Look at what you’ve gone and done now

January 12, 2007 at 5:19 pm | Posted in charity knitting, Christmas, country living, faith, family, free knitting patterns, Habitat for Humanity, Holidays, knitting, volunteerism | 34 Comments

Fireflys Charity Knitting Blanket Gracious Parcels 2006


Well folks, our little project is working out pretty well. Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa and join me in my favorite spot for a quick chat, won’t you?

This is the first Gracious Parcels blanket, completed. The blanket is beautiful and warm, just as we all wanted it to be. The tags on the individual squares bring life to this special blanket that will make it particularly dear (I believe) to the recipient, a local Habitat for Humanity homeowner who has been through a very rough time in the past several months.

In addition to the tags you each made and attached to your squares, I wrote an overall tag explaining the origin of the blanket, the theme behind it, and the fact that knitters from around the country and the world participated in making this blanket especially for her. The note included overall well wishes and gracious blessings from all of us to her.

When I presented it to the Habitat board last evening, toward the end of our monthly planning meeting, they were all thrilled. You would have all been so proud to hear the warm comments, from the men on the board as well as the women. They knew I was putting together a blanket, but they had no idea just how special it would be until they saw it with their own eyes.

Fireflys Charity Knitting Project Gracious Parcels 2006It was wonderful to hear their voices brighten up and to see the smiles across their faces. The feedback was extremely positive and all agreed that the tags identifying the knitters and the states or countries they knitted from as well as any personal wishes included on them are what makes the blanket particularly special and heart warming.

In fact, they were so happy about this project, they want my husband and I to photograph me with the blanket and send a press release out to the local paper to promote the project. So, I brought it back home for one more photo op, then it will finally go to the lady we are giving it to.

Something in particular you should all know about this project is that our Habitat affiliate is a small group of humble, compassionate, and sincerely decicated volunteers. There are no paid staff at all. They aren’t glizy or glamourous, Bob Villa won’t ever be showing up to film the operation, and to some they probably don’t even show up as a blip on the radar because they aren’t pumping out one new Habitat home per month, but manage one per year on average instead.

In most volunteer work there is quite a bit of effort necessary behind the scenes, not ever visible to the public. Sometimes they get discouraged because the work is hard and at times there isn’t quite enough help and often there is barely enough money to make ends meet. It is a small affiliate, so they don’t get the publicity and financial support of larger programs. It can be frustrating work at times, and yet they keep doing it year after year. They do it because it makes a difference, no matter how small, in this world we all live in. This past November a group of board members worked side-by-side with volunteers in cold pouring rain on the current build, doing what they could to get it ready to withstand winter weather. They described what it was like working with rain pouring down their necks, drenching their clothes … and they laughed and joked about it, shrugging their shoulders at the discomfort.

And, though their continuing dedication and work might not show up as a blip on the publicity radar of the bigger world of large big-city Habitat affiliates , it definitely has made a difference in the lives of eleven families over the past eleven or twelve years who otherwise would not have had homes they could call their own.

Know that your participation in Gracious Parcels 2006 made a big difference to this wonderful group of people. I am certain it made them feel as if they aren’t quite as alone, that people all over the country care about this little group and the small number of families they have created a huge difference for.

You are beautiful people. Thank you so very much for participating, contributing, and encouraging me in pursuing this charity knitting project.

I look forward to more blankets and more happiness in 2007 and will heartily welcome any participation you are willing and able to pull off.


P.S. If you sent a square or some squares and don’t see them in this blanket, they will be included in the next blanekt.


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  1. Oh Oh, I want to help.

    I used to belong to a local knitting guild here in town and we did blankets and gave them to the Children’s Advocacy Center.

    I would love to knit some squares for you. Email me the details, requirements, and stuff and I’ll get them to you.

    regazza.nellamore at gmail dot com

  2. Beautiful and wonderful! All who took part are thanked for the good work!

    Love, Mom

  3. Very, very cool.

  4. It turned out so lovely firefly! Just like a patchwork quilt! I will certainly knit you more as they were fun and quick to do, and even taught myself some new stitch patterns!

    I wish I could see her face when they present it to her. She can’t help but love it!

  5. Oh, how wonderful! This is so exciting…thank you so much for putting this together (both the blanket itself, and the project overall)! Seeing this makes my day. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  6. I knit a square and it sits in my house and not in yours. I think I either deleted your e-mail with your address or never got it. I wonder if you wouldn’t mind sending it again?

    When (If) you get a 2007 button, I’ll post that on my blog in place of 2006! πŸ™‚


  7. Beautiful! Both the thought and the work itself.

  8. Now that just warms my heart! All that caring. If those volunteers can work that hard building a home, I certainly can keep on knitting! You did a beautiful thing here! x

  9. I would love to help you out. Do you have specific requirements for the squares (ex. yarn type, stitch type, etc.)? Also, where do we send the squares?

  10. The blanket is beautiful. I see that I forgot to include my tags though. Next time I will not forget.

    Any effort no matter how small, matters to the person or people that it affects.

  11. Awesome! The blanket is absolutely beautiful! I had planned on sending a square and life got a little crazy for me. I’d love to help out with the next blanket. Was it a 7″ square? And could you let me know where to send it? I have plenty of left over yarn that should work well for the project. My e-mail is ann7962@yahoo.com I think I would really like to find out if something like this could be done in Indy. Which by the way we have rain, again!


  12. What a lovely blanket with so many heartfelt stitches! If only the world could come together one stitch at a time too!

  13. I have a ton of stash yarn that would work well for this project. Send me details, and I’ll send you squares!!

    I’m a big supporter of Habitat and would like to do whatever I can to help you out.

  14. Gorgeous! The colors are so wonderful. It just screams, “We love you!” I’m proud to be a part of it.

  15. And you did this in addition to the “regular” volunteer work! I am in awe. Having done some volunteer work in the past, I know how difficult it can be. Be sure, your work IS appreciated.

  16. Just ran across your blog and your blanket project is stunning – what a fabulous way to bring the work of many giving hands together – like one giant hug from lots of caring people. The tags make that point so poignantly. Thanks so much for sharing, and congrats on a wonderful completion to a worthy project. I’ll be back often!!!!!

  17. What a wonderful way for so many people to say that they care about others. It really makes me wish I could figure out this whole knitting thing.

  18. the blanket looks absolutely gorgeous! Sorry I haven’t been around to comment. I am quite behind on your blogs and hope to catch up this weekend @ least!

  19. A happy hello to you.

    I discovered your blog about a week ago have backtracked and read it from the beginning. I have enjoyed it very much. Your blog among others have inspired me to make some changes in my life. Small ones, but important ones to me.

    I would like to contribute to the Gracious Parcels blanket project. Please e-mail me your mailing address. I have knitted up my first one tonight and plan on more before I mail them out.

    Also, can you tell me what size can of pumpkin you use in your pumpkin bread recipe?

    Thank you so much!!!

  20. I just read this post and thought, “What a wonderful idea!” I have a friend who just met a man and decided to marry him and move to his tree farm in Norway. I’m going to ask all of her friends and family to contribute to a blanket for her like the one you have done. I love the touch of having each person pin a note to their square. That way she can bring a little bit of all of us to her new home!


  21. Thanks for the post – and thanks for being the fire(fly) that warmed us while we knit for you.

  22. what a lovely blanket…i am sure it will warm the hearts and bodies of the lucky recipients! it is so nice when we can put our knitting obsessions to use to help others…great job!

  23. I’ve found your blog and I think you have had some very good ideas. I could make another blanket for that mother and children…if you give me the adress to send it by mail. Please contact me by my e-mail.
    I leave in Portugal (Europe). As you see, far away can also be close…

  24. Sorry, but I’me not sure if you have my e-mail adress in my comment. Well, it’s: julietasendas@gmail.com

  25. I just stumbled across your blog and I love it! I told my mom about it and it has been the topic of our daily conversations! You are truly an amazing and talented person – and an inspiration to me. Having just suffered somewhat of a breakdown, your site has given me some hope of the good out there. On another note, I have tons of yarn that could be knit into 7″ squares, so I guess I should get busy and send some of those squares on to you.

  26. Look what happens when you take a small step and make a big difference in the world.

    Great job.


  27. I love reading your blog it always makes me feel good. I’m an oncology RN, and I have some down days at work. I took up knitting a year ago and it has become such a wonderful, productive way to relax. I have recently taught my teenage daughter how to knit and it has brought us closer together. We saw the pictures of the completed blanket and now we definately want to help out with the next ones. Can you send us the details? We live in North Bend, Washington. jodipast@hotmail.com

  28. I’m so honored to have been a part of this project. Thank you, firefly.

  29. Hi once again, I’ve been out of touch with the blog world for a few weeks. The blanket looks lovely and I’m sure that the recipient will love it. Have a great day.

  30. I would love to knit up a square for the next blanket(s). Let me know the specifications, etc. PS. Enjoy winter!

  31. Hi firefly! I love that blanket and I will send squares for the next one. I got tied up in a lot of energy draining hassles that in retrospect didn’t amount to a hill of beans — and that perspective I owe to you.

    I still have the original email you sent me; are the requirements you need the same? You can answer here, as you look to have enough emailing to do! πŸ˜‰ Diane

  32. Oh, I forgot to ask — I’m a better crocheter than a knitter — would you take some crocheted squares, if they’re nice and tight, no holes?

    Let me know! Diane

  33. Hi Diane … yes, the requirements are the same as before. And, I would be more than happy to incorporate crocheted squares in the blanket as well.



  34. I would love to be a part of this! Let me know how!

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