Last night my buddy Lisa and I slept out in a tent to raise awareness about homeless issues. We did this as part of the annual sleep out for the homeless events that are organized by Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners, a non-profit non-denominational faith based group that provides food, shelter, transportation and other basic needs to people in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. They also happen to be the group that organizes the after school tutoring program with which Wilson and I volunteer.
We had so much fun. It wasn’t really a “homeless” experience for us – Lisa and I went dog sledding together in the Boundary Waters for 4 days and 3 nights a few winters ago, and we came to this event with all the gear and tricks to stay completely comfortable (2 Nalgene bottles full of boiling water tossed in each sleeping bag to warm things up, for example). My liberal guilt over this encouraged me to donate generously. Should you be so inclined, you can donate here , but I really suggest you donate to homeless programs in your own community.
We spent part of the evening knitting hats for donation. I got mine done in the evening by virtue of using mega-chunky yarn and Lisa got hers done by virtue of her lightning fast knitting. We discovered that knitting in liner gloves is possible and didn’t even slow us down that much. Our fingers did eventually get cold, so we retired to the warming house and ripped through the rest of the hats and modeled the finished product.
A bit more detail on my hat – 50 stitch cast on in Pampas Mega-Chunky on 16″ US size 11 circs. I used the very stretchy and decorative cast on that is on our video tutorial page. I used a 1×1 rib pattern, breaking it up into bands by skipping it over one stitch about every 4 rows. I threw in a contrasting color for interest, but I think the pattern would be pretty nice without it. Once I got 5 bands done for about 5.5″ of crown, I started decreasing at 5 equally spaced points, decreasing every row until I got to 5 stitches. Cinch them up, weave ends in, done! I’ll write up a proper pattern, but I have a couple of improvements I want to make.
Wow, I am a bit delirious to finish a project in two evenings (I cast on the night before, just to make things simpler at the sleepout). Kind of a nice break from DITF.
The rest of the weekend will be spent getting the house ready for Thanksgiving. While it will be an effort to clean things up in time to have Becky, Mike, Claire, and Caitlin over, it is a good thing. I’m afraid we don’t work well for our own benefit – it takes guests to move us along.
I hope you have a great weekend.