Started in 1991 in a small Wisconsin town, Warm Up America! is a charity in the United States that accepts 7″ x 9″ knitted and crocheted sections. Volunteers sew them into blankets for people in need. Late last year WUA! started a chapter in Canada called Warm Up Canada! through the Michaels craft store chain.
Michaels has always accepted squares – I’ve donated some of my extra Knit-a-square pieces – but joining WUC! has kicked it up a notch. They held a blanket joining event a couple of weeks ago and I was really excited to volunteer. I showed up at the “event” only to find that nothing was set up because, as the store manager told me, “We didn’t think anyone was going to come.” They set up a table for me in the yarn section, wheeled over the box of donated squares and put me to work. Unfortunately, nothing had been sorted. Five or six different sizes of squares were in the bin so I spent my time sorting and compiling blanket packs, directing customers to different areas of the store, telling people where the washroom was and helping customers choose a yarn for their project. You would think I worked there!
At the end of the afternoon (four hours later), I had ten packs ready to go and offered to take them home to sew them into blankets. “You would do that?” was the manager’s reaction. I guess they don’t get a lot of people volunteering their time. I brought the ten bags home and started sewing right away.
I definitely have a new appreciation for Knit-a-square volunteers! Organizing the squares into blankets was fun but challenging. I’ve since reorganized the squares within each blanket to better spread out the colour. There are multiple variations of an 8″ square. They stretch to fit but most people don’t sew in their ends. It takes me two to three days to sew one blanket and I’ve got quite the system going. It feels surreal to be sewing the squares I donated in a blanket. It’s given me something to do (even though I didn’t have a shortage of projects) and I get to help the people in my community.
I have three blankets finished. Here is the first one:
And blanket number two:
David’s back is doing much, much better! He’s off the painkillers for the most part and is moving around the house without his cane, although I hassle him all the time to keep it close. I haven’t heard anything about a job but we’re okay with how things are.
Mason is auditioning for the school’s talent show next week. Evan is having fun dressing up as a S.W.A.T. guy and protecting SWAT Momma and SWAT Daddy. He takes things very seriously.
We’re all getting very sick of frigid temperatures and mountainous snowbanks. Hopefully the groundhogs will tell us on Sunday that spring is around the corner!