Karen Flagg, State CWA Director notes the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers has written saying that they need 1600 pairs of mittens in sizes newborn to 12 years of age. Karen thinks perhaps the members may be interested in making some and bringing them to State Session in October so that they could be presented at the same time that we present gifts and check. It’s not too early to get started!
The “Knit Wits” and friends of Maple Grove Grange #148 shared a very productive workday for Project Linus last Saturday.Working for over 7 hours,they completed eleven blankets and quilts to be donated to The Centers for Grieving Children in Portland. Each year,just before Christmas they hold a total group get together evening, when every participant for the year receives a “blanket hug”. After each blanket was finished, a Maine State Grange label was attached as well as the Project Linus Label. Donations of 4 additional quilts, along with those made earlier in the year totaled 29 which were delivered on Friday by Worth Master Bob Burns and “Knit Wit” leader,Ann Burns. Staff members had been concerned two days earlier that they would not have enough for this years distribution, so were especially appreciative of the presentation. A tour of the facility was very informative to assist the Burnses with more information to share at their next meeting.
Thanks to our “Blistered Finger Knitters” our annual mitten and hat distribution is well underway with large shopping bags already delivered to P.C.E.S. in Guilford, Harmony Elementary School, and SeDoMoCha Elementary in Dover Foxcroft for distribution to students when needed. Mary Annis was recently assisted by Linda Erwin and Sandra Scott with the sorting and bagging. The group stopped frequently to admire the color combinations and handwork. “We didn’t actually count,” said Mary. “But we certainly are providing schools with more hats and mittens than ever before!”
The knitting group doesn’t meet; they don’t plan. They just knit, and knit, and knit. The group this year included Mary, Debbie Burdin from Cambridge, Pat Engstrom from Dover Foxcroft, and Roberta Fitzgerald all the way from Shamong, NJ. Roberta surely sets the record for the mittens that travel the furthest–she delivers her work during an annual visit with family in the area. Debbie must have the record for most knitted with a personal goal of 1000 pairs this year.
A yarn drive earlier this year kept the knitters supplied with material. (Any leftover or unused yarn you have can be brought to the Grange Hall and will be put to good use. Colors don’t matter as our knitters are adept at multicolored mittens!)
We also ended up with some afghans which will be donated for use by residents at the Hibbard Nursing Home in Dover Foxcroft. It gives our knitters a warm feeling to know they are helping others feel warm! For more information about the program, visit the Valley Grange website.
submitted by Angela Hobson, South Sangerville Grange
South Sangerville Grange is supporting the “Click for Babies” program–a drive to create knitted or crocheted PURPLE caps for newborn boys in and girls. The project is designed to help educate parents about the “Period of Purple Crying,” a normal, but frustrating period of increased crying all infants experience in the first few weeks and months after birth.
Granges in the Piscataquis and Penobscot area should get their purple caps to the Penquis Office in Bangor (262 Harlow Street) or Dover Foxcroft (50 North Street) by October 26, 2012–Caps will be distributed in November and December. Caps can also be mailed to Wendy Pace, Penquis, PO Box 1162, Bangor ME 04402. You can download a Purple Hats Poster from this site and visit the CLICK for Babies website for additional information including patterns.
While some talking heads are predicting the death of newspapers, Valley Grange can testify to the fact that the power of the press lives on! When we started our “blistered fingers knitters” promotion and Yarn Drive a few months ago we never really dreamed that our program would result in one knitter who lives in New Jersey joining the effort.
Things started with a feature article written by Shelia Grant, a local freelancer… and the yarn started pouring in. Most area newspapers were happy to list collection points and help spread the word. Then just as collections started slowing down Bill Pearson of The Piscataquis Observer decided to showcase the story and included some follow-up information.
Shortly after that article appeared we heard from Roberta Fitzgerald in New Jersey, Roberta suggested that she’s actually more of a “calloused fingers” knitter, but she wanted to help us by knitting some hats for the kids. Roberta explained that her “roots to Dover-Foxcroft are actually my mother’s. She grew up in Dover-Foxcroft and graduated from FA in 1939. Mom went to NJ in 1940 for nursing school, met her husband, and raised four daughters there. Every summer, however, we all came to Dover Foxcroft, staying at Sebec Lake, and made lots of memories with our Washburn cousins, aunts and uncles.”
One fascinating aspect of Roberta’s story includes her explanation that in 2006 she began making extended visits to her mother after she’d been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Roberta explains, “One of the marvelous things that happened was I was able to re-teach her to knit. After church one Sunday, she signed up for knitting the Seaman’s scarves! Yikes! I was amazed that I was able to re-introduce her to knitting and I think it was really good for her. I know it had been at least 50 years (maybe more) since the last time she’d knitted anything.”
And now that legacy lives on. “I’m a compulsive knitter who can’t justify watching TV without knitting needles or crochet hook in hand, so knitting some hats for elementary school kids in Guilford & Dover Foxcroft is easy to do!”
We’re pleased to welcome Roberta to the knitter’s circle and look forward to receiving her first batch of hats when she visits the area this summer. We also recently took delivery of 97 pairs of mittens from Debbie Burdin. Thanks to the improving weather we’ll be arranging storage until they are needed next fall. All our mittens and hats go to Piscataquis Community Elementary School, SeDoMoCha, or the Piscataquis Santa Project. We’re still collecting yarn for a few more weeks, so visit a bin near you if you have some to donate!
Thanks to our local area newspapers, writers, and reporters for helping us help our communities and kids! We even made the marque of Centre Theatre! The power of the press lives on!
Submitted by Ann Burns
Forty seven fleece blankets and quilts have been completed by Maple Grove Grange #148 “Knit Wits” and friends. Most of them were completed at Project Linus workdays. A few were donated for us to distribute by Sebago quilt makers.Thirty of them were taken to the Center for Grieving Children in Portland for their annual year end presentation. The remaining seventeen were delivered to the Cumberland County Chapter of the Nattional Project Linus Program. These were a part of the 1,434 blankets distributed throughout Cumberland County in 2011. The photo shows a Center for Grieving Children staff worker accepting two of the quilts from Maple Grove Grange member Ann Burns and volunteer Lin Greene of Sebago. Center for Grieving Children staff worker accepts two of the quilts from Maple Grove Grange member Ann Burns and volunteer Lin Greene of Sebago. Center for Grieving Children staff worker accepts two of the quilts from Maple Grove Grange member Ann Burns and volunteer Lin Greene of Sebago.
Submitted by Walter Boomsma
Valley Grange in Guilford has some “blistered fingers knitters”… one produced over 100 pairs of mittens last year for Piscataquis Santa to bring to kids… and she’s already produced nearly half that this year! Another provides us with beautiful afgahns we can raffle or donate to other organizations as fundraisers… To support this generosity, we recently started a “yarn drive” to collect unused yarn for these ladies. We’ve placed collection bins around the area, and asked folks to bring yarn to meetings, etc. In the course of bringing all this together, we’ve learned of a great site for free patterns for everything from afghans to mittens and hats. If you or your grange is looking for patterns and ideas, check out allfreeknitting.com. And if you are doing a lot of knitting for good causes, consider a yarn drive… it’s good for the environment because unused yarn gets used instead of thrown out… and I’ll bet the sheep appreciate it too!
Got a quick tip? Almost anything qualifies… we’re looking for ideas that will make our granges more effective and efficient! Just email your idea to webmastermainestategrangeorg (webmastermainestategrangeorg) . For the good of the order!
Submitted by Karen Flag via the MSG Bulletin
Hello Everyone, I hope you are all coping with this ever changing weather. I do want to thank all the Granges that have been generously sending in their donations for our CWA projects. I try and send the Certificates out the next day after receiving the checks. In August when we have our conference, I hope many of you will try to attend as we will be going over next year’s program, announcing and presenting awards for this year’s needlecraft entries plus we are going to try something new – ”make and take home a craft item. ”You do not need to know how to knit, sew, crochet, etc.
I did announce at the Dress Revue “that if we do not have more participation next year, then I will omit the May date and have everything due at the August conference.”
The winners for this year’s Dress Revue are as follows: Class A (adults), 1st Helen Clifford, 2nd Mary Goss and Jeanne Burnham received 3rd. Class C (children’s garments), 1st went to Sally Downing, 2nd Ann Burns and 3rd to Jeanne Burnham. Class D (wearable arts) 1st went to Ann Burns and 2nd to Jeanne Burnham. Class n (non-member) went to Mary Parker.
For the Dress-A-Doll Contest, 1st went to Tim Wilson, 2nd to Lois Zezima and 3rd to Kathy Gowen. Men winning the Scones Baking entries were 1st Adrian Griffin, 2nd Michael Flagg and 3rd went to Rolf Staples. Winning ladies were 1st Diane Newcomb, 2nd Debra Ivers and 3rd was Barbara Hatch and the winning Junior member was Savannah Hallowell. Enjoy each and every day and look forward to seeing many of you throughout the summer as I visit your Granges.
Submitted by Ann Burns
Fourteen Maple Grove Grange Knit Wits and friends gathered last week at the Sebago Center Church for a two day Project Linus Weekend . Grange members had prepared flannel kits, fleece , and over twenty sewn quilt tops for participants to use . With snack donations from volunteers and lunch provided by The Umbrella Factory, Jordan’s Store, Four Season’s Variety, The Whistle Stop, Shaw’s and Hannaford of Standish, everyone proceeded to complete the work for the weekend.
The Cumberland County Project Linus coordinator,Melodie Provost and her assistant from Saco joined the group for the Friday twelve hour work session . Some community members brought donations of previously made quilts and afghans enabling Provost to take seven quilts with her by mid afternoon. New workers arrived for the evening session and by closing,another six quilts were completed and several more in various stages for finishing. As Saturday arrived, so did three new workers and three returning from the day before. With three workers taking home seven quilts needing minor finishing, satisfied organizers packed up the rest for a final counting and packaging. A total of twenty nine recipients will soon receive a “blanket hug” when disaster strikes in their life, thanks to Maple Grove Grange and their friends.
Submitted via the MSG Bulletin
Rumford Grange recently made several donations as part of their ongoing community service program. Grange Community Service Director Donna Worcester presented knit preemie hats, booties and sweaters to RN Amanda Tozier in the Special Delivery department at Rumford Hospital. The items were hand crafted by Grange members and other volunteer workers.
During the past year Rumford Grand had penny collection jars placed in the area. This project collected $56 that was donated to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland. The Grange is appreciative of all who helped make these donations possible.
On Halloween night a party for the children took place at the Grange Hall with about sixteen youngsters in attendance. Each child in costume had his/her picture taken. Donna Worcester, Vicki Clark and Wendell Easter passed out good bags that included coloring books donated by a neighbor.
They are working on a special project and would like a picture of each Grange Hall in Maine. If you are willing e-mail the picture to Donna Worcester at viewpointroadrunnercom (viewpointroadrunnercom) or mail to P.O. Box 77, Hanover, ME 04237.