pure wool Canadian yarn
Syrian Refugees reaching shore in Lesbos – photo by Sergey Ponomarev
Kingston region expects about 600 Syrian Refugees to arrive by February.
The Syrian Refugees need to be welcomed with warm clothes as well as warm intentions.
Topsy Farms is all about wool, and warmth and food, and welcoming visitors. We admired the momentum in other communities to mobilize craftspeople to create warm items of apparel (https://www.facebook.com/25000tuques/ and http://www.ravelry.com/groups/1000-stitches-for-syria).
But nothing was happening in Kingston.
So we helped start KINGSTON STITCHES FOR SYRIANS campaign.
Knit Traders, our Kingston yarn outlet store, and Jean Sweezie, a Kingston knitter, are the team making this happen. Others, including the mobile yarn store Purlin J ‘s (who also carry Topsy yarn) and Rosa’s Café are promoting the idea. More will soon follow.
The goal is to encourage all knitters, crocheters, weavers, and sewers to contribute hats, mitts, scarves, socks/slippers, toys and blankets. Warmth matters. The newcomers will be traumatized and cold. Our yarn is wonderful for hats and mitts and we’ve offered some at cost for this purpose.
We are asking the creators to attach a label with a simple message of welcome, and their first name, and to provide some guidelines for those sorting the donations.
On Amherst Island, bring your donations to the Wool Shed at Topsy Farms. In Bath, please go to Rosa’s Café. In Kingston, drop your donation off at KnitTraders or at Minotaur Games and Gifts at 78 Princess. In Napanee go to Ellena’s Café. We will be seeking other locations in regional towns and villages. A group of folks who crochet in The Great Waterways have joined us. We are approaching seniors residences and groups. Knit Traders sent their blog to over 800 knitters. And we are coordinating carefully with the overall refugee aid groups.
A kind donor has given $100 to purchase Topsy yarn at discount for this purpose. Our coordinator who is visiting Seniors Centres to encourage involvement in Kingston Stitches for Syrians, may now offer our yarn, free.
In your community, seek the networks that may exist. If nothing is happening, start your own, and link with us for more information.
Please encourage friends and neighbours to join in. Remember, no donation is too small or too big, whether it’s a small beginners’ scarf or a family sized afghan – we need them all.
“It is so obvious that you are working with a yarn product that is really natural–you can see it, you can smell it, you can feel it”
“It is so obvious that you are working with a yarn product that is really natural–you can see it, you can smell it, you can feel it, sometimes you even find the odd bit of barn in there! Since we try to support local it’s nice to be able to use yarn made close to home–there is very little that is local in yarn stores and they are typically much more heavily processed. My dad is an islander and the island is a very special place for me, so using this yarn really imbues the knitting process with meaning. Now I just have to cross my fingers that these don’t get thrown in the dryer by mistake and get all felted up!”
– Jenna, Kingston, January, 2015
“Jennifer and I so enjoyed our visit to your delightful little store to buy woollen hats and gloves, and choosing wool from amongst the glorious colours to do our own knitting. And we were so lucky to see the sheep being herded! Topsy Farms is a unique gem of a place and you are such a gracious host! A day to remember and treasure.”