yarn alive

Knitting means relaxation – a pause to take breath in a busy day, the chance to unwind from daily stress; comfort – the warmth of wool on my lap and yarn gliding through my fingers as I knit something lovely; beauty – the gorgeous colours and textures of the yarn; wonder – to see how it looks knitting up and be amazed by my creativity; sharing – the joy of creating something for someone I know they’ll love.

I recently read a heart warming story of someone giving that gift of joy to people who needed it most. Yarn Alive is a group of tsunami survivors that formed a knitting group. Teddy Sawka, an American expat, organized the project out of concern for Tsunami victim’s emotional well-being. “I heard that after the Kobe earthquake many victims fell into depression and some even committed suicide.”

Yarn Alive was born out of a desire to help women living in temporary housing as a result of the March 11, 2011 tsunami. Most Japanese women have crocheted or knitted at sometime in their life; so Teddy thought that by providing yarn, needles and hooks, they would be able to knit or crochet again. Since, July 2011, these women have met almost every week. The first supplies came from America, but soon people in Japan also began sending yarn, needles and hooks. Yarn Alive has continued to receive donations from many places worldwide and within Japan. Each week, the women are given projects to work on, such as knitting scarves or blankets for others whose lives were shattered by the tsunami, or making knitted wearables to sell in Tokyo to raise money to help rebuild their town, Shichigahama. These women who were victims and received donated goods, found that it was a blessing to be able to help others. Thanks to Yarn Alive, they are creating community through the knitting club, making new friends, and finding new purpose. How cool is that, wonderful to think a humble knitting group help do such good !
Now to the iKnit crew of happy needle clickers, there is much to declare…
Some of Raewyn’s new purchases from The Unique Sheep, and her possum yarn fingerless mitts. Graced with lace cuffs and cherry embossed buttons, very apt.
Raewyn’s latest FO top, nice detailing with the lace edge. The lower back has center pleating which looks amazing and Raewyn said was not too tricky to work, sorry I couldn’t get a decent photo….
…also by Raewyn, this clever shawlette that works out asymmetrical, and the vibrant colours of another shawlette she has on the needle.

Wendy’s babys cardy in feather & fan stitch, almost finished now she was sewing it up this week, will get a photo for next time.


Some of Karyn’s latest work: I wanted to keep the handwarmers and very reluctantly gave them back. They give more warmth than you think and they may help my OOS (occupational overuse syndrome or RSI) hmm, think I’ll make some.


Karyn always has lots on the go and this is the first side of a lovely vest she’s making for Jannette in chunky super smooshy sheer-delight-to-work-with-merino-yarn from Briar Patch.


Karen (we have 2 Karen’s, this is the other one) has just completed her first lace wrap and what a beauty it is! Gradient colourway and bead work adorn, fabulous.


Simone is on the home stretch of her green top in perendale yarn from Briar Patch


More recent lace knits by Raewyn, she makes incredibly quick work of these masterpieces.

Simone’s yarn from Knitsch aptly named Iris – gorgeous shade mix.

Lacey’s new to knitting and got underway on a cute beanie for her first baby due to arrive in August. The pattern is the Jessica hat in 4 ply from Patons Newborn collection book 1303. Wendy has almost made all the garments from this book, they’re really lovely designs.


Another Dead Fish Hat by Fiona, and a lacey number for herself that’s demanded more than a little concentration in the making, will no doubt turn out well worth the effort in the end.


A beaded swatch worked by Raewyn and more of her goodies from The Unique Sheep, hand dyed gorgeousness.


More socks by Karyn, and a cosy-as top for her daughter in self striping yarn….

…Karyn’s hottest garment this week, we all wanted a pair!! The slippers made for her daughter, these would be much desired by any age or gender I bet, cool as!


Fiona modelling her diagonal lace stitch top.


Yes, I am still knitting! My feather fan stitch jersey for Ania, I used 4ply merino from The Wool Company colour called Lipstick. By coincidence the same stitch Wendy’s working her latest project in. I have to say not my favourite stitch, probably my least enjoyed. Garment turned out well enough and looks cute on Ani which is the main thing.


Fiona working on what she calls her ugly house socks. Made in cheap as craft yarn that affords no mistakes, a nightmare to rip back – don’t even think about it Fiona warns.


My latest FO for Raz, hot off the needles this week – Sirdar design 1977 from the Nursery Knits book 382. I love the yarn colourway, suits his personality and a great boyish mix. I used Sirdar’s DK Snuggly Baby Crofter. He’s 20 months old and I figured knitting the 1-2 size would suffice. Should have gone up a size and knit the 2-3 age. Never mind, I think he’ll get this winter out of it, just!


5 thoughts on “yarn alive

  1. Would love the pattern for the beanie! I have a problem at the moment and need some help. I have some Opal {pullover-sockenwolle} think it must be 4ply. My adult son wants a beanie made from it. Any ideas for a pattern! and where I will get one. Hope you can help Thanks. I live in Kelburn.

  2. Cool, Hilary, hey, it’s good to hear from you! I suffer from OOS/RSI in my hands (too much of the PC, a life hazard now days) so I’m going to make some in possy yarn and see if it helps.

  3. good morning! a friend posted on facebook about the handwarmers and i got all excited because my line manager at work knitted me some over a year ago, using the same wool, but in a different colour 🙂 i wore them right through winter (with regular gloves underneath) and on their own in spring and autumn – love, love, love them!

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