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