Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's Gonna Get Cold Outside...



It is forty eight degrees in Chicago as I write this. Today's high will be sixty degrees. If only the leaves outside my window would start turning color, it would be a perfect autumn day. Perfect autumn days have me thinking about hot apple cider, decorative pumpkins, and pressed leaves. It is also time to start planning for not so perfect winter days...

I live in a cold city in the winter. Lake effect is a nasty thing. I know. It is rougher in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan...But do you know what really insulates a person from the chill on a bitterly cold morning? A scarf. Whoever invented the scarf is a genius! Tied around the neck, the throat is protected from blustery wind. One end of the scarf tucked under the coat protects the chest from piercing pain, while the other end of scarf can be held up in front of the face so that the cheeks don't sting. I am available to write brochures for winter tourism in Chicago, if anyone out there reading this interested...

If you are planning a visit to Chicago this winter, don't be discouraged. It is a beautiful city. The lights downtown still leave me in childlike awe. The penetrating wind coming off of Lake Michigan is bearable, if you are wearing the proper clothing...

Now is where I make the pitch. Not everyone has the proper clothing. Every city and town in America has its disadvantaged. But the unshielded in Chicago have it especially rough.

Long story short, my parish (as is every Church, Synagogue, Mosque, Temple, etc) is collecting hats, scarves, gloves, coats, blankets, you name it, for the needy. Some things will be given to homeless shelters, some to children's hospitals (heartbreaking how many Children in Children's Memorial are there due to fire, and have no homes to go to when they get out...), schools... The ICF in my parish will be collecting these things, boxing them, and sorting them with Sister Whosit (sorry Sister, I never met you, and can't remember your name...).

One thing that moves me is that the ladies in this group are making a lot of these things by hand. Perhaps I am more sentimental than practical, but I think the time and love put into handmade items give them extra warmth. Maybe that is because my Grandmother and her best friend, whom my mom was named after, crocheted things for me, and crocheted things remind me of them....

So here is the plan. I am going to make videos of the steps included in making a scarf. The idea is that anyone interested in learning to make a scarf, and finds my video helpful, is requested by me to make one scarf for the needy in their area. If someone feels motivated to make a dozen, God bless them, that is at least eight more than I will be able to do. I gave up crocheting a long time ago, and wasn't that good to begin with. But it would be a shame to ignore this inkling that I need to do this after posting on obedience yesterday. (Yeah. Thanks Peter.... ;-) )

I am not trying to twist any of my cyber friends' arms into doing this with me. I know your love for God and His people, and have no doubt that you are doing what you are called to do. Not everyone wants to, or has time to, grab a crochet needle and play with yarn until they get the hang of it and make something useful. Maybe not one of my cyberfriends has time for this, but someone googling crochet only scarf will find the video useful, and someone who needs a little insulation from the cold will get it.

But there is one thing I need of you, my cyber friends. Advice. Should I post the videos on this blog, on the collaboration Fellowship of the Traveling Smarty Pants, or start a new blog for this? I think that this blog and fottsp are sufficiently random that it fits, but would it be too distracting from the humorous and thoughtful posts, or vice versa. On my sidebar, you will find a poll. I am asking that you vote on how I should proceed: Post video here at Random Musings, Post video on fottsp, or Start a New a Temporary blog. Keep in mind, I am not an expert in crochet. I am a one trick pony. I can do scarves. (I tried crocheting hats. That wasn't a total disaster, as I was able to turn them into tacky toilet paper covers...)

Please help me out and vote. I don't want to put even more random stuff here if it will annoy my cyber friends... But starting a crocheting blog seems so wrong for someone who can't remember how to triple stitch. And what is single stitch into the back loop anyways? See what I mean?




In the meantime, here is a video I found on youtube for making a chain stitch, which will be the one we start out with. Even when I have my videos up and running, I will be linking youtbue videos of other demonstrations to my post. Sometimes the same thing explained a different way can be a big help!
I like working with a size G crochet hook.

13 comments:

Ginny (MAD21) said...

Terrific idea, Helen. I'm game. (I'd just post it here. As you said, it's random.) Maybe put a link on your sidebar so that people can go right to to the posts no matter where you end up putting them.

katdish said...

Here's my vote: Separate blog w/picture link on your sidebar (like I do with my lonely little painting blog).

And take that dang juke box off!

Janet Oberholtzer said...

Great idea Helen. My mom taught be how to crochet eons ago, but I need a refresher course to make it happen again. I'll try and make one.

And thanks for the info - I'm coming to Chicago for "Story" at the end of the month and will be sure to pack a scarf for myself.

jasonS said...

Sounds wonderful- but I will not be joining you. I get teased enough as it is (plus I've never had a desire to crochet).

You know what else is genius though? Pockets. So simple and useful, but a pain if you don't have them. Just sayin' :)

sherri said...

I tried learning years ago, and because I'm left handed (and the fact that I hate to do anything tedious!) made it too difficult for me to master. I will gladly purchase scarves for those who are needy though. You have a great idea-

Marni said...

I heart Chicago too! Except for the airport. But I digress.

I've never been in the winter, so I can imagine bundling up is a big deal. And bless you and your church and the others for wanting to help keep everyone warm.

As for crocheting, I have all the supplies and some really beautiful yarn. I tried to read the instruction booklet and it didn't make sense, so I am SO excited about your videos!!! Thanks Helen!

I'll be sure and send you pics of my scarves once I become a crocheting genius.

Wendy said...

First off, don't listen to katdish. She's not the boss of you. Hmph.

Secondly, what a nice idea. And I voted.

I started my first crochet project not long after I got married. I thought I'd crochet a nice throw blanket. I kind of messed up on it and made it bigger to make it look like I meant to do it that way. It's now about king-size bed sized and not done. It's been so long since I've worked on it that I have no idea what kind of stitch I used or anything. I think it would make my husband really happy if I picked up another crochet project to do. No, really.

Beth said...

I doubt I will be crocheting anytime soon. Something about sharp objects and small children who do not stay still...not a good combination. BUT I will be happy to view any video you post, wherever it is posted, and pass it along should someone be able to use it. :)

Candace Jean July 16 said...

What Marni said (about the airport).

Love to crochet but haven't done so in years. I taught myself in college by making a doily. Double stupid. Seems like a nice fit for Random Musings. FOTTSP would get some pretty funny comments, though.

Jason, I DARE you. We promise we won't revoke your man card.

Annie K said...

Great idea Helen. We have a group at our church that makes these things for the homeless and while I don't have one crafty bone in my body, I'll pitch in and send crochet needles or yarn. Or something like that.

Bridget Chumbley said...

What a wonderful idea! I have zero skills in this department. You should have seen the 'shirt' (I think that's what it should have been) that I made in High School. I can sew buttons on (mostly). :)

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

Great idea! Before I discovered blogging, I was a crocheting fiend. I haven't picked up a hook for 14 months - coincidentally the same amount of time I've been blogging.

I've still got all the supplies and think this sounds fun. I started with scarves, and it won't be too hard to pick them up again.

AND I think it should be posted here. Your videos are so entertaining, Helen. And a video demonstrating little crochet stitches sounds like it'd be awesome from you.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Are you going to just post a recipe so those of us who know how can just get going? Because then I could listen to your playlist...