Did we do it?

Yesterday I was in Birmingham, celebrating the end of the 60 Million Trebles Project. Although all the folks involved are likely to carry on clicking and hooking for charity, this project has come to an end.

The aim was to make a world record breaking blanket, with each stitch representing one displaced person in the world. At the time the project started, 13 months ago, the figure was 60 million people; by the end of 2016, this figure had risen to 65 million.

Earlier this year, Ellen Roche, who started the project, realised that if we were going to go for the world record, the blankets would not be out to the charities for many extra months. And so everyone agreed that we’d give up on this idea (sad though we all were, because it would have been great publicity) and just get the blankets done and distributed.

So, the big question yesterday was had we reached the target of sixty million trebles (stitches)? And the answer was…

we completed 7940 blankets,
using the equivalent of 27,083 balls of double knitting yarn,
totalling 271kg of yarn
equivalent to 8125km of yarn (enough to go from London to Beijing)
with an average of 7951 trebles per blanket, making…


67,707,940 trebles

smt complete

So a big thank-you to everyone who donated yarn or squares to the blankets I made, and especially to Sandra, Wild Daffodil for the autumnal squares – the blanket that contained these  received an honourable mention as one of Ellen’s favourite blankets.

Many of the blankets have gone to Hand in Hand for Syria, others to St Mungos, Help for the Homeless and Let’s Feed Brum. I’m very proud to have been involved, plus I’ve made lots of new friends – what a result.

Small calm things

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I came across this quote a while ago and saved it, thinking that I might use it in a post sometime. And, today, whilst looking at some old drafts I came across it, and thought that the time had come to share it.

After a number of recent ‘big mean things’ happening across the world, this feels like a very good time for ‘small calm things’. A few days ago I finished the cotton blanket I have been making for 60 Million Trebles (who have got two thirds of the way to their goal, reaching 40 million trebles last week), I’ve now returned to the wool and squares sent to me by Wild Daffodil earlier this year… it’s very fine yarn, so this blanket could take a while, but I am regarding every blanket that gets sent out as representing a hug to someone in need.

I’m also thinking that over the next month I will try to focus on some random (and not so random) crafts/acts of kindness. I have one gift completed to send off to a friend who is not at all well at the moment (no picture, as I want it to be a surprise), I have a partially made blanket that I want to send to a bereaved friend (again no picture to maintain the surprise), and I’ve made a start on some letter- and postcard-writing that’s long overdue.

IMGP3418

so many letters!

 

I like random acts of kindness directed at strangers who I will never meet, but it’s also uplifting to do something for someone I know, allowing me to witness the positive effect of my action.

Back in the saddle again

I haven’t been writing recently, but I have been doing. So, as a gentle return to blogging, I thought we could catch up by means of some pictures…

I worked on Mr Snail’s scarf:

He says it's not long enough yet

He says it’s not long enough yet

I finished a blanket for the Denmark Farm charity raffle:

A bright blanket

A bright blanket

I got the lovely feather picture framed:

Feather by Anne Lawson

Feather by Anne Lawson

I bought two new (recycled plastic) compost bins to replace the wooden ones that had rotted in our very wet garden:

Two 330l compost bins

Two 330l compost bins

We emptied our dog poo composter…

Empty bin

Empty bin

the content was odourless and the only identifiable ingredient was wood shavings

more on this in an up coming post

more on this in an up coming post

I made some more scrunchies and gave a couple away (which I forgot to photograph)

Progress on the current scrunchie

Progress on the current scrunchie

I taught an ecology course… creatively

The world vegetation mixing desk

Plan for the world vegetation mixing desk

I finished another blanket for the raffle, using squares donated by Jenny from Simply Hooked

lovely lap blanket - thank you, Jenny

lovely lap blanket – thank you, Jenny

I baked cakes, made waffles, roasted vegetables, turned my cheese, walked the dogs, took another huge bag to the local charity shop, tended the chickens and did the day job (scientific editing)… and I made a difficult decision which I then acted upon. So, onwards and upwards…. normal service is now resumed!

 

Take a chance

Would you like to own a masterpiece? Not mine, but one inspired by it. Well, here is your chance… at least if you live in the UK.

Sociable and creative

Sociable and creative

Early on in 2014 I had the idea to start some sort of ‘knit and natter’ or ‘stitch and bitch’ group up at my beloved Denmark Farm. However, I didn’t like either of these titles… partly because I wanted to open the group up to all sorts of crafters, partly because I didn’t like the gossipy negativity, and partly because I wanted to build in the idea of afternoon tea! I really wish at the time I’d come across the word ‘crafternoons’, but that didn’t appear in my lexicon until about July this year and so I came up with Cake and Craft (or possibly Craft and Cake, depending on your emphasis!). Originally my idea was just to have a social group with lots of creativity, but my dear friend Linda suggested the idea of fundraising as part of it and so, we created a project entitled Everything is Connected … and started making connections through eating cake and crafting.

An evening spread

An evening spread

Over the months we’ve spent some lovely afternoons, and a few evenings (we call those Cawl* and Craft) with hooks and needles, creating beautiful blankets inspired by my masterpiece.

We’ve made four lovely blankets so far, plus a number of smaller items and I’m working on a fifth blanket, and now we are raffling them off. So… buy a ticket or two (they are £1 each) and you might have a masterpiece of your very own! I’ll do you a deal… if you live in the UK**, buy some tickets and I’ll cover the postage to send them to you and I’ll also pay to have the blanket delivered if you win one (make sure you tell me if you have a preference – first drawn gets the choice). How can you resist?

In fact, the blankets aren’t the first prize – that’s a long weekend for two in our beautiful ecolodge… just 12 miles from where I live – you could come round for a cuppa!

So, if you fancy your chances, send me an e-mail to my snailofhappiness address that you can find on my ‘about’ page and we’ll make arrangements.

-oOo-

* Welsh soup

** If you’re overseas I’m afraid I can’t afford to cover the cost of sending a blanket… but if you really want one, I’ll make the arrangements if you cover the cost should you win!

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