Warning! Actual knitting content to follow…

March 27, 2009

During the bushfire appeal my blog didn't actually talk knitting that much, and since the appeal ended I've been a little bit blogged out.  (I am in awe of the people who commit to the blog every day for a month challenge..and I think you are all slightly insane!) I have some finished projects and some new ones which I'd like to mention on here but before I get onto that, I really should wrap up the bushfire appeal.

In the last few weeks I have received quite a few emails asking whether the prizes had been drawn and if people had won.  Well yes they have been drawn and all winners have been notified and have confirmed their details to me.  So if you haven't received an email from me, unfortunately you haven't won.  I won't be announcing the winners on my blog because not everyone (including myself) appreciates having their name and surname listed publicly on the internet.  That said win or lose the main purpose of the appeal was to raise money for the bushfire victims so once again thank you to everyone who donated.

Onto the knitting content.  I am well behind in presenting my FO's although people who follow my projects on Ravelry will have seen pretty much most of these thing.  To start with here is a finished project that has been hanging around since December.   





Project Specifications:
Pattern:  Ene's Scarf by Nancy Bush found in Scarf Style
Yarn:  1 ball of Merino Silk Laceweight from The Knittery in charcoal 
Needles:  4.00mm Addi lace
Project started: 5th November 2008
Project completed:  10th December 2008

I cannot tell you how much I love this scarf/shawl.  (Sorry Nancy, I always think of it more as a shawl than a scarf).  It has quickly leapfrogged straight to the top of my 'wear all the time' queue and I've already got more use out of this shawl than probably all my other lace shawls put together.  I've also realised how useful simple shawls in neutral colours can be and hopefully can find a few more appealing patterns to make in the future.  Having made Ene twice already, I can't see myself making it again. 

That said I have already cast on for my next shawl and am now get closer to the finish line.  Not exactly a neutral colour, this yarn was gifted to me by Kris and Amelia when they went to Wonderwool in Wales last year and it is definitely a colour I would wear.  The yarn is Posh Yarns Cecilia in the Pot Pourri colourway.  It's a silk cashmere blend laceweight and lovely and soft to handle.  The variegation is only slight, enough to give the shawl some depth but not enough to take away from the patten which is the Kimono Shawl from Folk Shawls.


I am actually really looking forward to finishing this shawl because I can't say that I have exactly loved knitting it by any stretch of the imagination.  I started it when we had a really bad heatwave in January and temperatures were above 43 degrees for 3 or 4 days in a row.  Well in that heat anything you knit is going to be tiresome.  Also since the actually pattern repeats are 24 rows long, I find I can really only get through 1 – 1.5 repeats in a night…so it feels like I am knitting knitting knitting and getting nowhere.  That said I finally seem to be making some progress and have almost finished 17 repeats.  The pattern recommends 25 but most people of Ravelry seem to think between 20-23 repeats is really long enough.  I'm aiming for 22 myself but I will reserve my final decision until then.  I'd also like to use up the maximum amount of yarn possible so I don't have any leftovers but I can't see that happening as there is still quite alot left even at this stage.

Ok, that is enough knitting talk for me today.  I'd like to finish documenting my older FO's and my new ones on this blog in the near future so please bear with me if you have already seen some of the things that will be appearing.  Next up I'll be waxing lyrical about the wonderful Pear Tree yarn I picked up at the Melbourne Stitches and Craft show.  This yarn is so nice that it didn't get within coo-ee of my stash tub as I came home and cast on with it immediately!


What we raised…

March 3, 2009




zwani.com myspace graphic comments


To everyone who donated to the Australian Red Cross: Thank You.

To every designer, yarn store owner and individual who donated prizes: Thank You.

To everyone who promoted the appeal on their blogs, internet forums, in newsletters, by email, on twitter, Ravelry and the numerous other methods that I have forgotten to mention: Thank You.

Without each and everyone of you guys we couldn't have done it.

I will be using a random number generator to draw prizes later this week and letting both the winners and prize donors know, so watch your email and with any luck there might be an email from me.  It will be too difficult for me to contact every non-prize winner so please be understanding in this regard.  I also will not be announcing the winners on this blog – it is only via email so please also keep on eye on your junk mail folder…just in case.

One final message about bushfires in Australia.  Bushfires are a serious threat every single summer in Australia due to our incredibly hot summers, drought prone environment and large expanses of highly inflammable eucalyptus trees. However the fires experienced this summer were the worst in history. Many lives were lost; homes, communities and towns destroyed.  Long after this tragedy has faded from the memories of most of us, people will still be trying to rebuild their lives and in some instances they will never be able to recoup what they have lost.  Hopefully the money we raised together will make a small difference to these peoples.

I'll be back soon with some actually knitting content! That is of course if I can locate my needles and remember how to do a knit and purl stitch. (Yes it's been a while).

My blog is cursed…

February 25, 2009


It appears whenever I make big announcements on my blog, something happens and it doesn't come to fruition.  We all know what happened to my London move…well the minute I announced on my blog that I actually thought we could achieve the $20,000 target – donations have slowed down to a trickle.  In fact overnight we only got one small but very much appreciated donation.  I know so many people have already donated, and really $20,000 is just a figure if we get there or not we have still done an amazing job, however it still would be so great if we made it.  It isn't looking hopeful though.

Onto the very final prizes.  I meant to post these a couple of days ago and in fact I already had a half written post sitting in drafts, however time has completely gotten away from me recently.  These are the very last prizes I will be posting…there are no more to come, in fact as I mentioned these should have been posted earlier.

The amazingly talented Katy of Yarn Chef fame has donated three absolutely gorgeous skeins of yarn.  1 skein Buttercream in Preening Peacocks, 1 skein 50/50 merino/silk fingering  in Blushing Violets- This is a brand new yarn and is still unnamed and finally 1 skein Cafe au Lait in Mystic.


Just in case you haven't had enough indie dyers eye candy through this appeal, the lovely Jessie of Yarntini has donated two skeins of her self-striping sock yarn for two lucky winners.  What's more the lucky winners get to pick their favourite Yarntini colourway and Jessie will dye it especially for them.  Here is a photo just so you get a little taste of Yarntini gorgeousness.


The final prizes for the raffle were kindly donated by Kathy Elkins from Webs.  Webs is one of those yarn stores that I have always wanted to visit and when I make it back to Massachusetts oneday, I definitely plan on visiting.  Kathy has kindly donated two prizes and first up we have a gift basket featuring 2 skeins of Valley Yarns Stockbridge plus a pattern to knit a one-skein mini clutch but that's not all as we have 4 skeins of Valley Yarns Huntington  and 2 skeins of Valley Yarns Berkshire Hand-dyes plus free pattern for their Vermont Felted Bag.


The second fabulous gift from Webs is a Ballwinder & swift set.


OK, that is it for the prizes…there are no more to come, so if you were holding back to see what amazing things were up for grabs, I think the lovely prizes donors and myself have definitely procured  some great prizes for you.

Ok..one final reminder the raffle ends at 11.59pm Sunday 1st March, Melbourne timeTo donate go to the Australian Red Cross and then email me your receipt here.  If you were thinking of donating; now is the time, if you want to help us reach that illusive $20,000 target; now is the time and finally if you are just feeling generous and compassionate but also want to win some great prizes; now is the time.

From little things big things grow…

February 20, 2009



Unfathomable!  Whenever I think we are almost at our limit… we seem to get another surge of donors.  I am now quietly confident that $20,000 will be achieved which is the first time I have ever wanted to admit that.  Hopefully I won't jinx our efforts.

For people who are visiting my blog for the first time, a quick reminder on how to enter the raffle.  First go to the Australian Red Cross website and donate.  Then send me an email with your receipt attached to this address.  For every $10 you donate you will get one entry in the draw.

Ok…now onto today's prizes.  Only two today as I am still waiting on a few final photographs to come through.

Firstly from Janine aka Guernsey Girl she has kindly donated a copy of her Reversai sock pattern and a 4oz skein of Araucania Ranco Semi solid in Olive.


The second prize for today is from the lovely Emma from The Woolshack.   Emma has kindly donated a $100 gift voucher to be spent by the winner at her store.  Considering all the wonderful goodies that Emma sells, I can't imagine finding something gorgeous to buy will be terribly difficult.


Ok, that is all for today, hopefully I will have the final prize photos ready for my next post.  For everyone who has thought that perhaps the small amount they can spare doesn't add up…well you only have to see the total above to see how every donation, no matter how small adds up. 

*The title of this post is credited to the great Australian folk/rock singer Paul Kelly.

The next goal…

February 16, 2009


Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far…that total is absolutely fabulous and definitely exceeds what I had hoped for.  So what do you think?  Should we make the next goal $15,000 or do you think we will actually make it all the way to $20,000 – wouldn't that be phenomenal?  Being a marketer I am a bit sceptical that we could actually achieve this figure as I think we have pretty much reached our limit. I have a feeling that $15,000 will be achievable but $20,000 is really out of our reach.  Of course I would love to be proved wrong in this instance.

The next subject I need to broach is prizes…basically we don't need any more.  So far we have had over 60 individual prizes donated which is absolutely fantastic and there are potentially a few more to come in the next couple of days as I wait for photos to be sent etc.  So from here on in I really think we need to concentrate on making more people aware of how to donate and where they can go.  There is another two weeks left before I will draw the prizes so plenty of time to get your donation in.

The first donation is from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.  She has kindly offered 8 balls of Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in the colour Granary as well as the Jo Sharp pattern book 'Eclectic'.


The next kind donation is from Esmerelda(her online name) a lovely English blogger currently residing in Perth, Western Australia.  Obviously a Posh Yarns fan she has parted with two lovely skeins from her stash in order to support this appeal  The two skeins are from top to bottom Posh Yarns Lei – colour Romance and Posh Yarns Lucia – colour Whimsical. (Do the colours of Whimsical remind anyone else of native Australian birds?).  Being a 4ply, both of these yarns are suitable for sock knitting.



When I say it is raining Wollmeise around here people…I kid you not!  I'm also impressed with how generous people have been even though they are not directly affected by this disaster.  Clare in Ireland had donated two skeins of Wollmeise yarn, Frosch 100% Harmonic and Vergissmeinicht 80/20 to go into the draw for this appeal.


Well that's all for today.  As I mentioned earlier the listing of new prizes is coming to an end, but I don't think that should be any reason that we lose momentum.  I'll be back either tomorrow or on Wednesday with an update  – and if there are no prizes to list…hmm maybe I might have to include some knitting content.  (Now wouldn't that be bizarre)?

How high can we go…

February 15, 2009



Wow people, how fantastic is that?  You know,I always knew Yarnies and Crafters in general were generous, what I don't know is how much money do you think we'll be able to raise.  I was thinking hey wouldn't it be fantastic to offer a prize to someone who came closest to guessing the total money we will raise…however I've decided that is a really dumb dumb dumb idea as it kinda takes away from what the appeal is all about and that is to raise money for the bushfire victims through making a donation to the Australian Red Cross and then emailing me the receipt.   Feel free to guess how much we will raise in the comments regardless.

So now onto today's prizes.  The first comes from the lovely Marianne who has a gorgeous little store called Appleseed.  Marianne is actually an Sydney-sider living in London at the moment.  Like Vicki in yesterday's post, she feels helpless being so far away so has donated some crafty goodness as prizes.  It isn't yarn but instead is seriously beautiful vintage paper products.  She is going to give one lucky person a paper pack, wallpaper pack and set of postcards. 



I mentioned in an earlier blogpost that Sunspun was my favourite yarn store in Melbourne.  Well north of the Murray River  they have Morris and Sonswhich people might remember as Tapestry Craft before they changed their name.  It might be the history buff in me but I really like the family feel that the new name brings.  Anyway, Albert has kindly donated a $100 gift voucher to spend at their store in support of the appeal.

 Another personal donation is from Marg at The Knitaholic.  Marg has kindly donated this gorgeous skein of Beaded Artyarn Silk so now there are two skeins of this lovely yarn up for grabs.


The next skein is also from Artyarns but it is their beaded Ensemble yarn which is a gorgeous cashmere/silk blend.  Robynn from Purlescence in the UK has donated three absolutely gorgeous prizes including this skein of Artyarn Beaded Ensemble, one pair of Lantern Moon ebony needles in a silk needle sleeve and one Lantern Moon silk needle case.  All fantastic prizes which three lucky people will get. 


Acc_case_moon_slv  Acc_case_moon_kn_blue

The final prize I will be mentioning for today is from the very famous Yarnissima.  We've all seen her amazing sock patterns mostly using Wollmeise yarn.  Yarnissima has kindly and mostly generously offered to donate a the new up and coming Zur Lederhos' kit.  This kit includes the new Wollmeise Zur Lederhos yarn plus of course the pattern which will be on a laminated card. (no images yet it is still in production).  Long time followers of my blog (which most of you aren't), already know that I am pretty much a fair weather sock knitter…generally I would rather knit lace or a jumper but occasionally I'll jump on the sock knitting bandwagon.  Therefore is there anyone else out there who really wants to knit this sock based on the name alone?

Ok, that's all for today, another update due tomorrow.  BTW – all those bloggers out there who do the blog every day for a month challenge – how the #*&%@ do you do it!  I am what…5 days in and I think I am semi-suicidal.

We’re not victims…we’re survivors…

February 14, 2009



When you grow up in Australia a concept that gets bandied around a lot revolves around "Aussie battlers and that great Australian spirit". My Australian readers will immediately connect to these terms and understand what I mean immediately, but for my international guests basically it goes back to the early settlers when the land and environment were harsh.  It can also be 'citified' as it can refer to people who have never had things handed to them on a plate but instead have to battle to make a success of themselves.  Yesterday I saw an interview on TV with one of the many people who had been affected by the bushfires and he said to the interviewer: "Mate, we're not victims, we're survivors!"  Well in all this adversity, if that doesn't display that true Australian spirit, I don't know what does.

As you can see from the above we are getting closer to the $10,000 target which is absolutely fabulous.  A few administration things, firstly the appeal will stay open until 11.59pm Sunday 1st March, Melbourne time.  After that you can obviously still donate, however I won't be running it via my blog.  I will draw the prizes in the following week and let both the winner and donor know.  The prize will be coming to you directly from the shop or individual who donated it.

Onto today's prizes.

The first is actually just a photo of a prize I mentioned the other day from theknitaholic (Rav link).  She donated a skein of beaded silk Artyarns from her stash. 


The next is not actually a knitting gift but will appeal to all you quilters and crafters out there.  It is a pack of 10 Fat Quarters from a brand new shop called Fat Quarter Fun.  This shop has actually just been started up by a very good friend of mine so I think it is fabulous that she has so generously offered this prize.


As most of you would know if you have glanced down my blog, at this very moment in time I was meant to be in London.   Well when I am in London my favourite local yarn store bar none would have to be Stash Yarnsin Putney.  Today I received a lovely email from Nathalie at Stash Yarns offering a £50 gift voucher to her store.  50 QUID peoples….that is like $1,654 Australian dollars – well maybe not quite but an incredibly generous offer none the less.  I can tell you now when I eventually do get back to London, I will be definitely visiting Stash yarns again.

As I keep mentioning, people's generosity in helping both with the prizes and by donating money has floored me.  One such person is Rena also known as sewwhatsports (rav link).  She has kindly donated a prized skein of Wollmeise colour Terra di Siena (light) from her stash. 


I have no idea why people say Wollmeise is so hard to get hold off.  Let me tell you it is absolutely raining Wollmeise around here.  The next prize comes from the lovely Sarah also known as KnitFicon Ravelry. She has kindly donated a skein of Wollmeise in the Baba Jaga colourway from her stash.


Next up we have a lovely skein of the Wollmeise colour 'SOS' (how fitting), donated by Vicki aka handmadem (rav link).  Vicki is an Australian ex-pat living in Canada and felt quite helpless when she heard the news…so she wanted to do whatever she could to help.  I could completely relate to what she was saying because as you all know I was meant to be in London at this very moment and over the last few days I have often thought I would have hated to be over there whilst all this was happening to my friends and also to my city and state.  In some ways I am glad that I could be here to help.


Finally to round off today's Wollmeise extravaganza we have two skeins of Wollmeise Amazonas up for grabs.  This lovely yarn was kindly donated by Sheri at The Loopy Ewe.  (Again this is one of those websites that I am sure you already have in your memory banks and I needn't have included the link). If you've been living under a rock and have never been exposed to the sock knitting phenomenon and have no idea what to do…Sheri is also including a sock pattern with each skein of yarn. 


Please note that the above photo is copyright The Loopy Ewe and I have Sheri's express permission to post it here on my blog.

Ok…well that is it for the prizes for today.  I still have a few more to include tomorrow and I am waiting for pics to come through of some others…however I think we are getting close to wrapping up all the potential goodies.  I've already listed over 50 individual prizes not counting the ones that will come in the next couple of days.  So many yarn shops and individuals have been amazingly generous and supportive even though for most of them Australia is a long long way away.

But now we come to the real work.  As you can see from the above total we have done exceptionally well in raising so much money in such a short time.  I honestly think we will easily reach and hopefully break the $10,000 target maybe even by the end of the weekend. (You do realise I am only going to raise the bar higher after that). I also think we will achieve even greater things if you guys help me.  If you are bloggers, you talk on forums, yahoo groups, at local knitting gatherings etc etc make people aware that they can help and direct them to the Australian Red Cross website and my blog.   Even the smallest of donation can help. 

You guys rock…

February 12, 2009



You guys seriously rock big time!  To have raised that much money since yesterday is absolutely phenomenal.

I am raising the bar…the next target is a whopping $10,000!!  Let's show them what we crafters can achieve when we work together.

In the last 3 days I have had approximately 1,600 visitors to my blog.  If every single one of you donated just $10 to the Australian Red Cross and sent your receipt to me at this address….then together we would have raised $16,000.  So don't ever think that any donation is too small to make a difference. 

Ok..onto today's prizes and we have some beauties.

First up the very talented Justine of JustJussi fame has donated two full sets of her downloadable patterns which you can view here.  (Not the free ones…because obviously you can already go and get them yourselves).


One of my favourite Etsy sellers is the lovely Cathy of Schrodinger fame.  She has kindly donated one of her gorgeous little cubes.


Personally I am expecting to be left with this cube at the end of the appeal, because for the life of me I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't already own a Schrodinger cube.  I have two of them and they are just perfect for sock knitting.  I've also given them as gifts with much appreciation from the recipient.

You know I think this whole appeal is going to cost me a fortune in the long run because I keep discovering fantastic yarn stores.  Dublin Bay Knitting is one such store and they have donated two skeins of yarn.  From left to right – one skein of Handmaiden Seasilk in the colour Wildflowers and one skein of Handmaiden Lady Godiva in the colour Dandelion. Gorgeousness!


Dublinbayseasilk Dublinbaygrande

I am sure you have all heard of the wonderfully talented Emily Johnson and her Family Truck Project.  Personally everytime she posts a new pattern I just drool.  She has kindly donated a set of TWO Family Truck Project patterns to one lucky winner.  I've included pictures of the Warren Johnson jacket and the Betty Jean McNeil Cardigan so you can get a taste of the beautiful work Emily does.



The lovely Vivian at Ecoyarns not only cares about our earth and the yarns she promotes, but is also prepared to put her money where her mouth is by donating a $100 gift voucher to some lucky person.

Personal donations of this magnitude always amaze me.  The lovely stormyautumn(rav link), as well as being exceptionally talented at making Pysanky(you can look that up for yourselves), is exceptionally generous and has donated FOUR skeins of yarn from her stash.  Two Wollmeise 100% merino sock in Rhabarber dark intensity and Saami, one skein of Sundara Sock yarn in Electric Green, and one skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in mediumweight Rare Gems  which is their name for 'one of a kind' skeins of yarn.


Marleen from Dutch Knitting Design has also outdone herself by support this fundraiser with a choice  of FIVE patterns from her website.  She already has a great selection of designs including the Exception pattern which is picture below…but apparently there are even more to come.


My final prize for today comes from the wonderful Kate from Yay! for Yarnwhich is a great Australian internet store.  She has kindly contributed a Flat Foot of the winners choice, sock pattern and some Clover Bamboo needles all from her website.

Flat-Feet026 Clover-Double-Points-3 

Well that is all from me today!  There will be more prizes tomorrow but most importantly thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far and please keep those donations coming.  I just know that together we will be able to crack the $10,000 goal.

More prizes…please donate…

February 11, 2009

But before we get onto that I have a good news story to come out of the bushfires.



The first goal in my mind was always to pass the $1,000 mark.  Well we have achieved that which is fabulous…so let's aim for $2,500 now!  Since most of you people are awake whilst I am in la-la land…wouldn't it be fantastic if this all happened whilst I was sleeping.

Ok, onto today prizes. Once again to win any of the following wonderful prizes or the ones posted yesterday, send you donation to the Australian Red Cross and send me an email here.

Sundara Murphy is not only a great dyer but also as we would say in Australia "a top flight chick". Sundara Yarns have generously donated 3 skeins of Fingering Silky Merino in each of the Flowers from my Mother's Garden colours for this year; marigold, poppy and tulip.  (BTW – I have no idea why I included the link to her website…since I imagine y'all know exactly where to find her!)


At this point I will mention that I have been given express permission by Sundara to use the above image.  I know there has been some discussion about this on Ravelry.

If you are a knitter living in Australia you would probably have heard of Kaalund Yarnsfrom Queensland. I'm personally a big fan of theirs and even more so after receiving this donation in my inbox.  They are donating a ClassicTwo quick shawl pattern and TEN balls of Kaalund Yarns ClassicTwo in the following colours; Rainforest, Camphor Laurel, Meadow, Glasshouse, Taipan, Forest Floor, Lavender, Tropical Berries and two balls of Black.  The shawl pattern and three of the colours donated including Meadow, Tropical Berries and Black are brand new as part of their 2009 range…and aren't they just beautiful.  The whole set is worth $135!



Yesterday I also promised you a photo of the Cadenza yarn – Monet shade kindly donated by Sarah Durrant.  Well here it is in all its beauty. 


The basket isn't part of the prize pack but what is included is a copy of the Cadenza pattern book which you can find on her website here

The next donation is from an individual who wishes to remain anonymous.  She has kindly raided her personal yarn stores and is donating THREE skeins of Sundara yarn.  One skein of Fingering Silky Merino in the colour Life Aquatic and two skeins of Sundara sock yarn in Pale Sky over Sugared Almond.  I'm yet to decide whether these three skeins will be sent to one person or there will be three lucky recipients.


You know I have been absolutely blown away by the generosity of yarn shops both near and far and now from darkest deepest Wales the talented Eirwen who is the dyer behind Knitwitches Yarns has donated two skeins of her handdyed Swiss Baby Camel and Silk.  And guess what? You get to pick what colour you would like her to dye it in..how great is that!  Here is the description she sent me.

Retail price £16.00 per 100gm skein    
35% Baby Camel/65%Silk. A beautiful silky soft yarn, just above a 4 ply in weight 400m per 100gms. This is available in the most gorgeous warm natural soft camel, or hand dyed in beautiful jewelled colourways.

Eirwen provided a picture of some Knitwitches skeins both dyed and undyed…aren't they stunning!


The lovely Kate who owns the One Fat Slug and Two Little Banshees Etsy stores has donated a gorgeous bag and a skein of handdyed sock yarn for one lucky person.


Living in Melbourne we aren't blessed with a plethora of good yarn stores on every corner.  But one of the best and my personal favourite would have to be Sunspun.  Quite apart from the fact that they sell, Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Colinette and Jo Sharp yarns, Sue the owner is absolutely gorgeous and all the ladies are so pleasant and nice.  The shop is in the beautiful leafy suburb of Canterbury, nestled amongst some gorgeous shops.  If you ever are in Melbourne you must go and visit Sue and the girls but in the meantime one lucky person will be fortunate enough to have a $100 gift voucher to spend either online or in person.

I appreciate every single donation but when you get a skein of Wollmeise from someone's personal stash you have to be impressed.  RiotousAssembly from Ravelry has donated a skein of Wollmeise Lace yarn “Poison #5” (medium intensity: 300g 1590m, 100% Super wash Merino).


So far most of the prizes have been specifically for knitters.  However there is no reason that spinners cannot start donating now as well since Lorraine Smith, the wonderful editor of Spinners' Quarterly has donated a year's subscription to the magazine.   

The final donation for today comes all the way from Florida.  Joan from The Local Needlewas one of the first people to write to me when I posted on Ravelry asking for donations and help.  She has kindly pledged two skeins of gorgeously soft Alpaca with a Twist Socrates sock yarn.



Well that is all for today but there will be more prizes listed in the next couple of days if not tomorrow.

My house is located not too far from Essendon Airport and as I sit here and type this blog post, I have seen a couple of fire fighting helicopters coming into land and refuel, before taking off to go and fight the fires again.  The fires are still burning strongly and although the weather is thankfully much cooler at the moment they have told us that there is no chance that the fires will be out before the next bout of hot weather this weekend.  Many homes and families are still in danger so please donate and donate generously.

Bushfire Appeal…

February 10, 2009

By now most of you would have heard of the devastating bushfires that have ripped through my state of Victoria.

To date 173 people have lost their lives and we have just been informed that the death toll could top 300 people.  750 homes have been lost and thousands of people have escaped with nothing but the clothes on their backs.  The Victorian hospitals are also stretched through having to treat burns victims.

Animal rescue shelters have been rescuing and treating pets and wildlife which have also been caught in the flames.

The area of devastation surrounds Melbourne and it has been likened to "Hell on Earth".  You only have to google Victorian bushfires to be confronted with the terrifying images.

In order to put the strength of these bushfires into context I will quote something that appeared in one of our daily newspapers today.  "Bushfire heat is measured in energy – the number of kilowatts per metre of firefront.  Country Fire Authority crews won't send anyone to fight a fire over 4,000 kilowatts per meter.  The Kinglake fire was 20,000 kilowatts per meter.  This is the equivalent to 10,000 electric radiators.  DSE spokesman said sending firefighters to a blaze this hot would be 'suicide'."

I am one of the fortunate ones as I am nowhere near the fires and all my loved ones are safe.  However I have friends who were surrounded by fires before managing to somehow keep them away from their homes and another friend has lost a young niece and nephew who died trying to escape.

In times like this we often ask what we can do?  Well the knitting community is known for its generosity so I decided that there must be a way I could help coordinate efforts.  I have been in contact with a number of yarn stores and designers who have all contributed something towards a raffle. 

Basically how it works is you need to go to the Australian Red Cross Website and make a donation of AUD$10 or above to the Victorian bushfire appeal.   For every $10 you donate you will go into the draw for a knitting/fibre related prize.  Now the Australian dollar is so pathetic at the moment that for some of you $10 will hardly be felt at all! 😉

Email me a copy of your receipt to this email address or knittershelpingvictorians at gmail dot com 

I am still compiling and receiving lists of prizes so I will update this list as I get additional emails, however at the moment the following stores and people have donated products.

Colourmart  – A wonderful 1kg cone of Cashmere yarn or something of the winners choice to the equivalent value.  (However how can you go past Cashmere)

Jannette's Rare Yarns–  10 balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in a never released shade called Daffodil


Sarah Durrant– has kindly donated 14 skeins of Colinette Cadenza yarn and the matching pattern book.  The image is on its way from Sarah and I will post it as soon as it arrives.

Talented designer and author Lisa Shobhana Mason has donated a full set of all the patterns currently being sold on her blog.  This includes the very popular Bibi, Marlow and Lisette patterns.


Sue from Kangaroo has kindly donated a £25.00 gift voucher to spend at her online shop.

The lovely Katie from the newly re-branded Wired For Fibre has pledged a $25 gift voucher from her shop.

The wonderful people at Prestige Yarns have promised FOUR packets of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino for 4 lucky winners who will be able to choose the shade colour and a matching Baby Cashmerino pattern book.

Daphne at The Knittery has committed to sending another winner two skeins of her lovely Silk Merino 8ply (DK) in the colour Barley Grass.


Kim from Knitting Matters has donated one lucky recipient a choice of 3 downloadable patterns from her online website. 

Cheryl from Nestucca Bay Yarns has also been incredibly generous as one lucky person will have the opportunity to spend $50 at her online shop with a gift voucher and she has also donated free shipping on top of this!

I've been emailed about a couple of personal donations.  I am expecting a photo of this shortly, but in the meantime theknitaholic(rav link) has donated a skein of beaded silk Artyarns from her stash.  In making this donation she wanted to thank the hard work of the Country Fire Authority.  If it wasn't for them and the fact that the wind changed late on Saturday night she might have lost her house as the fires were only 7klms away.

My final donation today is from the very generous Ellen of Pocketmeadow Farm who has pledged a sock kit which includes yarn, needles and a pattern.


I will be adding additional prizes as more donations come in but thank you to everyone who has donated so far.  If anyone else would like to help out with a prize please don't hesitate to contact me.

To all you others who can't help with products or patterns…you can help in two other ways.  Firstly get your butt over to the Australian Red Cross website and make a donation.  (Don't forget to email me your receipt).  Secondly help by telling as many people as you can about this drive. Whether they are knitters or not…use emails, forums and blogs to just spread the word.