Friday, April 20, 2007

Project Hokie Hope

*** Updated 4-26-07

As many of you have pointed out, there are several Hokie knitting projects including Project Hokie Hope (PHH) that have popped up since last week. I'm a firm believer in NOT diffusing charitable efforts (Non-profit system and community building are a huge part of my day job). My goal with PHH was to get knitters and other fiber friends from around the world to help the families heal. However, I prefaced my efforts by stating that I don't have a huge blog following and wasn't convinced that I'd have the numbers to pull off such a large undertaking. Considering the widespread support and following that Mosaic Yarn Shop has both industry wide and through its customer base (and the fact that they're actually located IN Blacksburg), I believe that our efforts should be channelled into the Hokie Healing project that was launched over the weekend. Visit the Mosaic blog post for more details as they are different than the ones originally set out for PHH. I've already begun knitting several squares for the project and based on the outpouring of support, am sure that it will achieve its goal of providing blankets for each of the victim's families.

Project Hokie Hope will continue with a different and less ambitious goal. Yes, you are welcome to still send in donations and thank you for your support. The requirements for submission, etc. will remain the same but now my thought is that a fiber art piece could be made and then raffled or auctioned off with all of the proceeds going to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund in lieu of knitting for the families. However, I'll consult with those of you make donations before a final decision is made. I'll keep you - the blog reader - posted about its progress periodically.

Many thanks to everyone who wants to help with the healing process. It is so wonderful to know that people from around the world are wrapping their arms around one little town in Virginia.

Original Post

I'm always comforted and impressed by the support of my fiber friends. You've been so kind to extend an offer to knit for the victims families. I was afraid to take on such a project because I don't have a huge blog following and worried that only a few people would want to help out. What I've learned through your words of wisdom is that no matter how big or small this project is, it will still promote peace and love in the world. And that my friends is what I'm all about.

So on this day of worldwide Hokie Hope (thanks to everyone who's wearing orange and maroon today. It's a lovely site to behold.), I'm launching Project Hokie Hope.

Why are you doing this IM? To show the 32 families who lost loved ones on April 16th that the fiber arts community not only grieves with them but believes in the hope of tomorrow.

What can I send? You can help by sending your expression of hope in the form of something fiber related. Crochet a square. Knit a panel. Weave a triangle. Embroider a rectangle. Tat a circle. Cross stitch a sentiment. Quilt your favorite design. Use your creativity and feel free to express yourself however you are so moved. I'm not putting restrictions on shape, size or fiber art because I personally think it will be very cool to show the diversity of the fiber art community through these memorials. So there is no contribution too large or too small. If you're not the creative type, knit a log cabin square or one of my Trinity log cabin triangles. I'll be sure to post additional ideas as they come in. FYI - Hokie colors are burnt orange and maroon (and sometimes white) but you are not required to use them in your piece. Don't want to make something? Send yarn and I'll pass it on to someone who will make something for the project with it.

I will receive your finished piece(s) and depending on how many are sent in, we may be able to make wraps or blankets for each family. However, I'm prepared to make small memorial gifts with fewer submissions such as pillows or wall hangings. *** Just wanted to clarify that the pieces (unless they are themselves a complete piece such as a shawl) will be joined together to create fiber gifts for each family. So each gift has the potential to be a very lovely work of mixed media art.

When you've finished your contribution(s), please be sure to securely package them and include the following on an index card (your information will not be shared with the families or anyone else unless you specify that you would like for me to include it) :

Your name
Mailing address (if international, include the country information)
Email address
(optional) personal note

How long will you accept submissions: April 20th to June 25th *** Just wanted to clarify that the goal is to send these gifts to the families of victims during the summer. From what I've been told by several university staff, students and friends, the outreach on campus right now while greatly appreciated, is very overwhelming. The staff are focusing on the students, graduation and the getting through the next couple of weeks. I figured that waiting until later in the summer, it would give everyone plenty of time.

I'm aware that there are so very many worthwhile Hokie knitting projects that have begun in the last week and its not my intention to duplicate efforts. Where possible, I've already inquired about how I can work with other projects so that the knitting community isn't overwhelmed with requests. Other projects include:

Hokie Healing sponsored by Mosaic in Blacksburg. Drop off your 8 x 8 squares now through the end of May. For more info., visit Gina and the Mosaic Yarn Shop staff HERE

Mary Read Memorial Scarf KAL in honor of Mary Read both a VT student and a knitter. For more info., visit the blog that has been set up HERE

Knitting for Virginia Tech which is collecting hats, scarves, mittens, etc. for the students who will enter or return to the VT campus in Fall 2007. Visit the blog HERE for more information.

Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund which is the official Virginia Tech fund that has been set up to aid in the healing process. Visit the site HERE to give a donation to the general fund or to give a scholarship donation in the name of a specific victim.

Where can I send my donated piece/contribution? Email me at indigomuse (at) verizon (dot) net for the mailing address. If you're in the region, perhaps I can arrange for you to drop them off at one of the local yarn shops around the area (I'll be happy to stop by and pick them up) and save you the postage. *** Needle on the Square (in Roanoke, VA), Knitting Sisters (in Williamsburg, VA) and The Yarn Lounge (in Richmond, VA) have offered to be drop off sites. I'll add to the list as I find out about other locations.

How can we keep track of progress? I'll take pictures of the pieces as they come in and post them here unless there's significant interest to start a Project Hokie Hope blog and/or Flikr group. I'll also arrange with Virginia Tech to make sure that each one of these get to the families. I hope to add prizes for a drawing in the coming weeks just to show my appreciation for all of those who support this effort.

The sky greeted me bright and early Wednesday morning with this awe inspiring orange and maroon sunrise.

How can you not have hope after seeing something this beautiful?


Kelly said...

This is a lovely idea, IM. I'm going to go root through my stash for some of that burgundy yarn I had leftover after the purse I knit last spring.

Thanks for organizing this!

Pam! said...

ohhh you can so count me in. Super idea and thanks so much for taking this on. Please let me know if you need any help with any part of this. It still makes me feel sick inside and maybe doing something like this will help me let go to a certain degree.

dragon knitter said...

over at the L&V message boards we're actually talking about making an afghan for the school itself, in memoriam of those lost.

somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

I never knew you were a fellow Hokie!! Tonight before bed, I was curious to see if anyone has created any yarns for Hokie Hope day. I G**gled the words "Hokie Hope yarn" and viola... This post appeared in the top 10. This week has been horrible for our VA Tech family and those affected. Thanks for thinking of this KAL. I am going to have a pattern up which uses the famous words of Major Bill. Hope we can work together on this!!
Bunny hugs,

jody said...

hey-I live in b'burg and we pretty much bleed orange and maroon in our family, too-I owuld like to do something-I have a hokie bird intarsia pattern i made up (it's on my blog in february) and i may make some squares with it. i actually had trouble knitting right after the event b/c i just couldn't concentrate-but now i am comforted by it b/c it is a distraction for my heart hurting for a bit...thanks for getting this started!

Nikki said...

Ya know, I posted on my blog I was all for this and am going to make something but didn't let you know :)

thanks, Tanya! What a wonderful idea!!

cate said...

Planning on making something, but don't know what yet. Thanks for having such a generous, giving spirit. Love you, catie

Mary said...

Hey Tanya,

I emailed Scout to commission her to create a custom maroon and orange colorway called "Hokie Hope". She's a bit swamped at the moment, (her episode of Knitty Gritty just aired), but may be able to get to it in a week or so. If anyone here is interested, I'll probably put something on my blog as soon as the new colorway is official.

In the meantime, I went to the Yarn Lounge today and bought two hanks of Malabrigo -- one a purplish-maroon, the other orange. I think I'll be making a hat for my friend who's on the faculty of Tech's vet school. That item I'll probably mail to her directly, but anything else made with Scout's yarn I'll send to you. :-)

Gina said...

Count me in...can I count on you for a square for "Hokie healing"?

Anonymous said...

Pulled out the yarn and am ready to do!


Kimberly said...

Very thoughful!

I've been looking for some soft maroon and orange yarn to knit up something for my niece. Maybe I'll be able to make something to send.

Mary said...

Tanya -- are you still doing your Project Hokie Hope? I have a hat to donate, but am not sure where to send it....

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