The East Bay Knitters have been involved in a number of charity knitting projects. Two of our members are very active in the Afghans for Afghans program http://www.afghansforafghans.org/ and we have all contributed hats, scarves, socks and sweaters for this project. We have also done some preemie caps for Alta Bates Hospital, blankets for the East Bay Humane Society and a number of individual projects to benefit people in need.
Another Afghan Project…This time closer to home.One of the very nicest projects that the East Bay Knitters has taken on involved a dear friend, a ton of Noro Silk Garden yarn and an old fashioned “quilting bee”.
Rachel has been a part of EBK nearly from the beginning. She is a therapist for very sick children and knitting is a wonderful, calming part of her otherwise stressful life. Rachel was and is in love with Noro Silk Garden yarn. She joked that she and Noro were dating exclusively and she had no plans to take up with any inferior yarns. When Rachel and her partner Ken announced that they were getting married, the East Bay Knitters got a wonderful idea. Let’s make them an afghan…106 squares of different Noro Silk Garden colors. The idea was hatched about 6 months before the wedding. 16 of our members participated. We purchased every color we could find from the Webs Yarn web site and split them up among the knitters. Each skein would make approximately 4 6 inch squares. Every body could pick their own patterns.
It took a few months, but eventually we had 106 squares, plus a fabulous leaf border to put around the entire afghan.
It was very hard to keep this secret from Rachel. Every time we got together to work on our squares we felt terrible that she wasn’t with us. But we kept on and finally early in July of 2006 we gathered at Dale’s house to put the afghan together. Else had blocked all the squares, Linda had finished the border and we started to lay it out on my dining room floor.
It took a long time to decide in what order to lay out the squares, but once we did we each took 2 squares and started sewing them together. To remember the spot where the squares came from, we each had a special marker…a crochet hook, a cell phone, a stitch holder. …and when all groups of 2 were done, we made squares of 4 and 8 and so forth.
It grew and grew.
Our founder Diane actually knit the last square. By late that night it was done…and it was fabulous.
There were hearts, trees, a Star of David, and four perfect mitered squares on each corner.
The wedding was outdoors in Tilden Park. The invitation said we should all come and knit under a tree after the ceremony. It specified no gifts. Holly made a special flower for the wrapping (out of Noro of course). And Rachel wore it throughout the reception. She and Ken were speechless. We explained that it was not a gift (they had after all asked for no gifts to be brought) but instead it was a blessing for this happy couple. The afghan now occupies a place of honor on their bed.