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Archive for May, 2009

I just ran across this blog the other day . Free People® is one of my favorite sites for design inspiration and what is featured on this blog is no exception. Never would I have imagined crocheted lace seating and lighting like this! I also love one comment that she would love to see what one of those color-changing bulbs would look like in the light – and in a dark room. Anyone for lava lamps??? Ah, that dorm room blue light…..

In Italy
While we all heard the news about the quake in Italy and hoped for a miracle, one miracle did take place:

98-year-old woman pulled from Italian quake rubble
She was trapped for 30 hours. -AFP
ROME, April 7, 2009 (AFP) – A 98-year-old woman was pulled out alive Tuesday from rubble in earthquake-hit L’Aquila after being trapped for 30 hours, Italian media reported. Maria D’Antuono told the ANSA news agency she whiled away the time by “doing crochet.”

Whether or not it was crochet that helped pull Maria through, we applaud her fortitude and stamina through such an ordeal.

In Rwanda
I also wanted to share a few pix of my last Rwanda trip, March 20-Apri 3. The Rwanda Knits project is moving ahead full tilt, with the knitting cooperatives, now numbering over 30, learning how to work together as a cooperative, learning business skills and loving product development and new stitches. They now are selling not only school sweaters, but moving into the areas of selling higher-end sweaters (Rwanda can be very cool at night) in the local markets. At the Sales and Marketing workshop, I showed Faina (on the right with the bags she designed), a member of the Hosiana cooperative, a photograph, gave her three skeins of Simply Soft, and the next day she brought in this shrug, worn by Hosiana member, Caritas.

Knitting (and crochet, as you can see on the edging of the shrug) is also bringing women together who would normally not do so: members of the Mpore Mama cooperative (you can see Rose, a MM member, leading a break-out session at the workshop) are offering their space to the Hosiana cooperative, who recently lost their knitting space. The reason this is so interesting is that all members of Mpore Mama are HIV+ and members of Hosiana are not. In Rwanda, as in many parts of Africa, being HIV+ brings with it a stigma, where affected women are shunned. But not when it comes to knitting and business.

Here is a photo of the graduates of the Sales & Marketing workshop, who are now ready to price their products, write contracts with schools to make sweaters, maintain their inventories of yarn and finished sweaters, maintain sales records and more.

Their primary challenge is getting yarn, but we’re working on that.

And here’s what Rwanda looks like from the beautiful town of Kibuye, where Rwanda Knits had it start. Yes, that’s an active volcano in the Virunga range, where our Dian Fossey cooperative are.

The website, www.rwandaknits.org, has been updated as has the blog: www.rwandaknits.blogspot.com.

Doris & Melissa Do It Again!
For May, what could be a better design for summer-wearing than Doris Chan’s Avalon top? In her signature way, Doris has incorporated an openwork flower motif around the yoke, accenting your greatest assets – I mean your face… What an amazing design for an evening out! Avalon is crocheted in Spa’s Naturally.

And for the knitters – and moms – and grandmoms – there’s the versatile Tumba jacket, designed by Melissa Matthay in Country Spruce. This is an especially great design for those of us in the north country who are still waking up to frost on the windshields, so kids definitely need sweaters, if not jackets. And this one will carry you through cool summer evenings and into the fall.

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