Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fiber Summer!!!

The Summer 2012 is starting to look like the most fiber fun summer yet!  There are so many fun fiber events this year.  And most of them are on line through Ravelry.

May 18 to June 5 - Fun Onion Tour de Fleece Batt Swap Challenge
June 1 to August 25 - Hand Spun Magic Yarn Ball Swap

June 1 through August 31 - Nerd Wars, Tournament 5
June 9 - World Wide Knit In Public Day
June 30 to July 22 - Tour de Fleece
July 27 to August 12 - Ravelympics 2012

With all these wonderful events happening, I've started lining up all my projects and prepping my batts and rovings.

First in line are these two lucscious batts from JoAnne at Fleecepicker's Fiber and Yarn.  JoAnne also has an ebay store.

These batts are made up of Merino, silk, firestar, and angelina.  They are destined to become part of a baby blanket that I will donate through Bundles of Joy (please read my previous post). 

If you also have a fiberful summer planned, Fleecepicker's Fiber and Yarn has many beautiiful colors of roving and sheets of silk and other fibers to make your own one of a kind batts to spin from.

Bundles of Joy

You would think from the above title that this post is all about a blessed event and in some small ways it is.

Let me tell you about a place that consists of 3,468.86 sq mi (8,984.306 km2) of land area.  Of all those miles only 84,000 acres (340 km2) of land are suitable for agriculture.
  • As of 2011, population estimates for this area range from 28,000 to 40,000. 
  • 80% of residents are unemployed;
  • 49% of the residents live below the the US Federal poverty level (61% under the age of 18);
  • Per capita income is $6,286;
  • The Infant Mortality rate is 5 times higher than the US national average;
  • Amputation rates due to diabetes is 3 to 4 times higher than the US national average;
  • Death rate due to diabetes is 3 times higher than the national average;
  • Life Expectancy is among the shortest of any group in the Western Hemisphere and is estimated to be 47 for males and 52 for females;
  • Adolescent suicide rate is four times the United States national average;
  • Many of the families have no electricity, telephone, running water, or sewage systems; and many use wood stoves to heat their homes, depleting limited wood resources.  These homes are often old mobile homes with as many as 15 residents per mobile home. 
  • Elderly and young children die each winter on the reservation from hypothermia.
The most shocking piece of information concerning these fact is the location.  This is not some third world country.  It is the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, an Oglala Sioux Native American reservation located in South Dakota

A little over three weeks ago I went to visit my daughter who is a medical student at Des Moines University.  While I was there I had the privilege of attending a presentation by Dawn Bowker about the complexities of practicing medicine among our Native Americans.  During her presentation we learned about the living conditions on Pine Ridge Reservation.
It was very hard to hear that these conditions are right here in our own country and touched me and everyone else there deeply.  It is time for me to share some of what God has blessed me with these people

I've spent some of my time over the last three weeks researching ways that I can help.  The first thing I did was join the Bundles of Joy (BOJ) group on Ravelry.  This group knits, crochets and weaves beautiful things that are desperately by these people.  Because of them many newborn infants are now sent home with more than a blanket and a diaper.  I looked through my stash of yarns and found a beautiful, soft hand spun and am about halfway finished knitting my first baby jacket.
Wool/cashmere/nylon hand spun yarn being used to knit baby jacket.

I have also decided that I will use or giveaway about 50% of my hand spun yarns for making items to be donated to Pine Ridge through the BOJ group.  If you want to knit or crochet or weave something to be donated through BOJ and don't have the yarn in your own stash, contact me and I will send you some.  Bundles of Joy also has a team for the Ravelympics this year for those who wish to have some extra fun while making items for the babies at Pine Ridge.

For more information and ways to help the people on Pine Ridge Reservation you can check out the following web sites: