Project Gracious Parcels
Note: The first Gracious Parcels blanket is complete, as of 10 January 07. I would like to get four more blankets put together by spring of 2007, because we have a new Habitat family moving into their home at that time. They are a single mom and her three children. I would love to be able to give four blankets to the Habitat board that could be presented to them the day they move in as house warming gifts. Any help in making this come true will be very welcome.
2007 Deadlines for Gracious Parcels: The deadline for 7″ squares for the blankets described above is February 28, 2007. That will give enough time for me to have the blankets sewn up by April 1st without a problem. Thanks in advance for your help … it means so much!
About twelve years ago a group of people, including my husband, got together to start a Habitat for Humanity affiliate here in our county. Since that time, this 100% volunteer organization has built about one house per year for local families who needed “a hand up, not a hand out.” My husband is a founding member of the group, and as an engineer he draws up the plans for each home, provides blueprints, and performs other miscellaneous helpful tasks as they are needed.
Shortly after we got married and I came here to the farm to live I volunteered to design and build a new, professional website for them. Their previous website was, in their words, “sad.” It had been put together and was maintained by a volunteer who had no experience, but plenty of willingness. It was, I suppose, demoralizing to this fine group of people to have a website that was a bit embarrassing to behold.
The thing is, you never know what affect you might have on someone when you extend your hand in friendship and help. After I completed the new website I recieved an email from the lady who is heading up the board saying that, until I redid the website she had thought perhaps they were on their last leg. Seeing a new, shiny and professional looking website, she said, had given the group just the shot in the arm they needed right at that time.
That was much more than I was aiming for … I just wanted to help, and making a website was something I knew how to do. I am grateful to have had an opportunity to help such a fine and loyal group … they deserved whatever boost my meager contribution could give them.
I was thinking it would be a beautiful thing if fellow knitters from around the country and around the world meeting here at my blog would put their needles together and make up some 7″ squares to be assembled into blankets for the local Habitat families.
I chose the word “Parcels” because the squares would be parcles in the mail, but also as a symbolic representation of “parcels” of land in this beautiful rural area. Each 7″ square will represent a parcel of land, which might add to the imagination and creativity of the knitters who are contributing to the motion.
I chose the word “Gracious” because it represents to me the sincerely humble and giving attitude I have seen exhibited by the volunteers who brought the local Habitat for Humanity alive and keep breating life into it on a regular basis.
I plan to categorize the squares into “seasons” when possible. One complete blanket (49 squares) could have all four seasons in it, or each individual blanket might represent a season all in itself. It will be fun to see what colors arrive, the textures, etc. and to arrange them accordingly.
If you look at the photos on this page, you will get an idea of the colors here in this environment that your squares could represent. The crops growing locally include wheat, soy beans (surprisingly pretty fields), corn, hay, and lots of apple orchards. There is also water everywhere … swamps (in New York?) rivers, lakes, Great Lakes, rain, etc.
I would think any stitch pattern would be beautiful … seed stitch would probably be appropriate on some to represent seeds, ribbing could represent rows of corn and wheat, stockinette stitch could represent a field smooth from being plowed recently. Oh, and when wheat and hay are harvested, they are rolled up into large bales and left scattered around the fields for a while. So. bobbles could represent rolled bales.
I think if each square has either garter stitch or seed stitch edging, it would give the finished blankets a nice look. So, make a 1/2″ to 3/4″ border all around in garter stitch if possible.
The most crucial thing is that each square be as close to 7″ when complete … so be sure to check your guage.
This project began in the fall of 2006, resulting in one complete blanket that was ready for the 2006 holidays. I would like to get as many blankets completed and over to Habitat as possible before Christmas of 2007, but meanwhile I would love to have four blankets ready by April 1, 2007 for the family mentioned at the top of this page.
Here is a checklist of what to do to participate in this project:
1.Write a comment to this post (unless you already did so to my earlier post). I will email you personally with the mailing address right away.
2. Knit at least one 7″ square in any fiber worsted weight yarn. If you have wool or a wool blend on hand, that would be preferable because warmth is very important in this part of the country. Please leave a 14″ tail at the beginning or your square, and at the end, for sewing.
3. Create a tag for your square (one for each square you contribute) with the following information:
- Your first name or your initials.
- The state (if in the U.S.) you knitted from, or the country if you are out of the U.S.
- Any words of kindness, friendship, or holiday wishes you care to share with a family who will receive a blanket
- The fiber content or the square and whether or not the fiber is machine washable or hand washable
4. Attach one tag to each square using a safety pin or a removable piece of yarn
5. Mail the square or squares to me as directed in the email you receive.
I will post photos of completed blankets on my blog.
If you are willing to share the pattern for your seven inche square(s), that would be great. You can email the pattern instructions to me and I will create a section here for people to select patterns if they need them.