Sewchet

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Crocheted Project Bag

Early on in the Stitching Santa, I had already decided that I was going to make a project bag for my ‘Yarny’ recipient as I knew I had lots of odd balls of yarn lying about. In effect, this was to be a ‘free’ handmade extra to add to the parcel as my £10 budget had been spent entirely on yarn.

Rooting through my leftovers to see what colours went well together, this is what I ended up with.

Quite nice and pastel-y, I thought, and the limited palette should be enough to make granny squares in a variety of colour combinations.

So, colours decided, I started on the squares and soon had a growing pile.

I used single crochet on the front to join the squares together, adding a bit of texture for interest.

I ended up with a rectangle of squares 10 wide by 3 high, and a base panel of 4 squares.

If you fancy making your own, you can use the photo below as a colour guide.

Obviously, the bag needed to be lined to prevent any knitting needles or crochet hooks slipping through. This was simply a process of cutting around the crocheted sections and adding a seam allowance.

Next, I crocheted the short edges of the bag together to form a tube.

Then the bottom panel was single-crocheted in place.

The lining was sewn by machine in the same way.

Two handles were crocheted as below with a starting chain of 75.

The handles were sewn in place by hand, before sewing in the lining.

The lining was just oversewn around the top edge only.

Here’s the finished bag: –

I added one of my labels, of course:)

It’s a good size for a jumper or something similar, so should prove quite useful to my secret recipient – let’s hope she agrees!


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Sunday Sevens Special – Crochet for Calais Update

This week I thought I’d do a Sunday Sevens Special updating you on the progress of the Crochet for Calais appeal, which is ongoing for those of you who would like to contribute a knitted or crocheted square or two.

Lee Godwin is the nurse who travels to Calais and Lesbos delivering the finished crocheted and knitted items directly into the hands of the refugees. 

Here is what she had to say, together with some photographs that she took of the refugees with some of the handmade blankets and hats: –

“Dear friends, I am so sorry it has taken me so long to get my Lesbos photos of your hat and blanket distribution uploaded. These children were so delighted with their hats, even more so because they were able to pick which one they really wanted. The children laughed at the funny faces and dangly ears! Fabulous trauma therapy! The weather was beginning to turn and the blankets were very much appreciated – the mothers held them and admired the beautiful stitching – 2 mums cried silently in gratitude after I explained how they were made ‘especially for them by a wonderful group of ladies in England’. I will be going back to Greece in late spring to support the now orphaned children, old, infirm and disabled. A special blanket may just contribute to mending broken hearted individuals. I will happily take more. All my love and sincere gratitude darling friends xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx”  

  
  

The organiser, Jane Wheelen, says: –

“I really, really cannot express my gratitude to every single person who was able to give up their time to help make so many squares that were transformed into beautiful blankets, including wonderful anonymous people who read Sheila Harvey-Larmar’s blog (Sewchet) and generously sent squares by the post bag full. When the idea popped into my head in the middle of the night I didn’t realise what a wonderful thing it would become. I have a big bag of squares here that will be transformed into further blankets. If you have the time, please, please, keep knitting and crocheting and forwarding them to me. Lee Godwin’s photos show what a difference they make to the desperate lives of such innocent but traumatised children. In a world where they have nothing, it’s important to let them know someone really cares for them and to give them something of their own.”

    

  
From Lee Godwin:-

“I would just like to offer my deepest gratitude to friends and folks who have generously donated items for Calais. I am excited to say on last count we had 200 blankets, food, warm waterproof clothes and hard wearing rain shoes. Not to mention donated money to buy food so that the children and I can make up food parcels for distribution. Your generosity is valued and appreciated more than I can ever say…..I hid food all over the car in every nook and cranny! Hee hee! We have arrived and children are fascinated about the increased police presence which I find as intimidating if not worse than ever before….but we continue! Love you all xxxxxxxxxxxxxx”

  

To read the original article, please click on the link Crochet for Calais where you will also find the address to which your squares can be sent.

A previous update can also be read here, Crochet for Calais Update in which you can see some of the blankets that readers of this blog contributed to.

As you can see, the hats and blankets that we make actually do get to the refugees quickly and are so much appreciated by both adults and children alike. If you can spare the time to knit or crochet a 12″ square (or a few), then please do as it is an ongoing effort for as long as there is a crisis.

I’m off to cast on my next square right now….!


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Crochet For Calais Update

This is the first pile of fabulous blankets made by all you wonderful people that are going out to Calais and Lesbos this week!

From Sarah, who helped stitch the squares together: –

“Jane popped round earlier, so I now have all of the amazing blankets, hats and other yarny goodies to give to Lee Godwin tomorrow. Just “Wow” everyone, so proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time. Thank you, thank you.”

pile of crochet blankets

Jane, the organiser of this refugee effort, posted a lovely comment on my blog – here it is for anyone that missed it: –

“Hi everyone, I am Jane, the person behind the squares. I just wanted to thank each and every one of you who has so kindly sent me squares. The current batch are being feverishly stitched together and are going to refugee children in Lesbos this Friday. This is an ongoing crisis and I intend to make this an ongoing project and will always welcome your squares. The nurse who is taking the blankets out with her says that the hand made blankets mean everything to the refugees as it sends a message of hope to them that someone really cares. I will forward photographs to Sheila so she can show you how amazing you all are. Please keep sending them 😊

Here follows some of the photographs Jane has since sent of the finished blankets. Can you spot your square in there?

I think I can see Ali’s from Thimberlina in there!

crochet blanket2

I can see four of mine in this one!

blanket

These two cheery blankets are on their way to Justine Corrie for her refuge for traumatised women and children in The Calais Jungle: –

crochet blanket7

crochet blanket6

Message from Lee Godwin who is travelling to Lesbos tomorrow: –
“Jane you and your wonderful knitter friends are doing something truly amazing! There is something very special about knitted blankets because not only are they massively warm but they are also made with so much love and the refugees appreciate this more than you could believe. Anyone can go and buy a blanket but it takes a lot of commitment, motivation and skill to knit them. Thank you to all of you for your time, love and dedication. All my love Lee. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx”

crochet blanket4

crochet blanket5

Knitted squares mix quite happily alongside crocheted ones.

crochet blanke3t

crochet blanket

Simple garter stitch squares from lots of different people make a lovely blanket when joined together, proving that anybody can contribute – the squares don’t have to be fancy!

crochet blanket14

A touch of bright red lifts these gorgeous shades-of-blue squares to make it even more cheerful for those poor refugees.

crochet blanket12

Some ladies have had the time to make an entire blanket, but don’t let that put you off – every single square is so important!

crochet blanket9

crochet blanket8

crochet blanket10

crochet blanket11

crochet blanket13

Jane says: –

“Your skill level does NOT matter one bit, any knitted square will keep a child warm and they will care not about colour, pattern, or the odd slipped stitch, they care that they have something of their own and something to keep them warm in the cold. Please no one worry about their skill level, every single square is very valuable and very gratefully received xx”

Look at these lovingly knitted squares sent in from a beginner who was desperate to help – they will all be used in the next round of blankets.

knitted squares

Donations of hand made items such as hats are also gratefully accepted, especially so at this time of year. These have been received and are already on their way to the refugees: –

hats

Finally, an important message from Lee: –

“I am collecting blankets for least the next 5 years. The refugee crisis is not going to end anytime soon. I go to Calais every 3 weeks and plan on going to Greece every 3 months so your blankets / squares will be very well received. All my love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx”

The Facebook group can be found here if you would like to follow the progress.

My original post, including details of where to send your squares, can be found here – Crochet for Calais.

 


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Crochet For Calais

A friend of mine has put out a request to all knitters and crocheters who would like to help the refugees at Calais. She needs 12″ squares made IN A HURRY and sent to her which she will then sew together to make blankets for the refugees. The weather is starting to get cold and blankets will make a huge difference to them.

She is hoping to send the first parcel out with a contact who is going on 28th November and would ideally like the squares by 20th in order to sew them together in time.

If you have a couple of hours to whip up a square, please help.

The squares all need to be 12″ in size, made from acrylic yarn and in any colour or pattern you wish – use up some scraps and help a great cause at the same time.

Here’s one I crocheted last night in just two hours. 
I used Robin acrylic DK which is hardwearing and will wash and dry easily…..

…..and a 5mm hook.


The address to send your squares to is:-

Jane Wheelen

5 Donnes Terrace

Castle Cary

Somerset

BA7 7HS

It would be even better if you could share this post on your own blog to see just how many squares we can make between us – bloggers are, in my experience, a caring and generous lot:)

Thank you.