Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

From tiny acorns mighty oak trees grow.

That's a common enough saying and often proved true.

I found my acorn was when I was visiting several craft blogs and I spotted some posts about knitting tiny jumpers and beanie hats for African babies who are born into such poverty that they are sent home from hospital wrapped in newspaper. Hence their nickname "Fish and chip babies". I live in Spain, and already the weather is hotting up (it's expected to reach 29º tomorrow), so before long we will mostly be packing away our knitting needles and wools until next autumn, but I thought there might just be time to knit a couple of these jumpers first.

I wanted to share the idea with a few of my friends at my church and the sewing group I attend on Wednesday mornings, so I borrowed some photographs from Jo's blog, and downloaded the pattern from Dawn's blog, and made up a few leaflets to offer around. I am visiting UK in a week's time and thought I might get a nice little bundle of finished garments to take back with me for posting.

My 'oak tree' is what happened next. The project really seemed to catch people imagination. Several of my sewing group friends said they would get one made, as did some friends at church. One of my church friends was so taken with the idea that she posted about it on a local forum and several people up where she lives said they would knit. Then someone said their friend in Malaga (more than a three hour drive from here) would also make some, and she organised a 'knit-in' with her friends and got them all knitting too. 

Other knitters said friends and family in UK would also make some. Then one of our church members who shuttles between a home out here and a home in UK said she would get her church back in UK joining in. This was taken at our sewing group this mornings with the jumpers and hats we have made so far.

Two gentlemen from the forum, who regularly travel between Spain and UK have offered to transport parcels for delivering to cut our postage costs. We have found a business in each locality here, willing to act as a collecting point for finished jumpers, and a place where people can donate wool and needles.

My friend's husband has now set up our own website, Knit for Africa,  where the pattern can be downloaded, and there is information about collection points etc. We have decided to keep the project running until the end of the year - what happened to my fortnight deadline?!!!

Maybe by then our little oak tree will be wilting, but maybe it will have dropped a few more acorns that others will pick up and plant. Who knows.......

In the mean time, if we have helped just a few of these poor little tinies who are born into conditions no-one should have to endure, then it will have all been worth while.

Be encouraged my blogger friends. Keep posting. You never know what influence you may be having on those who happen to browse your site!


MaxineD said...

Oh this is fabulous - the same thing happened here in NZ with a woman not far from here getting others involved in knitting peggy squares for blankets.
Congratulations on the good work - it will keep growing as oaks are long life trees :-)

Di said...

Oh Kate, this is amazing! Just brilliant news and am so glad you spotted it on my blog. Just a hint, do check the time scale, I have a feeling that September rings a little bell - although I can't see it ending then really.

Go ladies!! :)

Di xx

Saskia said...

Wow, Kate, that's an amazing story!

Sandra (Stamping For Pleasure) said...

What a lovely post Kate. It brings gladness to the heart and restores faith in human kindness.

Congratulations xxx

Shoshi said...

Kate, this is tremendous. I will visit the blog later and download the pattern. I've just started knitting again, and these little garments won't take long to make up, I am sure! You have really started something! The thought of "fish and chip babies" is just so awful... We used to support an East End mission when we were at school, and during the winter terms all the girls would knit something, and we'd have an exhibition of the work before it was all sent off. Each Sunday evening we'd sit and knit while our house-mistress read to us for an hour ("Mission Reading"!) and through this I was also introduced to some excellent literature. So your appeal brings back some memories!

Thank you for your most understanding response to my M.E. post. It is a scandal how much suffering is generated because of the lack of professional understanding. Your friend's husband sounds marvellous - just like mine! I don't know what I'd do without him...


Shoshi said...

Hi Kate, thanks for your nice comment about our fluffy babies!! So you've got a platypus too - I KNEW there was a reason why I liked you so much lol lol!!!!!

I think loads of people have furry companions, but most people are too embarrassed to admit it!


craftimamma said...

Wow Kate, what a fabulous post and I'm so glad your acorn grew ...... and didn't take a few hundred years in the process, lol! Seriously though, that is a fantastic story and well done to you and your friends for your productivity. Those little outfits sure look cute although I'm sure the babies and their mums will just be glad they are warm.

Now on to the English obsession with the weather, lol! I have to say your temperature is the one reason I could never live in Spain or anywhere else hot. I simply cannot stand it and would spend all my time indoors with the air con belting out. We always choose holidays to try and get temperatures round the mid 20s but that not always easy. Even here Spring and Autumn are my favourite seasons even if it's raining.... what a spoil sport I am, ;0).

One tip if you do try the Pan Pastels, when blending them I always make sure I have a piece of kitchen towel or other paper between my fingers holding my work and the work itself because if you have any oil or moisture from your skin the PPs will grab onto it and leave finger marks which are impossible to blend out. They do sound like a good option for you to try and I'm really happy with them so far. They do leave a bit of dust but not like traditional pastels but they sure wash off your hands a lot easier than inks, lol!

Lesley Xx

craftyani said...

Hi Kate I heard about the fish and chip babies from Yvonne at the card workshop.I have knitted three so far and will either give to Yvonne at next months workshop or drop them off at the sewing group. Earlier on in the week I heard that Huercal Overa hospital were desperate for hats, mitts,bootees and cardigans for their neonatal unit. So now it's a case of knit one for hospital, knit one for Africa.

Shirley-anne said...

What a wonderful gift of kindness
The knitted sets look so beautiful .
Thank you for finding the time to visit my blog