Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Yarn Tales Tuesday

*This post has been edited to contain links

National Crochet Month and #crochetforcharity
Let's celebrate and donate!
- Plus another rant...

  March is National Crochet Month. How will you celebrate? I'm "all over the place" in crochet right now... Whether you make something special for yourself, or create an item for a gift or charity, there's plenty of ways to celebrate the craft. If you're just beginning, try crocheting something simple to display, just to say "look what I can do"! If you're experienced, consider teaching someone with your skills.

  I already celebrated with a big gift to myself - I've wanted to join the Crochet Guild of America for a long time, so I finally did it! These are the people who invented National Crochet Month, so I figured that it would be perfect to join them in March to celebrate this "crochet holiday". I was unaware of an extra bonus until I signed up: Your membership includes quarterly issues of Crochet! magazine - I was planning on getting a subscription for my birthday, and now my CGOA membership takes care of that for me. (Cool!) I'll have to cover more about the Crochet Guild of America some other time, but until then (if you're not a member yet), you should know that it's a great way to connect with other crocheters, find help, tips, and patterns, plus plenty of other benefits!

  And for a less-selfish way to celebrate National Crochet Month, I'm picking this month to begin even more charity projects! In a previous Wednesday Wishlist post, I told you how I blew my budget on a big Caron United sale. As in a "buy more, save more" sale. I bought more for sure! Check out what showed up at my door - well, I like to be honest, it showed up outside my gate on a rainy day... Delivery drivers can't come inside my yard because of my dog, but my local UPS driver was considerate enough to take extra time stuffing this big box into a plastic bag to keep it nice and dry for me!

Yay, it's here!

  That's a lot of yarn for me - fifty skeins - yikes! Maybe I went a little overboard, but the sale really made getting this much worth it. I saved a percentage off of the regular price and got free shipping. Plus, $7.50 was donated to the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation because of my purchase. That's what I like the most, because I'm not always financially able to donate to charity. But, I make my money by crocheting, and crocheting (usually) requires yarn, so I get to donate by purchasing something that I need anyways!

  And, of course, it gets better! What will I use part of that big box of yarn for? Well, have you heard of the World's Biggest Stocking project? This is such a cool idea! Caron United and the lovely folks at yarnspirations.com are trying to make - you guessed it - the world's biggest stocking, and you can be a part of the project, too! They provide you with free patterns for both knitted and crocheted blankets, which are all 36" (91 cm) square. You donate the blanket(s) you've made, then they join them all together to make the stocking! After the whole thing is complete (which will break a world record), it will be disassembled, and the individual blankets will get donated to military charities. Imagine how cool it will be to help families in need and be a part of a world record!

Beginning test square using Caron United

  Interested yet? Here's a few things I skimmed from their FAQ page that might get you "hooked": Although it would be preferable to make the blankets all in the same yarn, you don't have to use Caron United, or the patterns that are provided! That means, if you already have a stash of some other worsted weight yarn, you can still use it to contribute. They also say: "Red, white, and/or green blankets are preferable, but we're accepting blankets in any color". The most important rule is that the blankets are made with worsted weight yarn, and that they are the correct size (36"). The Stocking Tracker is only at 10%, so let's get helping, people! I'm starting mine today, and you'll be seeing some sporadic posts about my progress.


Check it out:
Beginning work on the Big Granny Square Blanket

  -Before we close, I want to tell you guys about something that really upset me, and my opinion about it. I've been trying to get people to help with the World's Biggest Blanket project. And usually, I don't broadcast my personal conversations with everyone. That's why they're called "personal". But this one...Grrrr! This one, I need to take public. Since this person decided to track me down on my personal Facebook page, and privately message me about what they feel so strongly about, I told this person they can find my response here, where everybody can hear it, because I'm not afraid to let the public know what I think. If I lose every single one of my viewers over my opinion, then good. I'd rather help people that think like me, and not like my apparent new enemy. And since they felt the need to verbally attack me for a simple request that they could have just nicely said "no" to, or better yet, just ignore it - it's only a Facebook post; since they feel so strongly about their opinion, they're welcome to come here and say what they think in public, too! But I'll clean it up and give everybody a little excerpt of the message this "wonderful" person sent me.

  I shared the link for the World's Biggest Stocking project on Facebook. A comment was made to me regarding the COFP foundation, the Stocking project, and donating to military charities in general. Because this comment was made personally, I'm going to leave this person anonymous, unless they wish to come forward. You know who you are, and consider yourself lucky, because I'm sure there's plenty of people who wouldn't issue their response as nicely as I will. Please, come forward; I dare you.

  This person said (profanity removed): "Why donate to anybody involved in the _ military? War is _ stupid. They signed up for the _ war, they knew what they were getting into, and they have to deal with the _ consequences. [They] get what they deserve. You should think of more important charities if you want to donate something, and don't ever buy that _ yarn! Use your talent for someone who really _ needs it." This person went on to also tell me that I needed to "wake up" and that my choice of charities is "ridiculous" because there are "more important" people who need help.

  Here's my response: You should have a broader spectrum of thinking. They did it for you. For me. For everybody in this country, and for people in other nations, too. They do it to fight for freedom. They do it to fight for what they believe is right. It doesn't matter if you think war is right or not. What matters is that it's their job to provide you with safety and protect your rights, and now, somewhere out there is a wife, a husband, a mother and a father, a son, a daughter, a best friend, a brother or a sister, or even a faithful pet who sits waiting and will never see that person again, because they had your rights in mind. And those left behind don't necessarily believe in war, either. But now they have to deal with the loss that it causes. And that's why I choose to help them.

  And what about the veterans of previous wars that didn't sign up for it, and were forced to fight? Did they deserve what they got? Some of those that survived went on to lead normal lives... But many of the soldiers that made it back from the Vietnam War came back so damaged from atrocities they had seen that they couldn't fit into society anymore, or came back injured and unable to work, only to be spit upon and left forgotten in the streets, instead of getting the help they deserved. Some of them are still there. That's why I choose to help them.

  So you don't agree with war? Go ahead and say just that. That's your right. But don't you dare tell a little boy that will never play ball with his dad because his daddy deserved to die. And don't tell a little girl that when she grows up, her mommy won't be at her wedding because her mom deserved to die. And don't you dare tell a parent that they will never again hear their child say "I love you" because that person deserved to die.

  Don't you dare tell me that I shouldn't make a simple blanket or buy some yarn to help comfort these families. No blanket; no amount of money is going to replace what they have lost. But it's a way to say "I understand", to say "I'm sorry for your loss", or to simply say "Thank you for your sacrifice". It doesn't say enough. It's a way to break the chain of hate that continues with the people that say things like "They deserved it".

  So, for the person that made this comment: If you don't want to make a blanket to help, then that's fine. That's your right. You don't have to. But... Don't. You. Dare. Tell. Me - that I shouldn't make one. And please take notice of how I was able to tell you all of that without the use of any profanity. But as for the two-word sentence you ended your comment with - You, too.

-  -  -  -  -

  Whew, I'm done with blowing off some steam, but I'd like for you to think about one more thing: It's not just the families of the fallen patriots that need help. Many veterans of war make it back alive, only to come home to a life that's not the same. Many have trouble finding work, and need help supporting their families. Many have mental problems that lead them in and out of hospitals or jail. Some become addicted to alcohol or drugs because they don't know how to deal with their emotional or physical pain. And many of them find it so hard to deal with what they've been through that eventually, they choose to end their own lives. Is that what they deserve? Nobody deserves that, ever. Never, ever, ever. Some of them simply need to know that somebody cares.

  Whether or not you support the military, or if you do or don't agree with war, everyone can agree that the loss of a loved one hurts. Don't ever try to stop someone from trying to provide help for others in need, no matter what the cause.

  *I haven't been keeping up with the "song of the day" on Yarn Tales Tuesday. So in honor of today's rant and continuing with my attitude: I don't care if you don't like rock/heavy meal. This one has clean language, it's a pretty mellow tune compared to my usual stuff, and this video helps to make my point. Do me a favor and check it out... If you really hate the music, you can always mute it and just watch the video - it says enough without the song:

Wow, after all that...
Happy National Crochet Month!

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