I was totally looking forward to attending the Stitches East Knitting Expo at the Connecticut Convention Center last Saturday, and I was thrilled to be there!
Aisle after aisle of vendors with booths chock full of yarns, patterns, books and hand-knit samples. The hottest, trendiest hand-knitted garment? Hands down, the shawl. Almost every vendor offered a custom pattern, kit, and sparkling sample of the most beautiful shawls…some that just barely covered the shoulders and others that cascaded to the waist. And, for a sparkle-loving girl like me, I was thrilled to see that so many of them were knitted with yarns that glistened with tiny sequins and bright, shiny threads! Sweeeeeeet. Lots of hand-dyed yarns and sock yarns, too!
I was hoping to come away with bags full of yarn and glowing holiday inspiration, but it didn’t happen. I can’t explain it really. The vendors were very friendly and not-at-all overbearing, but I wasn’t overcome with feelings of “OMG….got to buy that NOW….gonna make a ton of these” (my typical M.O.).
I was, however, deeply and truly inspired when I visited a booth called Mother Bear Project, which displayed a large assortment of adorable hand-knitted and crocheted teddy bears. “The Mother Bear Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children, primarily those affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of hand-knit and crocheted bears.”
I bought a kit which contained a gift tag and the pattern, yarn, and hook to make a crocheted teddy bear. I encourage all of you who knit or crochet to visit the website, purchase the pattern, and get started making the gift that warms the hearts of these beautiful children. Mine is underway and I’ll post it here as soon as it’s done. I think it’s going to be the one on-going project that seriously reduces my stash and gives me the opportunity to make some unique little teddies for a movingly worthwhile cause.
This may not have been the gift-giving holiday inspiration that I was seeking, but it touches my heart and warms my soul in a way that no other project can.
Welcome….my new obsession.