A4A provides the "warmth" part of this equation by collecting knitted and crocheted wool items and sending them along with the other critical supplies, which are then distributed by the organization. There is a strong hope that, by reaching the impoverished Afghans first, they will be better able to resist the propaganda of the Taliban and be strong enough to function independently and ultimately, without recruits, the Taliban will fail in Afghanistan.
Therefore, each big shipment by a4A is like a big, soft, wooly bomb going off. I love the idea that maybe I can make a tiny difference in ending this war, while helping someone in great need.
These are my peaceful bullets, shot from my powerful and pointy sticks of mass destruction:
My first mittens, made from the pattern BB's Knitted Mittens- super easy and went really fast. I wanted to knit flat first, so I could understand the basic construction. I didn't like the bulky seam, so will definitely knit future mittens on circ's. But they're cute, aren't they? (I believe these are going to children who live in the Northeast part of Afghanistan).
The baby blankie, finally finished. My "pattern", if you can call it that. I knitted and crocheted a variety of squares, using common stitch patterns that I sort of winged as I went. I ended by crocheting a single-crochet border in black around each square. This allowed me to use black yarn to join the squares with a crochet slip-stitch. I like the consistent appearance, and, for me, I feel like this went faster and was less tedious than sewing the squares together. Next time, I will be more clever and knit the blankie in strips, picking up stitches along the sides for each new lengthwise row. (My blankie will be given to a baby at the Pediatric Hospital in Kabul).
This project has been so satisfying and makes me feel happy all over! Plus, it used up a lot of my stash, especially my odds & ends. There's actually a bit of empty space in the Rubbermaid bin that holds my wool yarns. And you know what that means...
If you would like to join the effort, there is still time before the May 15 deadline. A4A is still in great need of socks for babies and small children. Friends of a4A is a forum on Ravelry. You can search the recent threads to find more information on the specifics of what is needed. All items must be made from animal fiber, so this is a great way to use up leftover sock yarn! Even if you can't make it in time for this current deadline, you can always make some and keep them on hand for the next campaign. There is also a drawing for 3 $50 gift certificates for any mittens sent before the May 15 deadline.