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Yesterday it was snowing again. It was the third day this week that the schools were closed due to the weather conditions. Monday and Tuesday I stayed home with my children and thoroughly enjoyed the storm. It was too cold and windy to spend lots of time outside but luckily there was snow on our balcony that needed to be removed.

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Most importantly, I have finished the blanket. It was a big project and took me more than three days. Some of the blanket squares — knitted and crocheted by the senior ladies at Shannex — were stitched together with the flat slip stitch join that created a neat decorative line. But, man, it takes time. The linked video shows how to attach two neatly crocheted squares, and I was trying to attach various (not so neat) edges and not all of them aligned perfectly. In order to save some time, I used my sewing machine for the crocheted squares, and I used the mattress stitch for the vertical garter stitch squares — both make the joining line invisible.

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It was Tuesday afternoon when we dropped off the blanket at the Phoenix Youth Shelter. I almost never see anyone there, except for the staff members who accept the donations. This time, there was a young guy entering the shelter as I was getting out of the car. He came in and a few moments later I stepped inside, too — it was too cold to talk through the open door. I handed in the blanket packaged into one of those duvet plastic bags with the zipper and explained to the young woman at the door “I have a donation, it’s a knitted blanket”. She thanked me and the next moment another, louder, “Thank you!” boomed from the shelter’s kitchen as she asked if I want to leave my information. “No, it’s OK” was all I said out loud.

As I was going down the stairs, I wished I could shout back to the person in the kitchen “From all the crafters who worked hard to make this blanket — you are welcome”. But I think he knows it anyway.

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As a knitter, I am used to the magic of knitting. But every now and then I feel astonished by the results produced by two sticks and a string. This time, it’s about the size and determination. I am very happy to share with you the work of the members of Knitting for Charity group that meets every fourth Wednesday of the month at the Cole Harbour Public Library.

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These ladies started working on their squares last winter and knitted enough squares to make three blankets. Then a few brave souls took the squares home and turned them into these amazing creations.

Do you see the size of this thing? There are two grown-up women hiding behind it! This is a truly generous gift, nicknamed “Stained Glass Blanket”.

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The next one is called “Shades of Blue” and it is very elegant. I love how the ladies used both the texture and the colours to create a pattern.

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And if you like contrast colours, here is something to feast your eyes on. This blanket is my favourite!

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Knitting for Charity group voted to give their wonderful blankets to the youth, women, and men shelters — one for each.

Last week our local newspaper Metro published an article about knitting for charity. There are many knitters in our community who do this important work quietly, without any recognition or praise. However, I like it when people share their thoughts and talk about their projects. I believe that it inspires others and sends a clear message — when we care, we can achieve great things, one stitch at a time.

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Full Circle

What do you feel in September? For me it’s always the end and the beginning. The end of summer, the end of warmth, the end of my very fulfilling relationships with the ocean… Look, we had a very good summer together.

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Caribou-Munroes Island Provincial Park, NS

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Stanhope Beach, Prince Edward Island

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Crystal Crescent Provincial Park, NS

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The Arm, Halifax, NS

Also, September is the beginning. The beginning of school, the beginning of cold,  the beginning of rain, and wind, and darker nights. In September my “nesting instinct” kicks in, probably because I realize that I will spend a lot of time indoors.

Cleaning my closet and reflecting on the fact that children are bouncing off the walls brought about an unusual solution — I will take the children to the beach and finish the blanket there. Coincidentally, it was near the junior high school where the blanket was stitched together. I spread the blanket on the grass and added three missing squares while my kids played baseball.

The next day, we decided to go to my children’s school playground. And the blanket visited the place where the first attempt to assemble it was made. I added the jolly green border to make a neat edge.

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And yesterday the blanket was donated to the Phoenix Youth shelter. It was still warm outside but I could already feel the fall is almost here. The blanket made a full circle and ended up in a place where it will be needed and appreciated.

And because it’s September, it’s time to start something new. For example, a new blanket.

Happy fall, everyone!

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