Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quick! Somebody call Ripley's "Believe It or Not!"

That's it, folks. I cannot imagine that May 2010 could possibly be topped as a "Good Mail Month".

This morning I found a box in my yard.  I puzzled about the box, for I did not recognize it at all. I  turned it and turned it until I finally realized it was a package addressed to me!

Oh wow, what a delight it held!

The box came from my friend Valency in California. (Valency rhymes with 'vacancy'.) Inside: 22 fleece hats sewn by the 8-10 year old children at her church! She told me in her note that the children were delighted to have such a pleasurable task as making hats for sweet Kindergarten children! Gosh, it brought tears to my eyes.

I have a big box to ship out soon. I don't even know how many hats will be in it. D in California sent 39, and now Valency from California has sent 22, plus many more that didn't go in the first box of 100 hats... I may have another 100 to ship to Oklahoma!  I will keep you posted.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the hats from Valency's students at her church. I sure delighted in unpacking them. Valency even included the sewing pattern and instructions!

Write it in your calendar folks --- May 2010 --- You heard it first when May 2010 broke the record for Good Mail Month!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

a good mail month

You know how you can have a good mail day if you've been "anticiparcelating" and the parcel finally arrives? You know how you can have a REALLY Good mail day if you get a check you didn't expect? You know how you can have a REALLY REALLY GOOD mail day if you get a surprise note from a friend?

How about a mail month so wonderful that you wonder if it could ever be topped?

The other day I told you about the box of 100 hats I shipped out in April, and the delightful Thank You note I received on Monday from the Choctaw Nation.

Well, E1 just shipped out a box of hats (85 hats / give or take) this week. (I still have to share the photos E1 sent me.)

Top this!
I received a box of 39 hats from D in California and her friend that are simply amazing! I showed you photos of most of those hats when she sent me digi-pics. But when they came, my youngest and I had to handle, try on, delight in, and photograph them all! My youngest was disappointed that the hats, one in particular, cannot stay here but are destined for Oklahoma. I knew before the box even came that my youngest would be particularly fond of one of them, and I was right. She was trying to think of ways to convince me to let her keep that one particular hat!

Let me show you the photos of the 39 hats that came the other day in a big box, all the way from California! (Please forgive the camera jitter in some of them. "Teamwork" is a tricky thing in the realm of photography. My team-mate was a seven year old child.)

[Let me know if any of those links don't work.]

I am truly honored that D and her friend shared their time, talent, and treasure with me (I get to handle them!) and the students in Oklahoma. I'm especially honored because many of the hats were made with wool, and I know that D does not like to handle wool. I'm even more honored because I strongly suspect that I've seen some of that wool before.... I think E3 sent some of the wool from North Carolina to D in California to be knit in California and sent to me in Rhode Island to enjoy, and then off to Oklahoma to be worn, used, and cherished.

Do you agree? It'll be hard to top May 2010 as a Good Mail Month.

If I send out another box of hats in May then I'm sure that May 2010 could go into the record books as "unsurpassed good mail month".

Other note:
[I just finished my 63rd hat last night. I am behind on photographing those. I think it's hat 63. I'm not sure. Failing to photograph aids my inability to remember the count!]

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

updates of various sorts (with some --- but not all -- of the pic's I want to show)

Dear Reader,

On April 26 I came to the realization that I was having a "hat-valanche" in my bedroom and that 100 hats HAD TO GO to Oklahoma. So I secured a good size shipping box at Staples, some packing tape, a nice fat Sharpie, the appropriate address, and some plastic bags to keep hats dry if the box should get wet.

I filled the box with 100 hats. All the acrylic hats you've seen so far plus some new ones:
- hats from Anne of Saint Francis Knitters (1)
- more hats from Anne of SFK (2)
- even more hats from Anne of SFK (3)
- my 60th hat

The box was FILLED. An 18" x 18" x 18" box precisely held 100 hats.

I scanned and saved the letter I wrote to accompany the first 100 hats. (You can click to magnify the letter, then drag to move to other parts of the letter.)

Since then it has been REALLY BUSY at our house:
- the end of the religious education school year (testing, re-testing, planning, party)
- installation of new club officers at some Toastmasters clubs
- a Confirmation
- First Communion rehearsal
- ANOTHER First Communion rehearsal
- a big Toastmasters Contest (Division level)
- testing for a blue belt
- rearrangement of the family schedule because receiving a blue belt means attending a different class
- a big Toastmasters Conference (including my involvement)
- regular Toastmasters meetings
- being a club officer and a district officer for Toastmasters
- regular choir rehearsals, chorus rehearsals, variety show rehearsals, choir, chorus, lectoring, altar serving, martial arts
- making small presents for my First Communion students
- First Communion (beautiful!)

Gosh, just typing the list makes me tired.

Yesterday (5/17) I got a beautiful letter back from the Choctaw Nation Head Start program. (You can click to magnify, and drag to read it all.)

I have many more pictures to take and to share with you, but I cannot do it this morning.

Thank you to ALL the people who've pitched in towards The Great 310 Hats Project! You are blessing people far more than you will ever know.

God bless!
- E2

Crochet Basic Roll-Brimmed Hat

From 310 Hats

Worsted weight yarn
I hook (5 mm)

  • Chain 2
  • 6 sc in 2nd chain from hook. Place marker in last stitch.
  • 2 sc in each sc (12). Move marker.
  • (1 sc in first stitch, 2 sc in next stitch), repeat around (18 sc). Move marker.
  • (2 sc in each of first 2 sts, 2 sc in next stitch), repeat around (24 sc). Move marker.
  • (3 sc in ea of first 3 sts, 2 sc in next stitch), repeat around (30 sc). Move marker.
  • Continue in this manner for 13 or 14 rounds (increasing the number of scs before the increase by 1 each round) until your radius is about 3", diameter about 6", and circumference about 18". (78 scs or 84 scs). This should make a nice flat disc, which is the hat top.
  • Work even without increasing. It will start making a bowl shape. Continue even until the depth is about 6". It needs to be long enough and and big enough around to cover a Kindergarten-age child's head and ears.
  • To create a rolled brim, increase the stitches by 50%: (1 sc, 2 sc in next stitch) repeat around.
  • Work a few rounds even.
  • Slip stitch around to give a nice tight, neat edge.
  • Cut yarn. Work in ends.
  • If the hat is too "airy", you can weave colored yarns through the stitch spaces. Colored yarns will be very decorative.