Sunday, July 31, 2011

Two More Packages!

Hats, Mittens, Cowls, Washcloth, Scarf & Headband

Two small packages contained a lot of goodies.  See the cowls on the left?  Yoshie hand spun and knitted those.  (Not the same Yoshie that is staying with us!)

Meanwhile, Yoshie, (the one who IS staying with us!) and I spent over six hours sewing tags on the items that arrived on Friday.  I had been caught up with the tagging until Friday thank goodness. 

We also took her to the top of Mt. Spokane yesterday.  It was beautiful weather for the trip since sometimes it's pretty cold up there.  It was perfect-about 74 degrees at the mountaintop.
 This is my wonderful husband with Yoshie at the very tip top of Mt. Spokane.

These were beautiful flowers on the mountain top.  I wish I were a better photographer to do them justice.  The purples and lavendar colors were so vibrant.  After this we visited a lavendar farm and that, my friends, is when I had found my camera battery had died.  The farm was so beautiful.  Rippling hills of lavendar.  I bought sachets for both Yoshie and myself.  I also bought a plant to put in my garden.  I used to have lavendar at our old house, but had to leave it behind.  I'm excited to have it again to use in cooking, sachets and other misc. gifts.

I hope you have a blessed Sunday.  I'll be back soon with more updates.



Saturday, July 30, 2011

You Won't Believe What Came Today!

Red Hats, Blue Hats, Green Hats, Orange Hats!!!  Pink Scarves, Black Scarves, White Scarves, Purple Scarves!  I feel like I've had a visit from Dr. Suess.

Yesterday the Mail Lady brought boxes. The Fed Ex man brought boxes.  The UPS man brought boxes.

I have boxes, boxes, boxes all over my house!   Just look at the pictures below.

Do you see any of YOUR knitted/crocheted goodies?  I tried very hard to photograph them all but if I missed one or two, please forgive me.  I had hats strewn all over.  It was too dark to take pictures for you last night, so I had to wait to post them today.

Friday's totals are:

Leg Warmers- 3
Baby Sweaters-3

Can you believe it?  My husband certainly can't!  All in just one day.  I'm trying to repack a few boxes to take to the post office on Monday.  I've decided to enlist his help since I'm at a loss as to how to get more into the boxes.  I bought 8 of the bags where you vacuum the air out.  I think they will be a big help in getting a larger quantity into one box which should help with shipping costs.

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  I don't know how to thank all of you enough.  I'll be back soon with another update.



Thursday, July 28, 2011

More Scarves!

These beautiful scarves came today by FedEx from Lori.  I try very hard to send a handwritten note to everyone that sends an item directly to me, but I don't have a return address for Lori so I'm mentioning her by name here.  I desperately hope I haven't offended anyone else since I haven't named individuals before. 

If you look very closely, you can see that she attached scarf pins to eight of them and she also sent a contribution to help with postage to Japan.  Thank you, Lori.

Today I helped prepare Valentine's Day Candy, Easter Eggs and an entire Thanksgiving dinner for the 20 Japanese junior high students and their two teachers who are visiting Spokane.  Today the lesson is American Holidays.  This afternoon they are celebrating 4th of July and Christmas.  I think they will be full up with food by then!  I definitely have dishpan hands since I was the main dishwasher of the crew. 

We are having so much fun with our houseguest, Yoshi.  She has taught me to count to ten, to say hello, good morning, good afternoon, good evening and good night and most important, excuse me.  I'm trying to learn a little so I can communicate better on my trip.  I am quite irritated with myself in the fact that I didn't have Alex teach me some of the language while he was still at home.  I guess as a mother I "hand my head in the sand" that he would really be living in Japan and I would be traveling there in the future.

I'll be back soon with more updates.  Thank you all and I hope you're having a wonderful Thursday.



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Mail Call!

Two packages arrived today!  I get so excited to see my mail lady these days.  Yesterday she had a small reprieve, but today, Viola!  Two packages!  And this is what was inside them.

Aren't these wonderful?  I love the little bitty baby hat in yellow.  Six hats and two scarves.   I can just imagine the happy faces that will know they will be a bit warmer this winter because of all the generous knitters and crocheters out there.  You are all the best!

Even my Weight Watchers meeting went well today.  Down .8 for a total of 4.6 in four weeks. Not a lot, but much better than the other direction I was heading.

I did lock myself out of my house this morning when I took the dog for a walk.  I have never, ever locked myself out of anything before.  I had keys in my hand the entire 2 mile walk.  When I tried to open the door I just had to laugh in disbelief.  I had carried the mailbox key on my walk instead of the house key.  They look nothing alike, but I must have subconciously been excited to see if any boxes had arrived today!  Thank goodness a neighbor was home and let me call a friend who lives close by.  She took pity on me and came to unlock the door.

I'm sure to be back tomorrow so keep on watching.



Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Mail Call!

 Beautiful Hats, Scarves, Socks, Mittens
More Amazing Hats & Scarves

Three more packages came today from amazing knitters in the Eastern part of the U.S.  Aren't these items just beautiful?  It's such fun to get the mail these days.  I keep trying to catch my mail carrier so I can explain to her why I'm receiving so many packages lately!  She has to be puzzled.  Usually our mail consists of utility bills and Country magazine. 

It's clear up to 82 today in Spokane.  That's a cool wave for most of you isn't it?  My dear mother-in-law is in Nebraska.  I talked to her this morning and at 8:00 a.m. she had to stop yard work to go inside to cool off.  She was dizzy and wobbly from the heat.  I tried to convince her to forget about her yard until it isn't quite so hot but I'm afraid it did no good.  She likes it to look nice no matter the weather.  I hope you all are taking care of yourselves out there.  Knit & crochet small things...hats, gloves, mittens etc.  No blankets right now unless you keep your A/C at 65 degrees!

I'll be seeing you again tomorrow after my mail lady visits again.



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amazing Mail Today!

My mail-lady is wondering what's happening in my house.  Have I started a business?  Began recieving other peoples packages for them?  Invested in cardboard for boxes?  Just take a look at what arrived today!


 Hats, Hats
 Baby Sweaters, Baby Blanket, Washcloths
 Adult Sweater, Mittens, Baby Vests & Pants, Socks!
Baby Sweater, Scarves, Hat & Mittens
 Yoshie is SO EXCITED!
Lots and lots of Baby Sweaters
Washcloths, Hats and Scarves

Isn't this wonderful?  I'm so excited to send these off to Alex.  The trip is ever closer, only about 6 weeks away.  I leave on September 9th and will be in Japan for two weeks.  I will be posting pictures for all of you to see when I return.  Meanwhile, keep watching-I'll be posting pictures of everything that arrives before I go.

I'm investigating to try to find less expensive shipping methods since you are all being so generous with your yarn goodies.  I never expected this wonderful outpouring of love, but I have been very blessed by it.  Never, ever underestimate knitters and crocheters!

We talked to Alex last night and while we were on the phone he said to "hold on for a minute".  Then he came back on the phone and said there had just been another earthquake while we were talking to him.  He said it was a long one and quite strong.  When I looked it up online today the news said it was a 6.5 centered in the same area as the "big one" in March.  No tsunami this time but it was the third very strong one he had felt just since July 10.  Please remember to keep praying for all the Japanese people.  It must be very terrifying for them everytime this happens.

Meanwhile Yoshie is very happy to be here and helping me open boxes.  She squeals with delight everytime she sees a new handmade item.  Her tears are very real and heartfelt.  She is so touched by all that you are doing for her country.

I'm sure I'll be talking to you again on Monday after mailcall.  Thank you all again.  I just can't say it enough.



Friday, July 22, 2011

And More Hats!

Today's mail brought even more hats!

Aren't they beautiful?  I love going to my mailbox these days!

And...We have a houseguest!

This is Yoshie.  She's from Ueno which is in Tokyo.  She is the escort/translator for a group of students visiting Spokane for three weeks.  We are very lucky, we always get assigned the translater and we have lots of fun together.  She is so excited  to see all of the hats I've collected so far and knows how touched people will be to recieve them and know how we are all thinking of them.

I've got to go.  Shopping.  You know how it is when women get together. Shopping is the universal language.



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hat's I've Made for Japan

Ski-type hats!
Ladies Beret Style Hats!

Hello Everyone!

Today is a gloomy cold day in Spokane, WA.  I feel almost guilty typing that after seeing on the news the terrible heat wave that so much of the country is dealing with.  We have only had one 90 degree day so far this summer.  That's easy on the electric bill, but the garden isn't doing very well.  The rain is falling as I sit here and it's making beautiful music on our aluminum deck roof.  It sounds almost like being in a camper!

The pictures above are of some of the hats that I made in the early days of the "hat project".  They are already in Alex's apartment just waiting for me to arrive.  When he got that first box he called and asked how many of these boxes would be arriving?  I told him I had no idea!  He wanted me to remember he has a small apartment and the box was 25 inches by 25 inches by 25 inches!  I told him to throw a towel over it and use it as an end table until I get there!  That's what young guys use for furniture anyway, isn't it?  :-)

Hope you are all having a wonderful day and staying cool wherever you are, (or keeping warm if you're in Spokane like me!)



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More Pictures!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Hats, hats, hats!
More hats!
Hat & Scarf Sets!
I think I've got all knitted items still in my house photographed for you now.  Remember that two huge boxes have already been shipped!  You can see the light purple labels that I've attached to most of the items in these pictures.  The sayings are in Japanese AND English and read:

Handmade with care and love.
We're behind you all the way!
Hope this will bring some comfort to you.
Hope you'll stay warm.

These were provided by a native Japanese speaker and will help the recipients understand why we've done this for them.

I've had several comments from readers already and I'm so happy to get them.  I tried to reply to you in the comments section but google wouldn't let me.  Remember, I'm new to this and if any of you have ideas or help for me I'd love to hear it.

Nicole-I'm shipping the items, not packing in my bags.  There is no way I could possibly get all of this into my bags and then onto all of the trains I'll have to take when I get there.

To let you all have an idea of my travel plans:
Spokane, WA to Seattle-1 hour. 
Seattle to Narita-10.5 hours
Narita to Tokyo  (local train) 50 minutes
Tokyo to Hachinohe by Shinkensen (bullet train) over 5 hours
Hachinohe to Misawa (local train) 45 minutes
2.5 hours to Mutsu City

Travel in Japan is very efficient but it's a long, long way from Spokane to where our son lives in Mutsu City!  Planes, trains and automobiles!  It would be very difficult to try to manuver suitcases full of hats on all those trains.  It's much easier to ship them ahead of me.

Please leave comments, I'm very happy to read all of them-and I promise to read each and everyone!



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Reason for the Project

It occured to me that I should explain a bit how this project started. 

As most of you know, my son Alex, lives in northern Japan.  When the earthquake/tsunami hit, my immediate reaction was that I wanted to help.  My husband and I donated to the Red Cross but I wanted to do something more tangible.  I decided to try to knit 400 hats.  By myself.  Way too big a goal, I realize this now, but it was worth striving for. 

Meanwhile this little project took on a life of it's own once I mentioned it on Ravelry and to a few friends online.  I have already far surpassed the original goal of 400 hats.  Knitters/crocheters have also sent, scarves, mittens, socks, headbands, baby blankets and other needed items.  Yarn addicts have got to be some of the most generous people in the world!  

I'm planning to fly to Japan in September to visit Alex.  He and I will take everything to shelters to distribute to people who need them.   I will take pictures to post so everyone who contributed will see the recipients.

God has surely blessed this project, just as he has blessed me with the opportunity to learn how truly giving you all are.  Thank you so much.



Edited to add:  IMPORTANT!  The deadline for me to recieve items is August 1, 2011.  This will allow me to label and ship everything before I fly to Japan in September.  I realize this is new to some people, but the project has been going on since May.  I apologize for not creating a blog earlier.


I thought I would try to post some pictures of hats I have recieved.  Keep in mind that two HUGE boxes have already been mailed.  So if you don't see your hat or other handmade item here, it may already be in Japan waiting to be gifted to someone!  I can't thank you enough for your gifts.  Just look at the variety of items I've recieved.

More Hats!!
Washcloths and headbands!
Mittens, Scarves, Baby Sweater & booties!

These are all items just recieved in the past few days.  I have a huge box just waiting for pictures.  I will do my best to post those tomorrow morning.   Meanwhile, just imagine the warmth and love these will spread.



Monday, July 18, 2011

First Post!

Here I am.  My first post.  I never thought I would have a blog but...since beginning this project for Japan I have had several people ask if I had thought of blogging about the experience.  Tomorrow I will attempt to take pictures of some of the hats, scarves, mittens and washcloths I have recieved for the victims of the earthquake/tsnumai in March of this year.  I know next to nothing about computers so please be patient of my attempts to blog my adventure!