It has been positively balmy here over the last few days. We do not have a conservatory but the step out on to the patio is in a very sheltered corner. I enjoyed eating my sandwich lunch out there in early November last year, and it was possible to do that again on two days this last week (Apologies to those of you still under a layer of snow.)
Over the years I have enjoyed the stimulus of joining in a drive of one sort or another. I remember one related to Greenberg, which had been razed to the ground by a tornado. Whether their first need was for hand-knitted blankets I don't know, but the organiser was very enthusiastic and I enjoyed using up scrap yarn to knit squares.
Then there were the Innocent hats. On the second year of this campaign, the company were donating 50 p per hat to Age Concern - it is much less now. It was not hard to knit up fifty hats.
I remember customising a few of them in various knitting techniques and being mightily entertained to get a rosette sent to me when the season ended.
I've knitted cat blankets for a rescue centre, and warm clothes for children in Outer Mongolia.
But somehow the demand for hand-knitted items has waned. I am not sympathetic to Oxfam selling blankets at festivals for cash. It probably makes sense to their business, but I like to think of someone actually making use of my work and getting the benefit of its warmth - and I'm not thinking of a festival-goer.
So when I saw a complete layette on one of the sub-groups on Ravelry, I was charmed. The set had been made for the maternity ward on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. It's apparently very cold there and the people are very poor. Simple baby jackets and hats will be just the contrast I need to the Celtic colourwork. Dark colours are advised, as they do not show the dirt. I have been enjoying using these vibrant saturated shades. Actually making use of some of the many buttons I have saved over the years is another source of satisfaction.