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Important updates

Lots of updates to share today.

The first of which is that KNITTERS ARE AMAZING PEOPLE.

They are right up there with nuns and first responders.

Thanks to knitters all over the world, we were able raise and donate $10,000 in a short time period to the Sandy Hook Family Fund.

I just sent in the second half of our donation today. Here are the screen caps of our two donation amounts:


I post these to demonstrate that the money we raised is not languishing in an account somewhere, it's already in the hand of fund administrators, who can put it to use. And, while I believe that most of you trust me (or you wouldn't have decided to donate through my site), it's important that trust be maintained.

In an era of scammers and absconders, I want to be the opposite. You are more than free to check the Sandy Hook Family Fund site for our donations or contact them for confirmation.

For those of you wondering, the donation amounts say $5200.25, and the site says $5000. That's because of credit card processing fees. The Family Fund does not want to incur any costs, and its administration is made up of professional accountants, attorneys, and social workers donating their time. They ask donors to cover the credit card processing fees, which I personally paid for.  So in order to send in $10,000 and not $9599.50, we needed to donate more than $10K.

I'm so grateful to you for making this possible.


2. The next order of business is about our blanket squares. We've received quite a few already -- it's so fun to get them and see where they're coming from!

I've received a lot of questions about whether or not we're still going to be making the blankets given that the city of Newtown is overrun with toys and gifts.

The answer is yes, for a couple of reasons.

We're not going to randomly send these addressed to "Newtown, CT" and hope they end up in the right hands. I have a contact who has promised to help make sure they're delivered exactly where they need to go -- NOT a warehouse.

And it's going to take knitters (and us) a while to make all of these. By the time we're done, the donations will have stopped, the media attention will have died down, and the families will be left to deal with the quiet of their homes. People who have lost a loved one often find that the hard work of grieving comes months after the actual death occurs -- long after people have stopped receiving cards in the mail and meals on their doorstep, they're still left with the weight of loss.  And they often start feeling forgotten.

We're aiming to get these blankets done in time for Mother's Day, and hope that they will bring even a tiny amount of comfort to the families who need them.

We still need a LOT more 8x8 squares. As a reminder, you can send them to:

Three Irish Girls

Attn: Knitters for Newtown

PO Box 161165

Duluth, MN 55816

We don't have a retail location for you to drop them off at yet (I would love it if a local store owner reading this would be willing to help us with this!), but I will be happy to pick them up from your house if you are local and can't mail them for whatever reason.

3. The next thing is unrelated to Newtown, it's about my travel and teaching schedule.

This Monday, January 7th, I'm going to be speaking to the Duluth Fiber and Handcrafters Guild at 6:30. It's free and open to the public -- come by if you like! It's in the Ruth Maney Room at the Duluth Art Institute. More information here.

Sunday, February 10th, I'm going to be teaching Knitting with Hand Dyed Yarn at The Cat and Crow in Mt. Horeb, WI. There is limited space, so you should contact them to register.

Monday, February 11th, I'm going to be the keynote speaker at the Madison Knitters Guild.

Saturday, March 16th, I'm going to be teaching Intro to Yarn Dyeing at the Duluth Art Institute. Space is quite limited in this workshop!

I can't wait to see all of you!

4. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. Ours was perfect, in part because first Christmases are the bestest.

Rosie Horsedog is very patient and kind to her Bald Puppy. (That's what Rosie believes Shamrock to be.)

Bald Puppy is 5-3/4 months (I refuse to round up! Refuse!) of sweet, snuggly, adorableness.

May your 2013 be filled with nothing but brown paper packages and warm woolen mittens.

-- Sharon


My 2013 (anti) resolutions

What you do do is just as important as what you don't do.

That did not come out as intended.

What you don't do matters as much as what you do do.

Oh, forget it.

What you choose not to do is just as important as what you choose to do.


I choose not to eat cake. Instead, I choose to eat apples.

I choose not to look like a Jersey Shore cast member. Instead, I choose to have the skin color the Good Lord intended.

With that in mind, here is what I will not be doing in the year 2013.

1. Get bited by a shark.

In an effort to make the best of her circumstances, my grandmother used to say, "Well, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye." My sister agreed, in her four year old way. "Yeah, it's better than being bited by a shark." My family continues to use "Well, it's better than being bited by a shark" whenever possible.

People, 2013 is my year to NOT be bited by a shark. Won't happen. I can practically guarantee it.

2. Die while climbing Mount Everest.

And that is because I will not be climbing Mount Everest.

I do not wish to pay tens of thousands of dollars to feel sick and put myself in grave physical danger.

I'd rather buy lattes for all of you.

3. Win American Idol.

Not from lack of trying. I am a very talented vocalist. Anyone who knows me can attest to this fact. I intend to come in second on American Idol. I wouldn't want to crush the dreams of a 16 year old from Middle America.

Second is just like first...except a little later.

Vote for me, OK?

4. Knit anything out of dog hair.

Kendall and Anne? Did you really put "Stop Vacuuming and Start Knitting" on the cover of your book?

There's just no accounting for how some people were raised.

(Me, I was raised by a mother who only has hypoallergenic non-shedding canines, if that sheds any light.)

5. Watch football or eat meatloaf.

Still nope.

With apologies to my husband, son, dad, and nearly everyone else I know.

I'd rather watch paint dry.

What are your (anti) resolutions this year?


Get a little closer

 Don't be shy.

Get a little closer

with Arrid Extra Dry.

Why do I still remember a commercial from 20+ years ago?

Who said that advertising doesn't work?

Just now, I exclaimed to Sarah, who's sitting near me in the office, "Wow, they still make Arrid Extra Dry deodorant!"

I know because I googled for the correct spelling and saw that you can order some should you be in need.

Don't you wish YOU shared an office with someone who takes macro pictures of snowflakes and then randomly associates them with vintage deodorant commercials?

Sarah sure is a lucky gal.

I can't say for certain if she agrees or not.

Regardless, it's snowing today.

Pellet-like flakes that look like tiny styrofoam beads, but upon closer inspection...

...are obviously not.

I came away with hundreds of images from outside our new studio, and can affirm that I saw no two snowflakes that were just alike.

Wonders never cease.


knitters for newtown

I don't even have words to talk about what's happened.

Nothing I can say will take it back, will lessen the cruel sting of daylight for 26 families this holiday season.

I can't fix it. I can't undo it.

But I can't do nothing.

And I know that knitters, demonstrably some of the best people in the world, can't do nothing either.

We're helpers.

Today, I'm starting Knitters for Newtown.

Knitters for Newtown is our way -- and by our, I mean every knitter in the world who wants to help -- our way of showing these families that we love them.

That we grieve with them. That their children, sisters, brothers, moms, aunts, and friends are not forgotten.

That even though the night is dark, they are not alone in the darkness.

This is for Charlotte Bacon.

This is for Daniel Barden.

For Olivia Engel.

For Josephine Gay.

This is for Ana Marquez-Greene.

For Dylan Hockley.

And Madeleine Hsu.

This is for Catherine Hubbard.

This for Chase Kowalski.

This is for Jesse Lewis.

For James Mattioli.

This is for Grace McDonell.

For Emilie Parker.

For Jack Pinto.

And Noah Posner.

This is for Caroline Previdi.

And Jessica Rekos.

This is for Avielle Richman.

For Benjamin Wheeler.

This is for Allison Wyatt.

And for Rachel Davino, Dawn Hochsprung, Nancy Lanza, Victoria Soto, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, and Mary Sherlach. They will forever be their mother's babies.

I can't do everything.

But Knitters for Newtown is going to show the world what knitters can do. I haven't just seen it, I've experienced it.

Knitters for Newtown is going to raise at least $10,000 for the families of the victims, and for the community of Newtown. And we're going to knit at least 26 blankets, one for each mother's child who died.

It's not everything. But it's something.

I made this colorway. It's the tiniest candle in a vast ocean of darkness.

I made this one too.

For the next six weeks, you can order these on our site, and I will donate 20% of the sales price directly to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, and other charities set up to help the victims' families.

That's not 20% of the proceeds, that's 20% of the sales price.

These colorways were difficult to make, but I'm glad I did it. Doing something helps. I think you'll find that doing something -- even a small thing -- helps you too.

Love Wins is a gentle rainbow. A reminder of the innocence of childhood. A declarative statement that evil doesn't get to win, love does.

See more here.

The Giving Tree was inspired by Sandy Hook Elementary's mascot and school colors. Their mascot, an eagle, is subtly represented by the browns, blacks, grays, and golds. And their school colors, green and white, are there too.

See more here.

You can also make a donation here, and we'll add it to our efforts to donate $10,000. Every penny we collect will go directly to the charities -- we are not keeping any of it. Even $5 makes a difference.

Soon, we're going to need help knitting squares for 26 blankets. The squares can be knit from your stash, or from one of these colorways. We'll have more details on that, including where to send the squares, very shortly.

So how can you help?

1. You can pray for these families. If you don't believe in praying, send them love and healing.

2. You can like our Knitters for Newtown Facebook page, where you'll be kept up to date on our fundraising and blanket making efforts.

3. You can post about this on your own blog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed.

4. You can tell all your friends.

5. You can join our Ravelry group.

6. You can make a donation or purchase yarn, which will help us reach our $10,000 fundraising goal.

7. You can knit a square. (More on that soon.)

8. You can hug your own family members. You can tell them you love them. You can spread as much joy and kindness into the world as humanly possible.

Darkness doesn't drive out darkness. Only light can do that.

Knitters: let's do this.


Knitters for Newtown Facebook page.

The colorways.

The donation.

The Ravelry group.

If you prefer to mail us a check, contact us, and we'll give you our mailing address.





stopping by woods on a snowy evening

Whose woods these are, I think I know.

Unchanged, but not the same.

The blanket unfurled, its downy pillows clinging to branch and bough.

Whose woods these are, I think I know.

The balsam a balm for the aches and the weariness.

These woods, they are mine.

Yet they don't belong to me.

I claim them from memory, from sentiment.

From geography, from time.

This snowy evening, in this remote place

On this tiny speck in an infinite universe

They are mine.

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