Thursday, 8 January 2009

Knitting4Children Knitathon 2009

I am taking a short break from the 2008 Christmas postings for a word from one of my charity knitting organizations. Today I will be working on a schedule for the annual Knitathon that Knitting4Children, which is a group on Yahoo that I've been working with for at least nine years, holds in honour of its founder. The following description of the Knitathon is from Becky Carter, who is the head of the group...

"Knitting 4 Children was started in 1999 by Lorraine Kretzmer, a talented knitter
and new grandma. In 2000 she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. As her
illness progressed, I had the honor of taking over the list. In early 2001, in
an effort to help us deal with Lorraine's declining health, we decided to have a
Knitathon in her honor. Our plans were to have someone from our list knitting at
all times during a 24 hour period to let her know we were thinking of her. We
chose Sunday, January 7, 2001 as the day.

As I often say, truth is stranger than fiction. At shortly after 1:00 pm on
January 7, while surrounded by her real life family, Lorraine passed away. Her
cyber family at Knitting4Children, knitted in her honor while she passed from
this life. Every year since we have designated a day to hold a Knitathon in her

On this day members sign up for a time slot and we make sure we have someone
knitting for charity for every minute of a 24 hour period. Patti, who
homeschools her children, has moderated this event and used it as a geography
lesson for her kids. It is a great bonding experience for us as a group, and a
special way to honor our founder. It is also interesting to see where everyone
is knitting!"

It is hard to believe that we have been doing this since 2001. I remember having the kids stick pins into the maps on the kitchen wall to show the locations of our members who, by now, I can pretty well remember from year to year. Gee, and that only took maybe 6 or 7 years to get into my tiny brain. Okay, that does exclude Margaret from Adelaide, Australia, who I never forget. We also have a member in New Zealand. The challenge of having members all over the globe is that I get to figure out what time they are knitting here on the East Coast when they are halfway across the globe. It is actually lots of fun to plan this out and it keeps my geographic and mathematical skills sharp. Whenever possible, I get the kidlets to help with the time zones and, of course, it counts as schooltime.

So, now I shall begin the scheduling and also contemplate what I would like to work on for Sunday's Knitathon. My donations stay local - usually going to Birthright. But that's the nice thing about our organization. You can either donate to the charities that we support as a group, or you can donate locally. As long as you are knitting for some sort of children's charity, you get to count your items toward our yearly totals. One suggestion has been made to do chemo caps in Lorraine's honour and that sounds like a good plan to me. I will probably scope out the need for them at the children's hospitals nearby. Lord knows I have the stash to make them!

So, this year my charity knitting will pretty much be centered on the K4C projects and Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation. I'll be posting pictures of the completed projects, possibly once monthly in order to keep me motivated. Please take a look at the websites for these two groups if you would like to become involved in knitting or crocheting for these worthy causes.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...otherwise known as the Dilettante's Dilemma.

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