...An update on the Second Annual Knit-Fit (as in "a fit of knitting") Knit-a-thon:
First, this is the note I received from Chris Thomson, who works at the library and is one of the organizers:
"The Knit-a-thon is from 10 am - 5 pm on Feb 21st at McConnell Library and at Baddeck Library. Everyone is welcome to come out and knit or crochet for charity. It was lots of fun, and we hope to have door prizes and lunch donated as well. We have some yarn left over from last year and are hoping for more donations before the big day. Also hoping we don't get a snow storm this time! We had 24 hearty souls out last year and, with donations of finished products as well as yarn, we donated 250 items to the Every Woman's Centre and raised almost $1200 for Children's programs at the Library. This year the finished products will be donated to the Clothe-a-Family campaign run by the Salvation Army who will distribute the items to families in need around the region."
Wowsers! 250 items and almost $1200?! Not bad for 24 knitters, b'y! Especially considering that there was practically a blizzard on the go that day.
The knit-a-thon is organized by volunteers1 and the staff of the Cape Breton Regional Library. Last year the official event was held at the Sydney branch but a group of rogue knitters on the west side of the island organized themselves and held a knit-a-thon-in-tandem out their way, which was absolutely GRATE. This year the organizers are planning official events at both the Sydney and the Baddeck library branches, and hopefully anyone who wants to participate but can't get to one of those places will take a page from the Inverness knitters' book and have satellite knit-a-thons as well. You can read all about the organization that led up to the big day last year and see pictures of the event itself (including the much lauded yarn cake!) on the KnitFit blog.
A few more details about this year:
Everyone with an interest in knitting is invited to come, whether or not you actually know how to knit. If you do already know, bring your WIPs or start something new on the day. If you don't knit but want to learn, or know how but want to brush up your skills, now's your chance to pick the brains of dozens of teachers in one spot. There will be loads of yarn and needles aplenty and beginners can expect to have a project underway by the end of the day. Even if you just like to hang out near knitters but don't want to knit yourself, we'd love to have your company - lunch will be provided and there will be some non-knitting things to do, too - not to mention an entire library branch to browse through!
Now read that last paragraph again, but substitute "crochet" for "knit" in all cases. :)
There are donation boxes in every CBRL branch now, which we're hoping will fill up with donated yarn and all kinds of knitting and crocheting paraphernalia - needles, hooks, other kinds of equipment, books, videos, whatever - but mostly yarn! The equipment will find a good home with fledgling knitters and crocheters and the yarn will be used to make hats, scarves, mitts and other warm things which will then be donated to the Clothe A Family project. The boxes will stay out after the event as well, so that folks who finish their projects after the knit-a-thon is over can bring them in to be collected. All the collected knitted and crocheted items will be picked up and brought to Clothe A Family in Sydney, and CAF will take care of distributing them all over the island, not just in Sydney or Baddeck, so you satellite knitters and crocheters: bring your stuff to any library branch and they'll make sure it gets into the distribution chain!
I'm assuming from the $1200 figure(!!!) that knitters can also raise pledges before the event - this is an "a-thon", after all. I'm not entirely sure how that bit works but I'll do some checking and share any intel I get.
Last year local businesses donated tons of yarn and door prizes and this year promises to be the same, so don't miss out! Come join us in Sydney or Baddeck on the 21st!
1. Sidney and Carisse, two of the founding members of the Unspun Heroes, did much (most?) of the organising last year. Way to go, guys!