Wednesday, February 19, 2014

For Good Causes

I've been touched, awed, and amazed recently by a number of knitting designers who have created e-books that support various great causes. I guess my awakening to this was Juniper Moon Farms' The Shepherd and the Shearer, which raised money for the training of artisan sheep shearers. (and no, I haven't finished my Shepherd sweater yet. I took a break from it, but I'll get going again soon, I promise.)

The Yarn Harlot proved to the world the power that a multitude of knitters can wield and the good that it can do when she rounded us up to form Knitters Without Borders, which to date has contributed well over $1,000,000 to Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres. Really, with a statement like this, how can you resist?
By any North American standard, I am not a wealthy woman. Still, there has never been a day that I went hungry or wondered where I would put my kids to bed. I choose between my clothing in the morning and at least once a week I throw away food that went bad before we could eat it, buying fresh without even feeling a pang of decadence. I have never wanted for anything more than "more" of what I already have. I most of the people that the tsunami effected, obscenely wealthy...
As are you.
You could go right now and make a donation. Report it to the Harlot so she can roll it into the KWB total. We'll wait right here till you're done.


So here, for your consideration, are some recent e-publications that will raise funds for some much more obscure, yet wonderful causes:

Kate Davies is just one of many designers who have contributed to a pattern collection to support the Gawthorpe Collection, a British charity dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of Miss Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth's textile collection and sharing the skills and techniques represented there. The pattern collection is available on Ravelry here, and, I'm sure, from the designers and other online sources.

Next is Deb Robson, whom you may be acquainted with from her magnum opus The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook as well as The Field Guide to Fleece and other works. To fund a year's study for her in Shetland learning all she can about Shetland sheep, Donna Druchanas has headed up a group of designers to produce a pattern collection e-book, Dreaming of Shetland.

 Besides the patterns, there are little essays by some of the designers giving background on their patterns and/or their relationship with Deb Robson. The most touching, to me, came from Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, who, despite problems with vision and dexterity, wanted to contribute a pattern for a mini decorative sock. When she threw her 000 needles and lace-weight yarn across the room in frustration, a friend came up with a sample she had knitted many years ago. Dreaming of Shetland is available from the book's web site linked above, from Ravelry, and elsewhere.

My third offering is from Cat Bordhi, one of the most amazing and creative minds in knitting today. If I get started on what she's done with shapes and techniques, we'll never get down to her e-book, which is both a new expression of her genius and a stunning cause to support. Here--I'll let Cat explain it all to you:
A gentler way to treat cancer AND warm ingenious slippers for the whole family? What are you waiting for? Get the book from Cat or Ravelry

And finally, one of the many advantages of these e-books is that you can, upon purchase, have them included in your Ravelry library, to be downloaded to any device, anywhere you are. Ain't the Interwebs grand?!?!?!?!