Friday, 9 December 2011

Sharing across the miles

A quick news update. some of our blankets and toys along with items made by the ladies of Yarn Alive from Shichigahama were distributed to residents who have suffered either from the trauma of the tsuanami or domestic violence which, post the earthquake, seems to be on the increase in Japan.

For the full story Just look here.

Marta's cute amigurumi  elephant, posted about here seems to have found a friend!

Nice one ladies, it's good to see something we can easily do in some small way helps with the lives of these women

Naoko Utsumi, founder of the Mother's home in Kesennuma, Japan.

 T*H*A*N*K  Y*O*U

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Firstly an email from Christina (Japan Alive)

Wanted to inform you that we received the toys and blankets (3 packages).
Thanks so much! Once again the toys bring many smiles!! Look forward to distributing them!
All the best

then an update of blankets coming in - 

Esther - Happy in Red

Esther - Happy in Red

Lovely Lady - Threads through my life

Lovely Lady - Threads through my life - this one is still in progress.

I have toys waiting to go with these blankets, I've just looked outside the window and it is snowing - what better reminder than that to think about needing to be warm x

Thank you ladies xxx

Friday, 4 November 2011


Bye bye - travel well - enjoy your new homes   (loving the seal's nose just peeping out)

Thank you Amy for responding - I have sent details.
Happy in red - ooh wonderful news about the blankets - looking forward to seeing it - thank you so much!
I love the autumnal colours - beautiful xx

Sorry such a brief posting, will catch up and give more updates soon but work sadly calls!

have a lovely weekend xx

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

❤❤ Latest to go and a request❤❤

Remember I mentioned in the last post that I'd received some lovely squares from Aileen? 

 I never managed to take photos of her yummy squares before they were whisked away by Marta to turn into a blanket.  After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing and discussing how best to use Aileen's squares - just look what gorgeousnous Marta has created from the original squares.................


Another scrummily warm blanket was created by Angela's squares and the dedicated piecing out and sewing by Gillian - the autumnal colours are brilliant - unfortunately the only picture I have does it no favours but trust me it looks wonderful :)

A few more cuddly toys are off too -

The lion is such a cute pudding of a toy he was nearly adopted by my boys, the other two are so tactile and fit nicely in little hands - I am sure they will be loved by who ever adopts them :)

These two characters have already gone, again they nearly missed being posted as my Youngest really fancied them - but bless him, he said that although he loved them he knew they were meant for other children who would need them much more. 

Now a request - we have run low of squares and although we as a group are still making squares and blankets we would love  love  love  to have some more - the weather is definitely cooling down and a lot of families are still living in temporary housing and sadly some are still in makeshift shelters - can you imagine living like that and not being able to sleep warmly at night?

Even if you only have a few scraps of yarn left over from your last wip - please think of us and make a square or two!! 

Thank you!!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Off to the post office tomorrow!

Tomorrow, I am off to the post office with this little lot ....................

They are so soft and warm and a combination of Angela's square making and the dedicated sewing of Gillian, Carol , Marta and Ann  - thank you ladies your work will soon be off to their new homes :)

I have also just received some very pretty squares from - Aileen - thank you!! photos to follow soon :)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Back in business - ❤

Well, it has been a bit quiet on the blanket front, a combination of funding (or rather the lack of it for posting), other projects, life, children, work etc etc all seem to have contributed. But with some wonderful support from the ladies in our knit and natter group - we are 'back in business'

Last Thursday Angela  arrived bearing a box of squares and while I got all excited  she was quite nonchalant as to how many she had made - so that night at knit and natter we spread them out, in their colours and patterns and with much usage of fingers and pen and paper (then confirmed by calculator) Angela had made over 340 squares!

Already made blankets are returning to me - and more squares whisked away 

Chocolate and lime and ice-blues and dark - gorgeous!
Don't they look wonderful - Thank you Carol and Margaret for sewing together
and thank you again Angela for not only making the squares but painstakingly weaving in the ends too
Have yourselves a lovely sunny Wednesday!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Our goodies have arrived! **Now with added pictures!!**

Kesennuma Heroes  (Please follow link)

Beautiful photos and touching post - our goodies have arrived - please pop over and have a read - see if you recognise any of your crafting :)

There is a wonderful slide show at the end of the posting, scroll down and have a read. My contact over in Japan - Christina also sent me this wonderful letter - 

I just got back from up north in Kesenuma where we were able to hand out blankets that the ladies here in Shichigahama made (the same ladies that received your blankets months ago and were inspired to create and help others also affected by the tsunami), and the teddy bears that you sent us!

We visited a "mothers house" which is basically a place for young children with autism to come along with their mothers and be taken care of by volunteers.  The story of these volunteer ladies is extraordinary. I will have the whole story written up on the Japan Alive blog later tonight so check it out there.  For today, we gave them the blankets and teddy bears to distribute fairly amongst the young children and mothers. However these same volunteers also lost everything and have their own children that they take care of so we encouraged them to also choose a blanket and teddy bear to take home.

I wanted to send you some pictures. It's really a series of pictures of just one particular girl who caught my eye! When the teddy bears came out she really looked at them all and chose carefully. You will see this in the first few pictures.  She was very quiet and reserved in comparison to the other ladies. She really took this teddy bear picking very seriously.  But take a look at the last couple of pictures . After about 30 mins we finally got to see her smile! And I just love that all the ladies in the last picture are pointing and smiling at the blankets but she is just happy about the teddy bear that she has chosen.  You could really see how much it impacted her

So please encourage your amazing group that they really are making a difference in all generations! 
We will be passing out your blankets and other toys in another area so will forward on those pictures when they come through.

Many thanks again!

Isn't that wonderful!!!


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

It's been a while!

It really has, a combination of school holidays, work, life, kids and injuring my leg all conspired to prevent me getting any blankie blogging going!
Any way, firstly a big thank you 

to Heather C, 

who YET again and sent some lovely squares, this time all blues and blacks and each one an individual pattern - silly me - I forgot to photo them before they were whisked off to be sewn to a blankie,  :)

A quick update - A visit to the post office later this morning will be ensure that this happy group go off today

There are some real characters in there - 

Aren't they cute?
Just in this little gang there are 11 teddies/dollies, 2 mice, 
2 owls, 2 flop eared rabbits and... 
one pig, my boys rather fancied him :)
 thank you
Marta and Carol

Also off today, are this little lot.....

Four delish blankies - thank you 
Marta and Jennifer

I would like to thank all you ladies who have contributed over the months - we have sent a lot of goodies and we are not alone to respond to the need of the victims of the Japanese tsunami. 

My life at the moment is rather full and I am struggling to keep up with all your work, so I would like to say thank you for so much of your time, your wool hunting, your creating and making and for your dedication. Sadly I think I will have to call a halt to our fun but am satisfied that we have made some one smile when they had lost everything.
And in case you had forgotten about those smiles follow this link and here and here

So, all that remains is to say, if you have made already squares and toys, let me have them, I will still send but please send your scarves to Kenta through scarves4japan and not me,
but for now.............

and for now 


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Heartening news and a basket load of cuddles

Firstly, a snippet of an email from Christina (Japan Alive)  with a little guy called Shunsuke ..................  

Here's a pic of me with Shunsuke in his family's temporary housing and one of the teddy bears you ladies sent over.  He was born 2 weeks after the tsunami.  His name means "he will be a great help to many people".  His family's home was directly opposite the beach and so they lost absolutely everything.

We are hoping to visit an autistic children's home up north next week. Some incredible stories of survival. Will be handing out more teddy bears and blankets there!

How good is that?!

Now for news a bit closer to home........

A basket load of toys, just waiting to go off to Japan, 
rolls of scarves and woolly hats and a blanket

Just look at this assorted basket of fun!

Teddies, elephants, seals, a monkey, 
an orangutan,seals, lions, 
octopi (plural?), owls, 
a cute little girl, 
a teeny tiny turtle, 
a baby, zebra 
and the cutest Siamese cat 
you have EVER seen!!

Thank you SO MUCH 

Gillian, Marta and Carol

Thanks to Heather C for all the crochet grannies to which I added a rather large anomaly I made a while ago and was flummoxed as to what to do with it! 
Heather's colours just worked beautifully 
with that over ambitious square.

Here are a few more 'mug-shots' of these little wonderful characters
I am sure they will make a little person smile :)

Close up.

If you do make scarves and hats,
please do not 
send them to me 
but post them directly to Kenta  at scarves4japan :

Kenta Shimohira
39-3, Nishikamaike, Ogawa, 
Higashiura-cho, Chita-gun,
Aichi, 470-2102

I do have other lovely news from Christina - another snippet from a different email - 

.........Also, Teddy wanted me to share with you that her group of women (Yarn Alive) that meet at the community hall in the temporary housing (refugee women) have been inspired by you ladies and are starting to knit blankets in a similar manner.  They have received, and now they want to also give to those in other hard hit areas! So please thank your group that not only have they given physically but also inspired and helped emotionally to these particular women who are now finding purpose once again.

Doesn't it make you smile? :)

All for now, will keep you posted, and remember please make scarves and hats and send them directly to Kenta, he asks if you do, to include a brief written note from yourself.

Monday, 1 August 2011


I have been given details for this website via Japan Alive - please have a read -

Their aim is to collect handmade scarves from all over the world and distribute them. 

scarves4japan say... monetary donations are a good thing but sometimes you do not really know what your money is used for.....

Just after the earthquake and tsumani it snowed and many people were unable to find shelter and froze to death. scarves4japan want to make sure this does not happen again!

Please DO NOT post them to me but send them directly to Kenta - even if you only post one - just think what a difference you make to that one person? Just imagine being cold and living in temporary housing which ranges from being under a tarpaulin to a quickly thrown up prefab building with none of your possessions or warm clothing......


All they ask that you write a little note and attach it to your scarf and post to:

Kenta Shimohira
39-3, Nishikamaike, Ogawa, 
Higashiura-cho, Chita-gun,
Aichi, 470-2102

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

We've been busy... look -

We might have seemed quiet 
but no! - quite the opposite! 

A special thank you 

to Heather C, who sent a wonderful parcel of squares (top right)

Marta, Carol, Jennifer, Lynnette, Margaret and Gillian
 for the cuddly toys,

 Lynn, Lynnette, Carol, Angela,
Ann, Marta, Harriet and 
not forgetting Claire 
for contributing to, 
sewing together and making blankets!

**All the items in the top montage have already arrived in Japan, I've just been so busy recently this is the first chance I've had to up load the photos!

Also, I've been in email contact with Christina in Japan 
and she has requested scarves and soft toys
So if you fancy joining in - 
please do!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Weekend events


This weekend is our village garden festival and as part of the event, the Church invite flower displays from local groups. We decided that our knit and (k)natter group would put up a display of our crafting along with our most recent contributions of teddies and blankets explaining why we are making them and inviting any one interested to join in.

So, if you are visiting via our leaflets -

Welcome! It is lovely to see you here :)

This little lot will be off to the post office on Monday, but before they go, they are doing their bit in raising awareness - let's hope they drum up lots and lots of support from all the visitors to the garden festival xx

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Lovely email, lovely squares and lovely blankies!

Just a quick update to share with you firstly a lovely email from Christina, whom I originally made contact with when I was trying to find an address to send our blankets to. She very kindly lets me know when the blankets have arrived. I thought I would share with you her latest email -


Just letting you know that we received more of your blankets and kids toys! Thank you so much. At the moment, the weather is getting really warm and humid so we'll just hold onto the blankets for now and then hand them out in a few months when the weather cools down again. The toys on the other hand are darling and we are looking forward to handing those out. Will try and get some photos and send them to you.

Thanks for all your support and kind generosity.

How wonderfully typical of children - blankets are not high on their list of priorities! So for a while, we will be sending knitted and crocheted toys. My boys still love and need cuddly toys so can you imagine what it must be like for kids who have lost everything to be given something that belongs to 'them' . 

So, if you are inspired to join in, please please do and send some love in the form of knitted and cuddly toys!! Thank you xx

Now, my demon-hooking-friend - Angela, with the longest suffering anti-crochet husband on the planet has done it again........ 60 squares!

They are now all blankets and I shall be collecting them on Tuesday to post off - I will take photos before I send to show you just how good they looked :)

I have another demon-hooking friend who makes the snuggliest ripple blankets in jewel brights and zippy colours 

I took these photos inside on a rainy day so I am sorry to say that my pictures do not do these lovely blankies justice - but believe me they are gorgeous.

All for now, I will keep you up to date of any news, please think about knitting or crocheting toys and then reach for some stash and a hook or some needles and then before you know it you will be busy crafting a little love for a child who has lost every thing xxxxxx

Friday, 17 June 2011

Update and THANK YOUs

I have some lovely photos to share and some more glorious squares have arrived courtesy of Harriet from Catapilladesigns , she has a lovely blog with lots of inspirational photos. She posted about her squares here, please pop over and have a read and say hi.

Thank you Harriet :)

Last night these squares were stitched lovingly together and now just wait for 'their' teddy and the next posting 
More blankies arrived at last nights knit and natter

A lovely warm ripple stitch

Warm and snuggly knitted blankie where the squares were knitted diagonally!

Another cheery granny square blankie

A super soft knitted blankie with a crochet trim

Thank you knit and natter ladies :)

There are more waiting to photo-ed but I am having to rush off to work. 
Will update you as soon as I can x