Friday, 22 November 2013

Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday

Today I'm hosting TGIFF.

I don't actually have a recent, unpublished, finished object to show you. However, M-R, one of the instigators of the TGIFF concept, has invited me to share with you what I've been doing as regards the survivors of the bush-fires which devastated parts of the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, in mid-October. 

For those who may not know, four major fires sprang up near Lithgow, Mt Victoria, Springwood and Winmalee. The Lithgow and Mt Victoria fires soon joined into one blaze and destroyed over 10,000 hectares of land -- both bush and farmland. Remarkably, only a few residential properties were lost. However, major infrastructure was destroyed, including property belonging to the state-owned railways. This meant that electric trains were not able to get further west than Katoomba and commuters who travel from Lithgow (a two-hour trip on an express train) had to take a bus for part of their journey, adding up to an extra hour of time to their morning and evening commutes.

The Springwood and Winmalee fires also joined and, at one point, jumped the Nepean River, coming within four kilometres of our suburban home. What we once thought was completely safe suburbia has proved to be vulnerable with winds carrying embers into our yard and onto our roof.  Fortunately, WM keeps the gutters clean and free of dead leaves, etc. No homes were lost in our suburb or the surrounding area but it could have been otherwise! This photo was taken by WM from our front yard looking west towards the "Winmalee" fire.
17 October 2013
The story for residents of Springwood and Winmalee is very different. Over 200 homes were completely destroyed and another 200 were damaged, most irreparably. Fortunately, there was no loss of life. Hundreds of children are attending pre-school, primary school and secondary school every day that have lost absolutely everything!

A local charity was collecting blankets for families that had been affected by the fires. I donated two that I had to hand -- one I had already finished and was storing for the "right time", the other was finished in response to the fire emergency.
"Intarsia Blanket" (designed and knitted by Never2Hot2Knit)

"Knitted Patchwork" (donated half squares joined by me)
I also cast on another blanket, which I called the Winmalee Blanket, in honour of the suburb that suffered the most damage. I would have liked to have finished this by now but I'm still a few hours away from completion. For those of you who don't knit, a finished blanket has about 140,000 stitches in it and takes about 75-80 hours to knit. I'm about 7 hours from finishing mine, this is what it looks like so far:
modified "Moderne Baby Blanket" (Mason-Dixon Knitting)
For the knitters reading, this is a modified version of "Moderne Baby Blanket" and the only acrylic yarn (which I'm desperately trying to use up) that I had in large enough quantities. 

The president of the Knitters' Guild of NSW (Inc) got behind the idea and soon squares and finished blankets began pouring in. I had raised the idea, so I was the volunteer seamstress. This is what my dining table looks like with three completed blankets folded on the left corner and "squares" of various sizes stacked across the table (there are more piles that you can't see behind the 'skyscraper')!
please come and help me!
and this is a partially completed blanket on the living room floor.
"Knitted Patchwork II" (505 donated half-squares, 50% knitted, or to be knitted, by me)
I am hoping to finish this one soon but want to finish the Winmalee Blanket first which is getting more and more difficult as daytime temperatures are over 30*C (86*F). 

The need for blankets has now passed so the squares will be stitched together during a "seaming bee" in the new year and the resultant blankets stored (by the Guild) for future need.

Another group that I belong to is called Caring Hearts Community Quilters (CHCQ); it was started a few years ago in response to a bushfire emergency in Victoria. Along with other quilting groups and charities, there has been a massive effort to supply families who lost everything with items to show, in a practical way, that someone cares about their plight. CHCQ has already donated thirty-one quilts to two primary schools and a pre-school for children who have lost everything. Later today we will be sorting and bagging another 64 quilts that will be given to students in two high schools. WM is coming to the sorting day with me to take photos so come back later to see some of the activity and quilts.

Sourcing or making over 100 quilts in less than a month is no mean feat for a small group of about twenty women, most of whom are in their sixties and seventies. I am proud to be associated with the group.

Thanks, M-R, for encouraging me to share this story. I hope the post was not too long!

Please link up with your finished projects here. Please use the URL of your actual blog post so that we may all come and visit your blog and see what you have finished.


  1. I'm impressed at what you achieved. I recently joined squares knitted by other people into a blanket and know how much work is involved.

  2. Well done Lynne. I too know some of the work involved. I wanted to offer to help but I am having a nasty flare up of arthritis in hands and shoulders and have managed about two rows of knitting in the last ten days. I can't bend or flex right hand fingers and would have been no help to you. Have a doctor's appointment for tomorrow so may get something to relieve it.

    I'm sure the blankets will be appreciated.

  3. I wish I could come to help! Thank you for explaining so well the situation; so much heartache!

  4. What you are doing is fantastic, I know how long it takes to knit something compared to sewing/quilting it, my own post that I've linked up reflects that very point. You're doing some marvellous work, well done :D

  5. Amazing work, showing once again the awesomeness of the quilting community, and all that we can do to help!

  6. Ending up in danger when you thought your location safe must have been frightening! That is a lot of knitting you are doing and a lot of seaming up. It is good to have items on hand before an emergency.

  7. Some beautiful blankets there! I make donated squares into blankets for a local charity here in Brisbane and I have stacks of squares lurking in bedrooms etc...the piles never seem to go down despite my having made 15 or so blankets this year! lol

  8. Oh my what a wonderful thing knitters coming together to knit squares for blankets/afghans helping those who have been devastated by the fires. Love seeing teamwork but you sure will be busy sewing those knitted patches together.

  9. That is a massive effort from your group, no wonder you are so proud to be part of it! I love the curves of your Intarsia blanket - really beautiful effect.

  10. I have never thought about knitted quilt. Thanks for sharing the inspiration.

  11. What a talented and generous bunch of ladies you are, all power to your elbows!

  12. Thank you so much for hosting this linky party, it is so much fun to see what everyone is working on!

  13. Knitted quilts is such a great idea... I suppose most knitters have leftover bits and pits just we have scraps. Great post.

  14. Pretty cool idea. I am sure it will turn out great

  15. Glad to see that you were able to get some done and donated. You've definitely been busy. I have no finish to share, but wish you good luck with all that you are working on.

  16. What a great thing you are doing! Our church puts together approximately 120 prayer blankets each year using donated knitted or crocheted squares from many people in our community. I often knit a square in the evenings and pray for whomever the blanket is destined to belong to. On another note, thanks for hosting the link up this week!

  17. I am sure the recipients will feel the love that goes into every stitch of these blankets.

  18. I love the idea of a knitted patchwork piece. I just can't imagine sitting still long enough to finish one. Thanks for sharing and hosting the link party.


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