Last weekend a few of my very crazy coworkers decided that it would be a ton of fun to take the Polar Plunge. What is the Polar Plunge? The Polar Plunge is a fundraising effort organized by law enforcement agencies throughout the state benefiting Special Olympics Washington. Participants collect pledges and plunge into various frigid water locations across Washington. All proceeds collected by Plungers benefit the Special Olympics Washington program in their local areas and helps further the Special Olympics Washington Mission.
So in a few words they voluntarily ran into the freezing waters of Puget Sound. (I am still questioning if they are of sound mind or not. Jury’s still out.) But it was for a very good cause, so in they went, and out they ran faster then lightning.
Karin (our fearless leader), took the plunge along with Rachael, Rob, Rob’s fiancé Brianne, and two of Karin’s high school mates. I stayed dry, warm and on the shore to take pictures of the craziness. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big chicken, but I got to use being pregnant as a pretty good excuse not to run into the cold water.
In these hard times, it’s always nice to take a few moments to help out our community. Whether it be volunteering at a local school or stripping down and diving into freezing water. Skacel’s crew by the way, raised $1,000.00 for Special Olympics.
There’s nothing like rekindling that feeling of youth. Times seemed so much simpler…no bills to pay, no time clocks to punch, and certainly no taxes to file. Well, thanks to the ingenious mind of Cid Hanscom (Cid Hanscom Designs), knitters can once again travel back in time to those carefree days by knitting and tying their own balloon animals!
Inspired by and fashioned after the balloon tied animals that you’d find in a circus or at a child’s birthday party, these amazing little creatures are knit in the round, with specific increases and decreases that allow them to be tied (after stuffing) into their respective species, be it animal, insect, or flower. The patterns come as a set, in a handy, clear vinyl wallet that allows the pattern to be visible and yet still protected. There are patterns for 10 creatures with clear and concise instructions on knitting, stuffing, and tying the wee beasties.
Skacel recently debuted the concept at a major knitting trade show, and shop owners could not keep their hands off of the animals. The perfect project for any knitter looking for something ‘new’, they also make wonderful gifts for the little ones in your life (or the big ones who still play with toys – like me).
WonderMike (knitter, spinner & producer of the Fiber Beat podcast/vidcast) sat down with me last year to discuss the origins and history of Skacel Knitting as well as the exciting products that are hitting the markets right now. You can hear it all in the latest episode of Fiber Beat No. 4, “Skacel-ebrate“. Be sure to enter the contest for a full bag of Zitron’s Unisono yarn. Details are on the podcast and online at fiberbeat.com. Deadline for entering is January 21st. So enter soon!
And just so you know – Unisono is the newest yarn from Zitron. It is a 100% superwash Merino with a real nice, tight twist that is enhanced with Jojoba Oil and Aloe Vera. It runs through your hands like butter and yet, it shows fabulous stitch definition. The winner will get to choose their color too!
Now that the holiday knitting is done, it’s time to hunker down and get these socks finished up! It was great to go home for a week and visit family, and once I got to Michigan, I was able to set up the rack and get to work.
A very special part of the trip was the big family visit at my grandmother’s home in Indiana. This has become an annual tradition, and part of the fun is being able to sit together and work on our various knitting projects.
I decided that since both my mom and sister gave input into the design of the stitch pattern for the sock that honors my father, they should each knit a row on those socks. It was fun to share a special moment with them in this way on this project.
Knitting has a way of carrying additional significance because of every person involved in making the piece. If you have a group of friends or family members that knit, consider making a group project to honor or gift to someone special.
Once we got back to Michigan, Mom and I had the chance to visit Yarn Envy, a wonderful local yarn shop that happens to be in a garden center. It was so much fun to walk in and see several tables full of people knitting and sharing together. Bill (one of the owners) was busy winding yarn for customers, but took a moment to pause for a photo op. (See the addis in the background!!!?)
Well, I guess it’s time to get back to the socks. Just let me throw out a reminder to those yarn shop owners that are going to be in Long Beach, CA for The National Needleworks Association winter show. Be sure to stop by the skacelcollection, Inc. booth to see all the new exciting yarns and patterns we have for spring.