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Warm Hats, Not Hot Heads Phase I

Please note - Phase I guidelines are no longer being used.  Please see Phase II guidelines.   thanks!

Edited on January 31st with the final details freshly hammered out by Alison and Ellen.

February 23rd edit:  Please note, while Feb 28 is our first big mail out date, I will continue tracking and reporting on our efforts as long as anyone wants to join in.  

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I hope many other knitters will join in on our effort to introduce a bit more kindness into the political sphere with the delivery of handknits to our Congresspeople.Here is what you need to know.

  1. Pick a Congressperson for whom you’d like to knit a hat.  You don’t have to agree with their politics, in fact it may be a more enriching experience for you if they don’t.   If you want to be sure you are picking someone who has yet to have a hat committed for them, check the tracker document by clicking HERE.
  2. Send me an email (e DOT silva AT comcast DOT net) telling me who you are knitting for.
  3. Knit a hat, a nice hat, out of materials you would be happy to wear.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  It can be any color and any pattern.  If you would, please send me a photo of it so I can create a gallery of hats for us all to celebrate.
  4. Write an accompanying note to express why you knit the hat.  You are welcome to adapt my note (see below) to your use, or check Alison’s blog for her sample note. Please keep your note positive and short for maximum impact.
  5. Mail your hat to the congressperson of your choice on or about February 28.  To maximize the odds that your hat actually makes it into the hands of your Representative or Senator, mail the hat to your recipient’s district office, not to Washington, D.C.  If you are concerned that your hat will not make it to it’s intended receiver, feel free to send a photo of your hat and tell the hat honoree that it was knit for them and donated to charity.  I believe that real wooly hats will have the best chance of making an impact, but I don’t want anyone stressing over the outcome.  And while we believe that by mailing all of the hats together at the end of the month, we’ll make a bigger splash, if you are the type that needs to get things done, by all means, mail early!
  6.  Alison and I will try to do some publicity to make sure the hats make it to the people for whom they are intended.   Right now you can find news about the campaign on Ravelry in the Warm Hats Not Hot Heads group, and soon we will have a Facebook presence!
  7. To find your own House representative, check this website - https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml and to find your Senator, the website at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm  will do the trick.
  8. As mentioned, mail by February 28.  If the houses of Congress were located in Minnesota, we could continue till sometime in June, but I hear spring comes earlier in D.C. If you want to keep knitting and sending hats after that date, that is cool, too.  I’ll keep tracking them as long as you keep knitting them!
  9. If you have the opportunity to hand deliver your hat, please do so!  Tell your recipient about the dozens of knitters working on hats to send this peaceful message.  And please let us (Alison or myself) know that you’ve done that.

That’s it, really.  I will track the congresspeople for whom hats have been committed (click HERE to see the list of all congresspeople and who is knitting for them), so you might check to see if your reps have already been covered.  If you’d like to send your hat directly to me and not even worry about writing a note, I’ll handle sending it to a congressperson who has yet to chosen.  If you have any trouble at all, please email me (e DOT silva AT comcast DOT net, PM me on Ravelry where I am twinsetellen, or comment here on the blog and I’ll help out.

Thanks to all for their interest.  Now let’s go make the world a warmer place!

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Dear Congressperson,

This hat was hand knit with care for you.  Many of your colleagues will also be receiving hats from knitters of all political stripes and from all around the nation.

Why a hat?  Knit hats meet a simple need for warmth.  They are an every day comfort.  Everyone can use a good hat.

Civil political discourse also meets a simple need - the need for our government to have the best information and insights from many viewpoints.  It would be an every day comfort to me and many other Americans if the airwaves were free of hate-filled rhetoric, and it would lead to good government.   As I’m sure you agree, everyone can use good government.

Thank you for your service, and best regards,

Ellen

P.S.  More information about this effort, Warm Hats, Not Hot Heads can be found at http://twinset.us/?p=3732 or http://spindyeknit.com/2011/01/lets-change-the-world/.  If you can not personally use this hat, please donate it to a worthy charity.

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That’s the letter I’m sending along with the hats I knit for my Senators and Congressman.