troops through meaningful hands-on volunteerism and Operation Gratitude provides them with that opportunity.

Hands-on Volunteerism and How Every Stitch is Made With Love

When someone takes the time to use their craft to support the troops, every stitch they take is being “Handmade With Love”. The crafter will spend hours on a single hat or scarf and during that time, their thoughts are about the person who will wear it and where they may be in the world. They wonder about the dangers they face, the families left behind, and they hope and pray that they come home safe and home soon.

How You Can Help

For fiber artists who want to donate, the organization needs hats and scarves to make sure that no package goes out the door without a handmade with love item in it. Please use a worsted weight yarn in muted colors that will match the troop’s uniforms. Please do not use bulky yarn due to the limited space in their care packages. Please make the scarves and hats gender-neutral, and avoid neon, overly bright colors or pastels. Scarves should measure between 4″ to 6″ wide and 48″ to 50″ long and if you make any hats, please do not attach pom poms. Operation Gratitude already has some basic patterns for both hats and scarves, but they highly encourage people to be creative and have fun with what they make. 

og 2Photo courtesy of Operation Gratitude

Send all scarves and hats to:

Operation Gratitude

ATTN: Handmade With Love Program

9409 Owensmouth Ave 

Chatsworth, CA 91311-6904

Other Ways to Help

If you do not crochet or knit, there are numerous ways to donate to the troops.  You can find out more information on Operation Gratitude’s website.

This year Operation Gratitude will be having volunteer events in 20 cities across the nation. At some events, volunteers will assemble tens of thousands of care packages, and in other cities, smaller events will be held.  They need volunteers in those cities who will stand side by side with them to get those packages filled! They will also hand deliver care packages across the nation to First Responders, and to Wounded Heroes and their caregivers, and they encourage all volunteers to join them! This is your chance to personally thank our heroes, shake their hands, and hand out the packages you just helped them fill!

Stay tuned for next week’s post where we feature designer Audrey Friesen who has generously created a unisex scarf pattern just for Operation Gratitude. 

 

FMC’s First Giveaway!

***FMC’S GIVEAWAY IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED***

 

giveaway winner

 

First and foremost, both Sandra and I are extremely grateful and thankful to all of you who entered our contest. Thank you so much!!   We used a random online number generator to pick our lucky winner. So the winner is…. Drumroll please!! 

Congrats to: @gkgreenknits, you are the lucky winner of this package of goodies!  Please email us at fridaymorningcharity@gmail.com with your full name and address so we can get this sent out to you!

 

giveaway

To show our love to all of our supporters, Sandra and I would like to send a lucky winner this beautiful giveaway package consisting of:

  1. Three skeins (149 yards each) of Paintbox Yarns Simply Chunky | Champagne White
  2. ‘Around the Corner Crochet Border’ book by Edie Eckman
  3. Gold handled Stork Scissors

All you have to do is go to our Instagram page @fridaymorningcharity:

  • Find the post for this giveaway.
  • Like the post.
  • Tag a friend in the comments for a chance to win!
  • For an extra entry share a local charity you think we could feature on this blog in the Instagram comment section.

The giveaway is worldwide and will close at midnight central time on Feb 21, 2020, and the winner will be announced on Feb 22, 2020, at 12:00 CT. Good luck!

Per Instagram rules, this promotion is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm that they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use.

 

January’s Meet the Maker: Morine Odiemo, Nairobi Kenya

Morine

Photo courtesy of Morine Odiemo

 

Morine was taught to crochet by her mother when she was around 8 years old, using a really tiny hook and fingering weight yarn. Her mother took this duty very seriously; Morine remembers staying up way past her bedtime just to master a stitch.  She can laugh about it now but there were nights when she felt like crying and giving up, but her mother would have none of that! Her mother taught her the basic stitches to make washcloths for dishes. Working only with these stitches helped Morine with speed. 

Magic!

Morine dearly loves crochet because of the magic of it all. As a young child, she would see her mother crochet, and it looked like magic. Her mother would take yarn and a hook and used such delicate, soft movements and something gorgeous would appear! For a young child who doesn’t understand the mechanics of how most things work, this was just unbelievable.  Morine was full of joy knowing she could be a part of turning yarn into something wonderful.

New Skills

Her crochet journey really began after graduating from high school.  Her sisters encouraged her to try doing bigger projects other than washcloths. So she chose to do a crochet granny square blanket made of many squares joined together. However, she didn’t know much about yarn weights and the corresponding hook sizes and ended up using 2.25mm hook with chunky yarn!  From then on, she tried other crochet projects like baby booties (her favorite), baby blankets and appliques, especially flower appliques. Even more amazing was knowing that there’s an entire community of crocheters all over the world, speaking the same language. Awesome! 

 

Morine 2

Photo courtesy of Morine Odiemo

 

Morine’s absolute favorite projects to crochet are amigurumi and blankets. As her skills grew she began working on amigurumi, her first project was an apple. Later, a friend encouraged her to try out a unicorn pattern —which she did and it became her most popular make to date.  Recently, she started making amigurumi bears for donation which have become a favorite for her and the kids. Morine is one of the top makers for the charity Crochet Kenya.

Three Random Facts About Morine

  • She can speak 3 languages; English, Swahili, and Dholuo (the language spoken by her ethnic people, the Luo).
  • She mostly listens to rock music–90’s rock being at the top of the list.
  • Her favorite subject in school was Math, one of the reasons she tends to lean towards geometric designs for blankets as opposed to organic ones.

If you would like to reach out to Morine here are her social media links:

Blog-www.morinesshop.com

Facebook-www.facebook.com/morinesshop

Instagram-www.instagram.com/morines_shop

Twitter-www.twitter.com/morines_shop

Ravelry-www.ravelry.com/people/morinesshop

Pinterest-www.pinterest.com/morinesshop

 

 

 

Charity of the Month: Crochet Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya

 

Kenya 1Photo Courtesy of Crochet Kenya

Our first charity for the year takes us all the way to Nairobi, Kenya where a woman named Elizabeth Muema felt guided by God to start a wonderful charity organization called Crochet Kenya.

In 2014 Elizabeth gave birth to a new baby girl and struggled to find tiny clothes to fit her. So while her baby slept, she began making sweaters, booties, socks, and hats for her daughter. She soon realized she has genuine talent in crochet. With her newfound passion and desire to help others, she soon started donating to hospitals and friends who needed warm clothing for their children.

Registered Community Based Organization 

Within the first year, she donated 15 hats to children’s homes and soon realized the need for warm weather clothing was more than she could keep up with on her own. She started a Facebook page called Crochet Kenya and registered it as an official Community-Based Organization recognized by the African Government as a CBO.

The primary goal of Crochet Kenya is to show love and compassion to those sick, elderly and orphaned children through the donation of handcrafted items. Volunteers spend time with the sick in the hospital, offering fellowship and prayers for them. Additionally, volunteers also visit the children’s units playing games and donating snacks — if the hospital allows. Where they are able, they also offer training to young teenage mothers who need to acquire skill sets that would help them create a source of income. This kind of training is offered at two pregnancy crisis centers in Nairobi and Mombasa respectively.

So far, Crochet Kenya has donated over 2,400 handmade items which include, hats, baby clothes, toys, blankets, and even sweaters. Since beginning operation in 2014, they have gained 35 registered volunteers. The organization has donated to more than eight hospitals, two elderly homes, and over five charity homes.

 

Kenya 2Photo Courtesy of Crochet Kenya

How You Can Help

Primarily, Crochet Kenya needs good soft acrylic yarn, and/or cotton or cotton/blended yarn. The organization really wants the recipients to be happy with the softness of the yarn and not disappointed that the materials used are harsh to their skin. Moreover, individuals can also donate crochet or knitted hats, sweaters (children), scarves, lap blankets, etc. The sizes can vary because they interact with various ages in all donation activities.

You can send supplies and/or your handmade items to:

Crochet Kenya
P.O.Box 26192-00504 Mchumbi Road,
Nairobi, Kenya , Africa

To make a monetary donation contact the Treasurer, Ms. Restuita Mwaniki at 072-574-2666.

If you would like more information about this exceptional organization you can find them on Facebook and Instagram. We have provided links to their sites below.

Instagram @crochetkenya 
FaceBook crochetkenya 

Our next Meet the Maker post for the month of January will be one of the main contributors for Crochet Kenya, Morine Odiemofrom @morninesshop.

November’s Meet the Maker – Jill Lindfield, New South Wales, Australia

 

Jill 1Photo courtesy of Jill Lindfield

We are so happy to introduce Jill Lindfield from New South Wales, Australia as this month’s Meet the Maker.  Jill learned how to crochet as a young girl by her next-door neighbor, Dianne Mulligan. Jill remembers how delighted she was to learn the double crochet stitch and how to make a simple granny square. Over the years the internet has allowed these ladies to stay connected and additionally, work on projects together. Jill will be forever grateful to Dianne for sharing her knowledge & skills that she continues to use today.

Unfortunately, Jill began developing chronic health problems  After a long battle for diagnosis, Jill had four decompression surgeries for Bilateral Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) which is a rare syndrome, essentially affecting your arms, head, neck & shoulders.  Additionally, Jill had a debilitating chronic pain condition called “sensory sensitization” that makes one so hypersensitive that they can no longer drive, be in the sun, run errands, etc. She was forced to isolate herself from an overstimulating world in order to have some quality of life. 

She began to feel lonely, depressed, isolated and misunderstood. She started looking for ways to find small joys in every day and realizing if she didn’t,  she would be miserable. She discovered a group on Facebook doing a “crochet-along” (CAL) and realized she could still crochet without too much pain. Through this CAL, she made lasting friends and had something to look forward to and the feeling of satisfaction from completing a project.  

Jill was sad when the project ended, she wanted to continue connecting with her new community of crochet friends so she joined the world of Instagram. The online friends she made on Instagram were incredibly supportive and encouraging. Moreover, the amount of crochet projects where endless. Jill discovered others with chronic health issues and she finally felt heard and understood and that she had found her “people”.  To this day she looks forward to waking up and opening her iPad to spend time with her Instagram friends. 

As 2019 proceeded, she began to ponder what the year ahead would hold for her and her crochet.  One morning the idea came to her. She would combine her love of crochet and absolute respect for The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners organization for all that they do for Australia’s farmers. The project  “Blankets for Burrumbuttock Hay Runners” was then born.

She put out the word on Instagram and a few Facebook groups, asking people to donate granny squares made from 8ply cotton in the colors of white, brown, green & blue. To Jill’s surprise, the granny squares began arriving in the mail, along with balls of yarn, lovely notes, cards, gifts, and even money to purchase yarn. The care and support were tremendous as was the number of granny squares that just kept coming. Jill was taken aback by the generosity she had never experienced before. These ladies and their donations renewed her faith in people again; lifting her spirits after a  very rough decade on her medical merry go round. She realized that more people are caring than given credit for, they just need a platform on which to show and express it, otherwise, it’s hidden away. 

jill 2Photo courtesy of Jill Lindfield

In total she received:

  • 857 Granny Squares from 99 separate contributors
  • Donations from each state & territory of Australia plus contributions from the USA, and the United Kingdom
  • One fiber artist donated a completed blanket along with 150 granny squares
  • Another artist made and donated three blankets
  • $170  was donated specifically to buy yarn to join the granny squares together 
  • Jill has joined and put borders on 23 blankets, for a total of 27 blankets this year.

If you would like to send a blanket to the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners organization, please email Jill and she will give you the information where to send it. 

jill 3Photo courtesy of Jill Lindfield

Starting next year, Jill plans to focus on creating her own patterns and to be more active on Ravelry. To follow Jill and see what patterns she develops, please visit her on her social media channels. 

 

November Charity of the Month: Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, New South Wales, Australia

hay runners 1(Picture courtesy of BHR)

Burrumbuttock Hay Runners is a group founded by Farmer Brendan ‘Bumpa’ Farrell who takes donated hay to drought-affected farmers in Australia. His story began in 2014 when Brendan heard one of his fellow farmers in New South Wales (NSW) was struggling during a drought. Brendan brought him a truckload of hay to help him out. From that point on, the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners (BHR) was born.

BHR is about helping fellow farmers in a time of need. Farmers impacted by drought often struggle to ask for help. Most are facing the huge financial strain of trying to keep their farms up and running which can also cause issues with mental health. The years of drought have also affected local businesses, communities,  and schools.

When Brendan and the BHR team deliver to the farmers they know they are only providing temporary relief. One of their goals is to show struggling Australian farmers that people care about them. Knowing that the farmers are critical to the future of Australia, Brendon is very passionate about education and awareness.

The BHR team consists of all-volunteers. The hay is donated from generous farmers from all over Australia and the truck drivers donate the use of their trucks and machinery to load and unload the hay primarily in Queensland and New South Wales. BHR has an active Facebook page where you can get more information. Additionally, the Rotary Club raises money to fuel the trucks to transport the donated hay. If you would like more information on making a financial donation click here.

hay runners 2(Picture courtesy of BHR)

Jill Lindfield, an exceptional fiber artist from Port Macquarie, NSW was so moved by the BHR cause, she wanted to help using the skills she had as a crocheter. She asked her Instagram and Facebook friends to send her crochet squares which she would connect to make afghans. The outpouring of support was monumental and she received over 857 granny squares from across the globe. She also received financial donations and completed blankets.

Jill has volunteered to be the liaison between BHR and fiber artists. Since the year is almost up, she is no longer accepting squares to piece together. However, if you want to donate a completed blanket to this wonderful organization you can email Jill at jilllindfield@gmail.com for more information. Jill will collect the blankets and then send them to Belinda, the BHR personal assistant to auction or raffle them off for the charity.

Watch for our November Meet the Maker where we will feature Jill and all of the fabulous squares she collected.