Sunday, December 4, 2011

Collecting Stamps

I have just discovered that many charities and churches collect used stamps to sell to raise funds to continue their good works.

I receive a LOT of stamps on parcels etc. and was wondering if you all could collect stamps from your letters or perhaps even where you work so we can gather them together and when I have a decent amount I can pass them on.

When you send a parcel of knitted goodies perhaps ask for stamps instead of one of those postage receipts they put on parcels sometimes.

If you collect some post them to Needy Stitches, 7 Hannah Street, Seaford. Vic 3198 and I will collect them.

Thank you!

Friday, December 2, 2011

114,035 donations to date!!!

114,035 items we have donated this year!! What a fantastic effort by all of you!! And it is only the start of December! lol

It has been a very busy 2 weeks with trying to get loads of donations out in readiness for Xmas but I have managed it! The house is practically clear of everything (I am hyperventillating as I have nothing left lol) but we have helped so many organisations out with things for Xmas. The sad part is it is just a drop in a bucket but at least, because of your efforts, a lot of people will be able to celebrate Xmas this year.

We usually wind down a little in December and I take this time to regroup and think of new ways to run the group, things to make it better, more effective etc. I am wondering if I should run monthly challenges, perhaps have members make personal challenges for themselves, have a database that I keep privately and keep a track what each person sends me so they know at the end of the year how many items they have donated. What do you think? If you have any suggestions to make this more fun and interesting please email me at needystitches@gmail.com  All ideas are welcome!

I am almost scared to try and come up with a total to aim for next year! But at least I won't be moving so that will make ita lot easier (hopefully)

There is something I have been doing kind of on the side. I heard about boxes for the Australian soldiers serving in Afghanistan. You fill them with toiletries, beanies, magazines, noodles, lollies etc and then post them free of charge and the forces get them over there. I have a friend burning music CD's, DVD's, collecting magazines and anything they can supply to fill the boxes. One of our members Carol is an avid op shop visitor and she comes up with all kinds of things to fill the boxes up so over the past 3-4 months we have just sent off our 40th box! Hopefully they will make a difference to a soldier away from home at Xmas.

If I do not blog again this year I would like to take this opportunity to thank you ALL for everything you have done to make Needy Stitches successful and allow us to help those less fortunate. I feel very lucky to be able to do this but know that I would not be able to do half as much without the support of every one of you!!

HAVE A GREAT XMAS!!  See you in the New Year

Monday, November 7, 2011

I have finally moved house!!

Well after weeks of waiting I have finally moved house!!! I do not know which is worse the packing or the unpacking, it seems to take ages to unpack and then even longer to find something once you have put it away! Though that could be old age forgetfulness LOL

As to the Needy Stitches front things are moving along with many organisations begging for things for xmas for not only the homeless but for kids that are disadvantaged and who especially feel it at this time of year. I have sorted a lot of things out and have delivered or had picked up thousands of items and still have quite a few to go, so if you were holding back til I had moved now is the time to send them! Organisations usually like them at the end of November so they know exactly what they have and can best allocate things, so please think about sending what you have ready as I know it will be greatly appreciated.

I have just updated the website and we are at 104,524!! I am still staggered by the amount you all have done this year and equally elated at the amount of people and organisations we have been able to help. I am still after more xmas stockings if anyone has any finished!

Thank you ALL so so much for being a part of this wonderful total. It is only through the kindness of all of you that we have been able to achieve what we have so far.

Monday, October 17, 2011

100,149 items donated to date !!!

Well we have now officially donated OVER 100,000 items this year already and it is only October!!! CONGRATULATIONS everyone who has contributed to this total! It is simply amazing. I am nervous to think what the yearly total will be. It is absolutely awesome!!!

Last Wednesday we started to pack the food hampers and with thanks to the ladies who donated food and also who came along and worked their fingers to be bobne packing boxes and wrapping toys ready for Xmas a very BIG thank you!! We managed to get 42 boxes fully packed and sealed and I hate to guess how many toys we wrapped but they did seem never ending.

On a more personal note I am still waiting to move. They now say it will be at the end of this week but I have heard that before so I am not holding my breath *yet* The sooner the better as far as I am concerned as I hate living in this kind of limbo state with large parts of my life on hold for a time with really no end in sight, but I am trying to continue doing what I do and keep up with things as best I can, so keep those needles clacking away as with xmas now so close the different organisations are starting to worry that they will not have enough things for the less fortunate at Xmas this year.

Hopefully my next blog will have my new address and such *fingers crossed*

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Updated Total = 98,285!!

Whew I have just updated the latest totals after two deliveries being picked up the past 2 days. 98,285 items to date that means only 1,715 items to 100,000!! CONGRATULATIONS to each and every one of you who have contributed to this total, it shows that while we can each make a difference, as a group we can make a helluva difference!!

Well the past few weeks have been umm interesting to say the least. We were supposed to move ont he 30th but that has been postponed because of a paperwork mistake, so right now we are in a holding pattern waiting for that to be fixed up. Hopefully that will be resolved in the next week or so so the move will happen then. If you need to contact me you can email me at needystitches@gmail.com, through the website or call me on 04060352825.

I hope you are all keeping busy making xmas stockings as I am gaining weight as I fill them with lollies. I went out and spent over $100 on lollies to fill the latest contribution and it seemed 5 lollies per stocking and every 5-6 stocking 1 lolly for me LOL Hey I had to keep an eye on quality control!!

For anyone interested (and local) next Wednesday 12th Oct and the following one 19th we will be packing food xmas hampers. If you would like to help we could definitely use it. We will be packing them at the local church, Church of Christ, 130 Cranbourne Road, Frankston from 10am to 2pm. so if you would like to come along please do so. The more hands we get the quicker they will get done.

If you have any foods to donate or would like to donate some money into our account so we can purchase some food now is the time to do so. We are aiming for 100 hampers but the more the merrier. Our bank account details are on the website and anything would be appreciated.

Well I think that is about it for now though I am sure more will be happening soon so watch this space to keep up with what is going on!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The count keeps on rising!!

I have just updated the website with deliveries made and we are up to 96,376 items already donated this year!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

And now onto the reason why lol  I am moving house the first week of October!! As you can imagine I have had to place all of the donations with the various organisations so I only have to move my own things and not the group donations. This has bumped the total up enormously but ... but .... I don't have anything left. I have a clean garage!! I can see the concrete floor and you know what else? You could actually fit 2 cars in there LOL

So before you send anything else please email me for my new address though I will be doing that post forwarding thing so nothing goes astray but you will need the new address anyway for the future!!

I am really excited about the move but also "over it" right now with all the packing, getting services connected, settlement etc. not to mention making sure nothing is overlooked. The worst thing is the new house only house a one car garage so I will have to be better organised or start packing things on top of each other til they hit the roof. I am sure I can work something out so keep those parcels coming (including the mini Xmas stockings). We have already delivered 1,000 so only 4,000 to go lol

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I have a confession ....

Hello,

My name is Janice and I am a Woolaholic! Any type of wool, acrylic, cotton, basically anything I can get my hands on. My stash is taking over my life as well as my spare bedroom and my bedroom plus parts of the lounge room and I will not even mention the garage.

I find myself touching it all the time, reorganising it, first into types, then into plys, then into colours and then I start all over again. I try to stop but I can't. I had been clean from feeding this addiction for almost 2 weeks but I busted yesterday.

I was walking around the shops and decided to look around Sams warehouse. As many of you know they only stock wool during the winter months but they had a few baskets full of odd balls at only $1 each!! I started hyperventilating, looking around frantically for a basket .. a box .. anything that I could grab to start piling it full of the gorgeous wool that was starting to call my name. The thoughts of Xmas stockings I could make, the baby blankets, the scarves was sending me into a delusional heaven where I was surrounded my wool and needles and patterns.

Finally I located a basket and filled it to the brim and then started to fill my arms with as much as I could carry. With a very proud strut I made my way tot he counter and piled the wool on it and watched the girl ring it up. 56 Balls!!! I have 56 new balls of wool!! I could not wait to rush to the car and get home so I could take a proper look at it all.

Once home I was like a kid at Xmas. I sat ont he floor and emptied all the balls of wool around me, picked up each ball seperately, felt it, imagined all the different types of things that could be made with it. Then it struck me. Where was I going to put it???? BUT being a quick thinker and a probolem solver I found a box, stuffed it in there, and placed it in a corner of my bedroom ... I could not put it in the garage yet as these were my new babies and I would have to feel them at least another 4-5 times or until I get another lot before they are relagated to the garage!! Ahh what bliss!

Today I looked at it again and thought that I should really join a 12 step program. Does one exist for woolaholics??? I might have to start one I think! I need help or at least have an exclusion policy put in place for any shop that sells wool!!!  LOLOL

Monday, September 5, 2011

Busy Weekend


I know! Do not fall off your chairs but I am blogging within a week of my last post!! LOL

Every time I had some time to spare on the weekend I sat down and knitted some Xmas stockings. Being only small they were great for using up all the scraps of wool i cannot seem to throw out and they took very little time. I ended  up making 26 on Saturday and Sunday, so we are that many closer to our target.

Then today the mail arrives and whoopee Erika from NSW sent 48 stockings and Dianne from Perth sent 42, so another 90 closer!! And Erika has her Probus Group ladies working on them also so I am sure, with me being always an optimist, we will reach our target!!


The colour did not come up very good with this but it is a little "welcome basket" for a little girl that arrived last week. It amazes me how easy I can make these baskets up, oftentimes with very little time, from things sent to me by our members. I am only guessing but I think that at least 4-5 different people contributed to this basket that will help a girl who is struggling with a new baby.

Well that is all my news for now, but as promised I will try and blog more often to keep you all up to date, expecially now Xmas is fast approaching!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Xmas is coming ....

Once again it has been a busy time with parcels arriving every day, sorting them out and delivering them to different charities. It amazes me on so many levels. People are so creative, they come up with all kinds of things that are amazing. I watch the news and such and always hear about how most of the money given to charities is eaten up by admin costs and seriously I do not understand it at all. People are so very generous, but a lot do not know what to do. One of the most asked questions I get asked is what can I do to help? What do you need? I always answer the same way. Do what you love to do! If you like to knit beanies then knit beanies, babies clothes, scarves, etc etc. I can find a home for every single thing that is sent to me. It may take me a day or two to think about the best charity to give it to but I always find one who loves it.

Xmas is coming up fast. I made a delivery last week with a Xmas "order" and it made me realise even more just how close it really is. If you can make toys or mini Xmas stockings then pleaseee do so. I delivered 300 the other day and only have about 70 left here though I do know a few women are knitting them and holding onto them til closer to Xmas which is great! So the total I need now is 4,700!  Now that is not so intimidating is it LOL 

We have had quite a few new people join us and had others donate wiil and material which is great. I have just updated the Donations on the website and it is now 87,776 which is a FANTASTIC total. Keep up the good work!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

86,181 Items and counting!!!

I have just updated our donations and the total so far this year is 86,181!!! What a fantastic effort by each and everyone who has supported us throughout this year already!! Wouldn't it be fantastic to reach 6 figures LOL

I thought last year was busy but this year things have gone nuts. I am sure you have realised that I do not blog very often and I usually update the website once a week and that is purely because I am so busy these days, sorting, taking phone calls, finding out what people need and making them up a donation. The need this year seems to have blown way out and not in any one particular group. The need goes from premmie babies and all the way to the elderlym with everyone in between.

We are very fortunate to have such generous members and people who spread the word. So many times I will get a phone call from someone I have never heard of who has something to donate to us and they have either heard about us from some friend or a member and want to help.

I know it is coming up to summer so hats and beanies and scarves will slow down but with Xmas just around the corner it is time to focus on that. Mini Xmas stockings!! I need literally thousands!! I had a phone call from a disabled centre just yesterday asking if they could have some so I need even more than predicted now lol

Keep those needles clicking away and those sewing machines buzzing!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

ACK!! Xmas is just around the corner

Now that I have you all in a panic with the heading of this post I thought I would talk about the needs for Xmas.

As usual I still need tons of the mini Xmas stockings!! I got a few in this week (over 80 in fact) which inspired me to sit down and knit another 14m but we are still thousands short so if you have any small bits of wool that are begging to be used up this is the perfect ptoject!  Of course we need toys, toys and more toys. Many of the organisations we deal with have said this Xmas is going to be one of the worst they have seen because of all the need out there. It breaks my heart to think of (especially) kids missing at at Xmas, so if you can knit a toy, buy a toy or find a toy please consider giving it to a needy child.

Each Xmas I try to come up with a special project, something extra I would like to do so that people know that other people care about them. Two years ago we provided xmas lunch for an elderly citizens home. last year we bought some ride along toys for a disabled toddlers house. This year I have thought and thought about the best thing to do and have come up with an idea. Noone has to help with this but in previous years people have asked me why I did not tell them about my xmas project as they would have liked to help so this year I am throwing it out there. If you want to help, you are more than welcome. Now onto my idea lol

I want to make up food hampers for Xmas for the more needy families. Not Xmas food but "normal" food (as in baked beans, spaghetti, tea bags, biscuits etc etc. Staples I think they are called). I would be really excited if we managed to make 50 though of course would love more. There are a couple of ways you can become involved. If you are local to me you can buy something each time you go shopping and save them up and bring them around in November OR Needy Stitches has a bank account (not that there is ever anything much in there) You could put a couple of dollars in the account, along with your name in the description and closer to Xmas I can go out and buy what we need. 

The bank account details are ... Name: Needy Stitches  Bank: Westpac  BSB: 733-179 Account No: 261251. Even donating a couple of dollars can make a difference.

Xmas for us comes around in November. The organisations usually want everything by the end of November so they know what they have and can get it ready for the "Xmas rush"

I have just updated the Donations page and we are at 75,858 items donated so far this year!!!!!  That is so fantastic yet a little sad that so many need things this year. Keep up the great work!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Good Morning!

Once again it has been awhile since I have blogged but that doesn't mean I have not been busy! With the onset of winter, and with it being so cold this year, we have an even greater demand for things to keep people warm. How awful must it be to be out on the streets at night with it being so cold and not knowing where you will be sleeping the next night. One thing, or more to the point the most important thing I have learnt in this whole experience of coordinating Needy Stitches are people do what they have to do to survive and people are very generous and want to help when they know how to help.

I have started thinking about Xmas and how much need there is going to be this year so I am busy making the mini xmas stockings. We have a small stash of around 400 BUT we need 5000! If you find you have a small amount of wool leftover from your latest project PLEASE consider making some of these stockings. They only take about 20 minutes to knit and trust me the delight you see on a kids and even an adults face when they receive one it is well worth it! I am also after toys which I am starting to stockpile for xmas so that is my next project. I am aiming for over 100 toys.

We also have the kids camp in January which has 35 kids attending and we are supplying them with a quilt, a stationary pack, a toiletry bag and a toy each.

I have been receiving parcels almost daily and the items usually come in, I unpack them then pack them back up and off they go to an organisation. I have a list of organisations that need beanies, scarves, wrist warmers and the never ending amount of blankets that I am still trying to fulfil but slowly that list is becoming smaller. We are making a small dent in it all but gosh as it grows that dint becomes smaller.

It is not all doom and gloom though. Needy Stitches has grown to over 215 members who are very generous with their time and talents to help with the need out there! So to each and every one of you THANK YOU! None of this would be possible without you

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Anna's Capes

Anna visited the other day with Margies to drop off  some goodies. Anna bought over 4 beautiful capes made from squares, sewn together and edges with a crochet scalloped edge. How cool are these? Depending on the size of the squares determines the size of the cape. They are really spectacular.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

New Blanket

Well here it is!! The second blanket but this time with hearts knitted intot he pink squares. Took forever but I feel the time spent was worth it.

I am taking a break from blankets and I think I am going to knit beanies and small toys for a bit til the "blanket bug" bites again!!

The past week I have received so many parcels and people dropping things off not only is my garage full but also one of the bedrooms and some things have started to invade my bedroom LOL  The next week or so will be spent sorting them out and getting them off to various organisations who are all screaming for things because of the cold (read freezing) weather.

Keep up the great work ladies!!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

And the squares keep on coming ...


Another blanket sewn up and ready to go!! Squares by Cheryl in Merimbula sewn up by me. And now onto yet more squares that are begging to be sewn up lol

In case you have not looked we are nudging 60,000 items donated this year already!! That is awesome!! Remember I only count what has gone out not as it comes in though usually things go out within 2 weeks of me reciving them as I donot see the benefit of them keeping someone warm if they are sitting in my garage.

Well done to you all!!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

My new blanket


A few months ago a lady donated 4 large plastic bags full of wool BUT each "ball" was only 8ft long!! I used them mostly to sew things up BUT after sewing those 293 squares together I came up with the idea of using 1 strand for the inner of a square and another strand for the outside! Well here it is, done and finished!! I know, I know, I am a glutton for punishment lol To be honest I barely made a dent in the bags but I feel better knowing that I have come up with an idea on how to use it all (when time allows)

With the winter months now upon us the demand is growing and growing. In the past 2 weeks I have had tons of parcels from members, at least two a day and some days up to 5!! But still I cannot keep up. We had a request from a Man who visits elderly homes/centres to give a sermon and he was telling me that the heat is being kept low because of the cost and the elderly are starting to feel the cold, so he asked if I had any blankets for him. I gave him a few but the need for more is great. I hate to think of the elderly sitting there shivering with the cold so that is why I seem to be concentrating on blankets right now.

Then I heard about a group in country Victoria who are setting up a group to help traumatised kids, kids who are sick, kids from abusive homes etc. They are requesting toys and kids jumpers and clothing.

Then I had a call from an organisation who house homeless men and while the men are given furniture and blankets etc. at the moment they are sleeping with only "hospital" blankets and with the nights being so cold they are having trouble sleeping.

Then I got an email from the kids camp we helped last year asking if we would help them out again as the kids were so appreciative of the new things we had made. Luckily Jan Mac (our wonderful lady who makes quilts for us) has agreed to make the 35 quilts we need by November. So now we need kids beanies, scarves, jumpers, stationary to make up stationary packs and toiletries to make up a toiletry pack for each of them. 35 does not sound like a lot but when you are trying to collect things together 35 is daunting. The saving grace is we have til November to do them so I know it is possible especially seeing we do not have to knit 35 blankets lol

These are just 4 of the organisations that need things along with the organisations we already help. I keep wondering if I can do more, knit more, stay up later and sew more blankets together. I try really hard to keep up but sometimes feel like it is overwhelming and I am playing catch up. But then someone will arrive with bags of things or I will receive parcels in the mail and suddenly I can fill a need somewhere. I do not know how some of these organisations deal with their clients day after day, hearing all kinds of sad stories and still manage to maintain some kind of sanity.

That is my whine for the day LOL

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

293 crochet squares finished !!!


Well they are finally done!! 293 small crocheted squares sewn up into 3 large size blankets. Now onto something a little more stimulating

Monday, May 9, 2011

Blanket 1 finished!!


Remember the 293 crochet squares I received last week? Well 100 squares down, made into a blanket and ready to go!! Now onto the next 193 squares lol

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Ramblings

Every so often I get a phone call about someone who is in desperate need and it always sends me scurrying around to put something together soooo I thought I would try and get ahead! I made up two baby baskets, 1 for a girl and 1 for a boy and have them sitting on the table just waiting for the phone call to come!! Talk about cheating the system lol The baskets are put together from all the donations you send in, so are a compilation of various members donations and handiwork but they come together so nicely.


This well Kaye turned up with a bag FULL of small crocheted squares she had received from a lady from her Probus group. 293 of them in fact!!!  So today I have been sitting down and crocheting a black edge around them (which at the current rate will take me not days but weeks to get them together) I think I will get 3-4 blankets out of them once they are sewn together which is great because this week I heard from one of our Church friends who goes around to the elderly centres to visit and told me about the centres not turning the heat on during the day because of the cost. Well those of you in Melbourne know how cold it has been this past week and these elderly citizens are cold!! So I am now on a crusade to get as many lap blankets done that I am able, so these squares are a good start.

Please do not forget about our petition to the Legislative Council re" more affordable and sustainable housing for the homeless or thos at risk of homelessness. I am busy sending this to every group I can find, which is also going to take me weeks if not months but it is a cause I firmly believe in so thwe effort will be worth it!! Any help you can give, if you are a member of a sporting group, senior citizens group, any kind of group please consider taking this petition there and getting friends to sign it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Homeless Petition

The world (and I) work in mysterious ways lol  We have started a petition for the Government to provide more affordable and sustainable housing for those in need. For this to be taken seriously we need at least 20,000 signatures and I am hoping that with the help of this group we can help achieve this.



We have 212 members and if each person gets their friends and family to sign the petition we will be well on the way to achieving our goal. Once you have it signed you can post it back to me and I will coordinate them and keep count of how many we have. If you are involved in a group or know anyone who will help please pass it on to them, the more the merrier!  Contact me at needystitches@gmail.com and I will email you the petition so you can print it out.



This is really important and I believe something that is long overdue so please any signatures you can help with would be greatly appreciated!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

TAA DAA !!!!!


It is finished!! I knitted my fingers off over Easter, especially Good Friday while watching the Good Friday Appeal, and managed to knit a load of squares and then finished off what I needed yesterday. Last night I sat up and sewed them together and wala it was finished, or so I thought. I got up this morning and kept looking at it thinking there was something wrong and after pondering what it was (and checking that each ribbon was facing the right way) I decided it needed the edges finishing off. So all day today I have been crocheting a lace border around the edges!!  I think I am happy with it now lol


Saturday, April 16, 2011

April Activities

Once again I have not blogged nearly often enough in the past couple of weeks but things have definitely been hectic. With winter almost upon us I have had quite a few phone calls asking for things to keep both the homeless, kids and babies warm during the winter. We are moving along with things coming in daily but it seems the demand is more than we can keep up with but we are definitely making a dent in it all. I have already sent out quite a few packages, parcels and have had things picked up from a couple of organisations and seem to continually have a couple of bags on the go, filling them as things come in. I am on a first name basis with our local parcel delivery man who I am sure was beginning to wonder what I was up to getting packages almost every day!!


I am currently working on a blanket for the oncology ward at Southern Health. It has the ribbon knitted into the pattern, though I am also making white squares with a different pattern to go with it just unsure of how I will design it yet. I am trying to decide between 1 pink then 1 white square across the row, or a middle section of pink squares then the outer squares in white (Gee I hope that makes sense lol)  It is taking ages but I think the time and effort will be worth it when it is done. I will keep you updated on the progress.




Sunday, April 3, 2011

April Already!!!

Well it is April already and winter is fast approaching! I sat down over the weekend and watched the boxed set of DVD's of "The Tudors" and started to sew up the very many squares I have been neglecting lately. I managed 3 full size blankets before I really needed to start something else. I can only sew so many squares in one sitting even when I am being entertained by a DVD lol

That being said, with winter comes the demand for so many things and .. wait for it ... drum roll please .... I do not have one pair of shoes in the garage!!!!! Finally I can see large pieces of concrete on the floor with no shoes in sight! Phew what a relief that is. But of course me being me is now hyperventilating because we do not have very much in reserve lol I have had a couple of phone calls from organisations that need beanies, scarves, wrist warmers and blankets as it is suspected we are about to have a very cold winter and with so many living on the streets these items will be in high demand, so get those needles clicking.



Occasionally I get a request for something special. I heard about a young girl, 15 years old, who had just given birth to a baby boy and had no family support. She needed just about everything so I found a picnic basket and filled it up with thing. There is a crocheted blanket by Julie, another by me, a baby jacket by me, a baby jacket by Joyce, a beanie and bootees set by Joyce, face washer and bib by Carol along with some toiletries. It is good to know that between us we can fill a basket with very little effort on my part and help someone get over a rough patch in their lives.

Keep up the great work!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Garage Saga Almost Over ...


Here is my garage at 10am yesterday morning. After another marathon effort of sorting and pairing up shoes Carol and I were able to get the bulk of them done!! Now what to do with them all. One quick phone call and a very eager organisation who wanted them all arrangements were made to us to deliver them today!! Youth Projects hired us a truck so we ciould take a whole load of things in at once (and I could make room in my garage )

A quick trip to Budget to pick up a moving van and we were in our element filling it up with boxes and boxes of shoes, blankets, beanies, jackets, clothing, you name it and we were packing it! We filled the truck up it was amazing to see all the boxes and bags stacked up and ready, now all we had to do was drive it into town. Wait!! I was going to be a truckie?? Not only a truckie but one who drives a moving truck into town? What was I thinking??
After a long night of plotting and replotting a route, working out which streets were one way and which weren't, wondering if the smaller streets were big enough to drive the truck down it was finally morning and we set off. I can honestly say that I have never driven so carefully nor so far under the speed limit in my life LOL But we made it!!  There were heaps of people to unload it for us (well after the shock of seeing how much there was) we finally got 5,265 items delivered!!
I drove home much easier than I drove there and the roads were not so busy. After tidying up the garage and rearranging a few things I can now see some garage floor!! I have concrete!! And only about 10 boxes of shoes left to sort. What a day!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bits Blanket


I always seem to have leftover wool afetr finishing off an item so I keep them in a box thinking they will come in handy sometime. Well finally the box was full (read overflowing) so I thought I would crochet it into a blanket. If you look closely you will see a row of this and that colour that I have recently finished an item with. I started this blanket a few weeks ago and just kept using the ends of the ball of wool and then the past 2 days I decided to finish it with what I had in "the box" so here is the finished product! I hate throwing out even the smallest amounts so I think I have now come up with an idea what to do with it all.

Tomorrow is the Homeless day in Melbourne and while it is going to be cool they are not predicting rain (Thank goodness) I am really interested in how it all will come together after so much work has been put into it.

Carolyn and I went down and picked up more shoes on Wednesday and tomorrow we are going down to pick up the last of them. I am sooo sick of pairing up shoes, checking sizes and pulling off price tags, I think I can do it in my sleep now. But there are some gorgeous shoes in the mix, all good quality and all brand new, even some name brands and every organisation that has received some up to now are really excited about them as they do not receive shoes very often.

We are still working on the baby items for the end of the month and after receiving a few parcels and a few of our ladies delivering things I think we will have plenty to keep them going for a bit. Of course as soon as I think we have finished along comes another organisation that has run out, and with so many babies being born right now they are desperate for things. Margaret, the nurse from Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies said there was so many young girls right now delivering that their reserve stock of items are already depleted so keep those needles clicking away lol

We also have the normal cry out for yet more beanies, scarves, blankets, jumpers and wrist warmers (which seems never ending) so if you are not into knitting baby jackets there is an option lol I really have no idea right now what I will start on but I am sure something will spring to mind.

Thank you to each and everyone of you who have contributed to our totals, only 3 months into the year and we have donated over 30,000 items which is really amazing. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Already

Whew! What a busy couple of months we have had. What with floods, fires and earthquakes one has to wonder what the heck is going on with so much devastation which has created so much need and so many people finding themselves homeless or worse.

I delivered the last of the items for the Melbourne Homeless Day yesterday which was great. So many people are going to be comforted with everything we made and collected. It is days like this that make it all seem worthwhile and you should all be proud of what we can chieve as a group.

I heard a saying the other day that has struck a chord in me. "One voice is a whisper but many voices are a roar" Each one of us when banded together in a group make a dent in the need out there and while it appears to be constantly growing we are making a dent in it.

The project we are concentrating on right now is baby clothing for a new centre opening up at the beginning of April. I got a couple of gorgeous baby quilts from Jan Mac on Friday and have received quite a few baby jackets so we are well on the way.  Of course with winter fast approaching there are so many places needing scarves, beanies, fingerless gloves and blankets which seem to be a never ending saga. The good thing is that so many of our members are so creative the beanies and scarves are gorgeous. I have also received quite a lot of wool donations this month so have quite a good stash of wool if anyone needs it. All you need to do is send me a pre paid post pack and I will fill it up and send it back to you. Address it with your name and address and let me know what kind of wool you want.

We are still sorting shoes into pairs at the moment. My goodness so many pairs of shoes, all new, some high heels, some flats, runners, baby shoes, all kinds. Now if only I could get the shoe fetish thing happeningit would be great!

I managed to make another dozen mini xmas stockings but other than a crocheted blanket have done very little else. My time is taken up with sorting things out, organising pick ups, TRYING to clear the garage (which seems to be constantly filling up after I create some space) but this month I am determined to make more. I have a family member int he hospital right now so that is taking up a lot of my time but today when I go in there I will take my knitting and perhaps get some done while sitting around.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Update


I finally finished the crocheted blanket that I started a couple of weeks ago (thank goodness!) I needed something that I could pick up and put down whenever I needed to because February has been so busy so I thought this was the perfect project.

February has been busy as you can see by the number of items donated on our website. I am absolutely stunned not only by how generous people are but also by the amount of need out there in the community. I have calls or emails at least once a week from a random organisation asking if we can help and with the winter fast approaching I think the need will be even more demanding. That being said we are making a dent in the need and there are many people walking around a little warmer and feeling a little better about themselves.

I had 3 ladies delivering things today, Kaye, Leslie from Northcliffe Lodge and Heather so I ended up with quite a haul by the end of the day lol  I always thought things slowed down over summer but boy was I wrong this year! Some days I wish there was just another couple of hours so I can finish doing something and other days I wonder how people do it so tough, how do they manage, how scarey it must be to not be able to provide all that their kids need. You should all be proud of what you do, whether that is knitting 1 items or 100. I heard something on the radio this week, "If you cannot feed 100, feed 1" I thought about it and realised that it is such a wise saying. Every bit helps so keep up the great work and let's make 2011 an awesome year!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It has been awhile ....

It has been a week since I have blogged because I have been so busy sorting and organising that my brain is fuzzy and i am exhausted by the end of the day that I totally forget. At the moment I am waiting for 2 organisations to arrive to pick up loads of boxes and bags so I can have a piece of my garage back .. again

We have started picking up trailer loads of shoes. These shoes are all new, still price marked and a part of the deal is I remove the price stickers which I am sure you can imagine is very time consuming but on the upside all the shoes are new and some are really nice. If I had a show fetish I would be in 7th heaven by now lol  Carolyn's husband Graeme goes down to the shop on a Wednesday, loads up his trailer and delivers them to my house, without him I have no idea how I would be picking the shoes up, so I want to take a minute to thank him. He has made it so effortless for me, he goes down with Carolyn, they load the trailer and they drop them off and load them into the garage, no fuss, no mess, just how I like it, so a big thank you to both of them.

Last week Anna's daughter dropped off 300 packets of playing cards!! At first I thought 300 packs?? what will I do with them but as usual as soon as I mentioned them to a couple of organisations they were really excited about receiving them. So it ended up I did not have enough (which always seems to be the case) 

We have finished with the Homeless connect day in Melbourne. I have delivered everything and they were very excited and appreciative of what we were able to do for them. BUT of course now we have the other organisations that we usually keep supplied with blankets, beanies, scarves, fingerless gloves etc wanting to know if we can help them out again this year so keep knitting!!

Hmm what else ... There is a new pregnancy centre opening in Dandenong in April and they contacted me and asked if it was possible for us to help them out with baby items for them to start off with. I committed to 50 jackets and beanies sets to be delivered by the end of March and then we will continue to keep them supplied.

I think that is all the news for the past week and I will attempt to be a better blogger in the future lol

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February Update


I think I worked on this teedy longer than I have worked on anything!! I had to pull the face out 3 times and try again because each time it either came out looking scarey, or lopsided and even downright weird!! She has a dress and panties and of course her headband which makes her look cute but I think she might be waiting awhile for a partner lol

I have not blogged for a few days because things have been really hectic. What with sorting and repacking and doing deliveries as well as picking up donations of wool my days (and some evenings) have been full and I am exhausted by the evening. The good thing is I am sleeping better, usually after falling into bed, so there is the silver lining. If anyone needs wool to knit with I picked up a ton of it yesterday so email me and I will send you some!

Speaking of wool, I had to go to a few suburbs about an hour away and got lost driving home so I followed the signs into the city knowing that eventually I would find something familiar and would be able to make my way home. Anyway I ended up in Carnegie (a suburb I had never been before and lo and behold I found a Spotlight!!) So even with a car load of wool even covering the front passenger seat I pulled over and parked, just to have a look around.  I went into Spotlight with my wool radar in full flight and found the wool section. There was a lady there marking down all the wool to $1 a ball!! Yes every ball was $1!! I got baby wool, Cupcake, Moda Vera varigated wool. I was practically hyperventilating with excitement as I rushed to get a basket from the front of the store as I had not picked one up as I went in because I was not going to buy anything. So after filling the basket and carrying as much in my arms as I possibly could I walked out with 3 Spotlight bags filled with 50 balls of wool!  I had to stuff it into the car loading it even further. LOL I am admitting now I have a very serious wool addiction and am thinking of starting a Knitaholics Anonymous complete with a 12 step program!!

I have just update the Donations page of the website and as at 7th. February we have donated a total of 20,903 items! WOW that is really awesome and something you should all be proud of!! Every single one of you are responsible for that total, your hard work and dedication have kept so many people warm and comforted. Keep up the good work!! Not only with all the devastation that is happening around Australia at the moment do we have so many people and organisations requesting things but we still have the usual organisations that need things along with the Homeless Day in March.

I do not have the words to thank each and every one who supports Needy Stitches, from the people who make things, to those who spread the word amongst their friends and work colleagues, to those who cannot knit who buy toiletries and such and the list just keeps on going on. I would espcially like to thank Margie and Carolyn who support me when things become overwhelming or intimidating. The listen to me, offer support and inspire me to not only continue but give me ideas on how to do more.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mini Xmas Stocking Pattern

Well you asked for it ... lol

Cast on 24 stitches

(K1, inc in next st) to end  36 sts

Beg with purl row st st 7 rows

K14 (K2 tog) 4 times K14  32 sts

Purl

K12 (K2 tog) 4 times K14  28sts

Purl

K10 (K2 tog) 4 times K10  24 sts

Purl

Beg with knit row st st 12 rows

Garter stitch 5 rows

Cast off

Friday, January 28, 2011

Xmas in January??



Well don't I feel strange knitting Xmas stocking in January!! But I am set on making at least 20 per month for this year to make a head start and not end up knitting a ton of them in November/December! It will mean we are 240 closer to our 5000 total that we need LOL

I have been extra busy this week, unpacking sorting and repacking things ready to go to Qld. tomorrow. I cannot believe the generosity of people in times of a national crisis. Each time I get a little room in my garage it is quickly filled up with someone droppping off yet more things, and it has even spilled out into my house. My bedroom has parcels, bags and boxes all over that to get to my bed of a night I have to climb over things or just stand at the bottom of the bed, throw myself on it and crawl up to the pillows!! But tomorrow they will all be gone and a new week starts.

I had a phone call from a friend of a friend who owns a shoe shop and has 1,500 pairs of shoes to donate!! Mens, Womens and kids shoes of all types. My mind boggled at the quantity, where I was going to put them, where I would place them. After two phone calls I had arranged to get them picked up in a charity organisations truck, had 3 organisations for them to go to and even managed some to go to Qld!

Last night Jan Mac delivered 34 beautiful quilts to go to Qld! They really are spectacular, the pics on our website do not do them justice but when you see them spread out on the bed I realise just how gorgeous they are! They will keep so many people warm and will put a smile on so many faces.

I think that is all my news for today though for how busy I have been this week it does not sound a lot lol But tomorrow we have between 3 and 4 thousand items leaving for Qld.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Quilts



On Thursday we received 9 beautifully crafted quilts from Jan Mac who is a new member to our group. Jan does not only beautiful work but last year alone donated over 2,500 quilts to various organisations!! It was hard for me to choose a particular quilt to post a pic on this blog as they are all gorgeous so make sure you visit our website and check out her album!! These quilts are headed to Qld on the truck this afternoon so I know some people are going to be comforted by these quilts.


I finally got to knit with the wool so kindly donated to us recently. I made a little premmie jacket and as predicted the wool was spectacular to knit with and the jacket came out so soft!  In the past 2 weeks I have been making baby jackets and matching beanies because I can put them down and pick them up when I have time, in between sorting and washing/ironing and packing things ready for Qld. Phew!! what a week.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I have my garage back!

Boy has this been a busy week! I have unpacked, sorted and repacked literally thousands of items in the past 3 days, but now I can see some garage floor!!  Today we had some pick ups which freed up quite a large space inthe garage which I am sure will be filled again soon enough. I had more people turning up yesterday with donations for both the Qld. floods area and for the charities we normally help. I had the local organisations come and pick up their lots and to be honext I was glad to see the back of all the bags and boxes. Needless to say they were happy with the loads they received, with xmas now being over people are becoming concerned with clothes for their kids for school. I am certain the same will happen once the weather becomes cooler and kids (and adults) needed warmer clothing. It seems to be a never ending cycle, there is always something that people need more of at a certain time, which I guess is what we are here for and what we do.

I have not done much knitting over the past few days, by the time I come inside from sorting in the garage I am too tired to pick up the needles and usually crash on the couch where I stay til bedtime lol  I have started a new pile for things to go up to Qld again on next weeks truck and that pile is starting to grow nicely.

Every time I blog here I mean to mention something. If anyone has a favourite charity, works for one or knows of one or someone who needs a hand email me at needystitches@gmail.com and let me know and I will see what we can do as a group. The wider we open the group up the more people we can help.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who have helped us, not only with the floods but for every single person we have helped. One of the groups we help regularly received 500 of the mini xmas stockings filled with lollies prior to xmas. When she turned up at the door this morning I asked how she was etc. and if she had had a busy Xmas. She laughed and said once word had gotten around they had stockings full of lollies they got extremely busy!!  Another one, Joyce (one of our members) told me that at Xmas they showed on TV all the xmas babies and there were 3 of them with our xmas beanies on!! We are famous!! LOL

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Delivery to Qld Floods



This is my garage at 8am this morning! I had to make a pathway in it just to get to things as I began sorting, folding and packing things to be packed into a truck bound for the Qld. Flood areas. The truck was planned to arrive between 2-3pm so I was up bright and early ready to start at 8!! I started sorting and packing and labelling things, putting them in the driveway so they were easy to grab (and to get them out of my way lol) I had just started to make some headway when a 4wheel drive pulled up full to the brim of garbage bags full of things, so I diverted from the garage to start sorting those bags out. Before I had gotten through the first 2 bags another car pulled up and deposited even more bags so I continued sorting and folding. Finally after another 4 cars had deposited bags all over the place I settled down to continue sorting and packing, all the time thinking it was a good thing the truck was coming today or tonight it would be me sleeping in the garage because the house would be full also. 

I sorted, packed and counted for 5 hours!!! then decided I really needed a break. I sat down on the couch for about 1/2 hour wondering what I had gotten myself into and then thought I had better get to it because the truck would be arriving shortly. I had to park the car outside on the street because the driveway was full by the time the truck turned up!! LOL

The guys in the truck were a little (lot) shocked at the amount we had but with all due credit to them they managed to get it all loaded. All 4,123 items!! YES. 4,123 items consisting of over a thousand toiletries, adult and kids clothing, loads of babies things, blankets, towels and so much more. To say I was happy to see the truck pulling away would be an understatement ..... until I turned around and saw the garage!! It was hardly any better than I had started at 8am!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Busy .. Busy .. Busy



Margie and Anna came over on Thursday to drop off their donations. Margie had two awesome adult crocheted blankets and two gorgeous crocheted baby blankets. Anna had a crocheted blankets and some kids jumpers and she had made some wrist warmers to match!! They are gorgeous and I am sure kids will love them.

I had a call on Friday from an organisation that is sending a couple of cleaning crews up to Brisbane on Monday and they asked if we had anything we needed transporting up! So of course I said yes so they will come past tomorrow and pick up what we have. I thought I would probably have a few hundred items to send but this afternoon I have had members and their families and friends dropping things off all day!! Not only can I not fit another thing inthe garage I cannot even fit in there!! So that is tomorrow's job, I will have to pull everything out, sort through it, pack it all up into bags and boxes and load it into the truck ready for Qld. I hate to think how many things there will be but I am now predicting in the thousands.

How readily Australians open their hearts to those in crisis and rally around to help each other out is inspiring.

Keep up the good work!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Today's Events

Today I went to a planning meeting for the Homeless day in Melbourne to be held on 18th. March, 2011. I was truly inspired by the commitment and dedication of the ladies present and came away with a much greater appreciation of how much work is involved.  I also spoke to a few ladies who belong to organisations who would like us to help them with some of the things we make, so hopefully we will be able to help more people and open up our network of organisations.

I took down some of the things we have already finished, mainly to make space for more things lol. My car was packed to the roof with 118 Beanies, 117 prs Wrist Warmers, 42 Blankets, 79 Scarves, 145 Toiletry bags and 700 assorted toiletries so we are well on the way to reaching our goal for this project!

Keep up the good work!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Thank You

I received the following email from a church we helped to put together Xmas hampers

Hi Janice and all your wonderful Needy Stitches Angels around Australia,

On behalf of the Frankston Church of Christ and the people who were able to smile at Christmas because of your help, we say a huge Thank You for your donations to our Christmas Parcels, Baskets and Hampers appeal for 2010.

The willing response and excitement by you with late notice in the year at the challenge to make and donate all the fantastic items including the beautiful little and large homemade stockings and dolls , baskets of sweets, food, the fantastic box of toys and other items so kindly donated were excitingly received by many people giving them happiness and hope.

Along with the donations of Christmas food and general food by our own friends at our Church and our Church Food Pantry Supply along with a couple of local Supermarkets, we were able to supply over fifty hampers which helped about 150 needy people, including those living alone to families with many children,  from Frankston, Langwarrin and over to Cranbourne. Nearly everyone received a little stocking(brightly knitted boot filled with chocs) which became a real treat for all ages and a little mascot.

Even though we don’t or ever will know many of the people who received these hampers as we receive the knowledge about them via privacy info, please know yourselves that through your time, generosity, love and care for people, you have touched many lives at this Christmas time. I have seen your work which is sent via Janice out into charities and organisations that  continues throughout the year.

Well done to Janice for putting into action her dream she spoke to me about a couple of years ago in “Needy Stitches” and heading up what is becoming a great and well supported idea for the people of Australia.

Kind Regards,

Glenys Jamison

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Today's arrivals


The postman arrived early this morning with 4 parcels!! One from Kym with beanies, scarves and squares, another from Marilyn with baby & kids clothes, and another from Mary who makes jewellery (which is awesome! check out her album on the website) and then yet another parcel from Deborah with some spectacular baby wool (see picture) My fingers are itching to start some baby jackets because the wool is soooo soft. The mint green is a really soft color and the other is a varigated wool of pinks and lilacs.
I had a phone call today from an organisation that is collecting things for the people so tragically affected by the Qld. floods telling me they are sending up 2 x 20ft. containers at the end of February and would we be able to help. They are desperate for clothing, Mens, Womens and kids, toys, toiletries and kids school things. As I spoke to the man it hit me that the kids would have lost all of their Xmas presents when they were evacuated from their homes and they would be starting school shortly and would need pens, pencils, exercise books etc. I still have a bit of stationary left over from the camp school kits we made up and with stationary being on special I went out and bought 100 exercise books at 5 cents each!! 100 cost me $5 which is a bargain and will help out quite a few kids. If anyone would like to help could you please make sure you get the items to me by the 3rd week of February so I can organise to get them up there.

Scarf


I was sent this pattern by Carolyn, one of our members and because I was knitting scarves I thought I would knit it up. It is a pretty frilly edged scarf that is really easy.
I used 8ply wool and size 4mm (8's)
Cast on 20 sts
Row 1. Knit 8, turn, knit back
Row 2. Knit 6, turn, knit back
Row 3. Knit 4, turn, knit back
Row 4. Knit across all stitches
Repeat to desires length and cast off

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Homeless Day Update

I have started packing things for the Homeless Day in early March so thought I would update you all on our progress. We set a target of 300 each of Scarves, Beanies and fingerless gloves/wrist warmers and 100 Blankets. So far we have :-

Blankets 39 Balance 61
Scarves 42 Balance 258
Wrist Warmers 82 Balance 218
Beanies 78 Balance 222

We also have approximately 800 toiletries ranging from small hotel type toiletries to retail size to gift packs and toiletry bags full of goodies!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

CONGRATULATIONS !!!!

It is official!! For 2010 we donated 26,024 items !!! Every single one of you should be proud to be a part of this total. Each member is valued whether they send 1 or 100 items and I know are very much appreciated by those we have helped.
I like to think of us as a 'grass roots' group who help different organisations to be successful. They give out the items we make to help those less fortunate and those who have found themselves in some kind of crisis and need a hand. Because of what WE do as a group they have things on hand to help these people.
This year has presented a few challenges for me. I have had to move my house around to accomodate things that have come in at times, my garage is sometimes to full to put the cars in it (I have a 2 car garage) and sometimes both the garage and house looks like the local opportunity shop lol I have also had some disappointments in the people who have let me down and shown themself to be in this group for what they can get out of me and what they can get for themselves. I have come to the conclusion that people will scam anything, no matter how well set up it is, and it is better to focus on the percentage who are genuine.
That being said I truly appreciate all of you who have helped in so many ways. The ones who make items for Needy Stitches to distribute, ones who deliver and pick up things in their area for us, ones who go out of their way to collect things from their friends and family to help us and so many others.
I know we can only go upwards from here and help even more people in 2011. The more people we all encourage to become involved the more we can do. So tell your friends and family about us, post the link to our website on your Facebook or in any craft groups you belong to.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at needystitches@gmail.com and I will be happy to help!
Have a great New Year and stay safe!!

Picked up today








Iwent down to pick up some donations from one of our members Dolcie. I picked up a great array of 15 blankets, 12 prs. wrist warmers and 10 baby hats!! The blankets and wrist warmers will go towards the homeless day in March. Dolcie is also the angel who sews up squares that are donated into blankets!



HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope you all had a great New Year. I cannot believe 2010 has finished and we are now into 2011. Let's make this a great year for all of us.
I finished an indigenous coloured blanket today. I love the mixture of colours, it is really bright and cheerful.
Now onto beanies and scarves for a week and then who knows LOL