From Warm Up America! about their Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts...
We Care! And this is what we're doing...
Our vendors & sponsors care...
Our teachers care...
Would you like to join us in helping?
Warm Up America! wants to provide a knitted or crocheted afghan to every Gulf Coast family as they struggle to rebuild their lives and homes. As a Texas-based charity, Warm Up America! feels a special connection to the people of Houston and the Gulf Coast towns who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. It’s a lofty goal but working with some of the most generous folks in the world—knitters and crocheters—we hope to reach our objective.
We are kicking off our Hurricane Harvey efforts at STITCHES Texas, September 14–17 at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, TX. We’ll be collecting afghans and individual 7” by 9” sections then assembling them into afghans at the Warm Up America! area in the Marketplace. There will be special tables set up with yarn, needles, and hooks where you can sit and stitch sections together or drop off your finished items. The completed afghans will be distributed through local shelters and other relief organizations.
If you would like tips on joining sections, check out the Warm Up America! area in the STITCHES Playground. Each day, members of the Bluebonnet Knitting Guild will demonstrate joining techniques. See the schedule for demo times in the show book.
For those not familiar with Warm Up America!, it was started in a small Wisconsin town with neighbors knitting and crocheting afghans for neighbors in need. Founder Evie Rosen’s idea—volunteers knit or crochet small 7” by 9” sections and then others join them together— quickly caught on. Today almost one million afghans and knitted and crocheted accessories have been distributed to people in need. At our website, there are free patterns along with helpful hints on assembling afghans.
Because of the extent of the need, we are encouraging knitters and crocheters, if possible, to stitch entire adult, youth, and lap robes instead of just submitting individual sections. However, if you only are able to knit or crochet a single square or strip so the final afghan assembly will be faster that’s great!. And don’t forget to weave in all ends!
We are grateful to STITCHES management for their ongoing support of Warm Up America! and commend their decision to donate 50% of show ticket sales (from STITCHES Texas 2017) to the relief effort. However, it comes as no surprise, since STITCHES CEO Benjamin Levisay is a past president of the Warm Up America! Foundation and understands and supports our work.
We hope you can join us at STITCHES Texas or send your items to:
Warm Up America!
3740 North Josey Lane, Suite 102
Carrollton, TX 75007
We are heartbroken as we see the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. This one is big, serious, and directly affects so many of us, our friends, and our families. The yarn and fiber world has a long history of ‘stepping up’ by contributing to relief efforts. So STITCHES, the vendors, the sponsors, the teachers, and Warm Up America! are getting involved. Please take a few minutes to read about what we've done at STITCHES Texas 2017 and what we're doing next.
Update: We've collected about $16,000 so far and we still have the online raffle to go.
What to do and where to contribute?
We all decided we needed to do something! Warm Up America! has a special mandate: to provide a knit or crocheted afghan for every Gulf Coast family as they struggle to rebuild their lives and homes (please read below for what Warm Up America! is doing at STITCHES Texas). We're proud to support their efforts.
But we wanted to do more. Richard Kennair, one of our vendors, pointed out that the Houston Food Bank will be stretched beyond its limits over the next few months (or even years). It’s local. It’s a small organization. And they’re doing good work. So we decided to help.
STITCHES decided to kick things off by donating 50% of 'the gate' (market ticket sales) from STITCHES Texas 2017 to the Food Bank.
It wasn't long until Ron Miskin from the Buffalo Wool Co. reached out to the STITCHES Texas vendors (please read more about our generous vendors below) and Rick contacted our teachers (please read how the amazing STITCHES Texas teachers embraced the cause)... and we had a real Team STITCHES effort going.
Ron's proposal to the vendors & sponsors was simple... "Will any of you join the Buffalo Wool Co. in donating 5% of our sales from STITCHES Texas 2017 to the Houston Food Bank?" The response he got back was phenomenal. So far 30 of our STITCHES Texas 2017 Market vendors and sponsors have agreed to join the cause:
2 Guys Yarn Company
A Hundred Ravens
Black Cat Fibers LLC
Blue Mule Fiber
DFW Yarn Crawl
Erin Lane Bags
Ethel Funk LLC
Fiberlady Front Range Bags
Granny's Legacy Patterns
Leading Men Fiber Arts
Lost City Knits LLC
McKnittey Needlepoints West NOTI Yarns, LLC Project Lydia
Purrfectly Catchy Designs
Sawyer Creek Artistry
Shaky K Fibers StevenBe STITCHES Experience & XRX Books
Stunning String Studio
The Buffalo Wool Co
The Yarn Guys
Twisted Owl Fiber Studio
Wall of Yarn
Yarnies of Texas
How can you help? We're glad you asked. Here are some of the ways you can help...
From all the activities that took place at STITCHES Texas 2017, we've already collected about $16,000 (most of which has already been sent to the Houston Food Bank).
In the next few days, we'll be announcing the big online raffle. So please sign up for the XRX Insider eNewsletter (using the form below). We have two afghans, two quilts, and a drawing from Franklin habit to raffle off (again... proceeds from the online auction will go to the Houston Food Bank).
At the same time, Rick was planning an all-star afghan involving the STITCHES teachers. Within 22 hours of his invitation, 20 of our teachers had promised to help:
J C Briar
Candace Eisner Strick
Shannon & Jason Mullett-Bowlsby
Most are knitting or crocheting a 12” square. Several are making more than 1 square. Jennifer Stern-Hasemann and Katrina Walker are joining forces to sew a quilt. And the Shibaguyz are contributing an afghan from their archives.
Teacher/sponsor Barry Klein of Trendsetter Yarns is contributing bags of beautiful yarn, and since Myra Wood lives near his warehouse, she took over getting the yarn into our teachers hands ASAP.
Rick is working on the border now so when the squares arrive in Texas, the afghan can come together quickly. The plan is to have an online raffle which will be held by the end of September. First we will draw for the All-star afghan, then the custom quilt, then the Shibaguyz afghan. So with a single ticket you have 3 chances to win! All proceeds go to the Houston Food Bank. Watch for details at STITCHES Texas, online at www.STITCHES.events/WeCare, or in an upcoming XRX Insider eNewsletter (please be sure to sign up below if you haven't already).
We have afghans to raffle off and other news to share. Please sign up for our eNewsletter so you don't miss a thing.
Please click on the 'We Care' image, above, to open a larger version of this logo in a new browser window.
Some other great efforts on the Market floor...
There are some other folks that are doing their part to show that they care about the victims of Hurricane Harvey on the STITCHES Texas 2017 Market floor. Here are a few that we know about...
TheDFW Fiber Fest wants to extend their love and support to those in the Gulf Coast towns hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. They will be selling their big red bags (like the ones they gave their Students last year) along with their Shopper Bags that they had for sale at their 2017 event.
The bags will be available in in the DFW Fiber Fest booth at STITCHES Texas 2017. The bags are limited and when they are gone, they are gone.
We have learned that the ‘Chicks with Sticks DFW’, a wonderful stitching group in the DFW area, are coordinating the Hurricane Harvey Benefit Silent Auction that will run for the duration of STITCHES Texas 2017. This group is a great choice to spearhead this campaign. They care about the lives and communities of the stitchers that come through our doors to take a class, or shop the Market. And Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on so many of the communities that our Texas stitchers call home.
All proceeds from the silent auction will go to Houston and area food banks as they continue to support the most vulnerable populations affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Houston Food Bank, in particular, continues to serve the most vulnerable victims of Hurricane Harvey as their communities begin to assess damage and think about recovery. They are in it for the long haul, and they need our help.
How can you help? To participate in the silent auction, simply stop by the tables by The Buffalo Wool Company's booth anytime between Thursday evening and Sunday at noon. Then, browse the roughly 20 auction items on the adjacent tables—bid on one (or maybe five) of the amazing array of items from indie dyers, artisans, and local yarn shops—donated from across the country. These items include yarn, patterns, kits, shawl pins, fiber experiences, and more.
A last minute addition to the raffle...
Franklin Habit, a frequent member of the STITCHES Events line-up and the author of "It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons" and "I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book," is honored to be creatinga one-of-a-kind, original, fiber-themed drawing in ink and color washes to be raffled off (online) in support of STITCHES CARES. He will be very pleased to sign and dedicate the drawing to the lucky winner.