And then there was August …. dancing with family in West Virginia, choral singing with the Orchestra in Saratoga Springs, working a way into volunteering for the general election, knitting, and more knitting, for the Ravelympics.
My annual upcycling contribution to the CDSS Family Week auction this year was a crocheted tote bag made with kitchen cotton and prepared juice pouches. As in years past, I worked on this at camp, and was glad to see how enthusiatically friend and children responded to this recycling effort; three little ones left camp with some semblance of crochet skills to explore with over the year.
Much energy went into creating the first of a set of flags for the 198 Countries Peace Project. I signed on to the project early, claiming the flags of Israel and Palestine for (for obvious reasons), as well as the flag of Cambodia (in honor of my friend Onn, a survivor of the genocide). I finished the Cambodian flag in early August, exploring ways to translate into knitting the special structural details of the 11th-c. Wat Kohear Nokor temple represented on the flag. I managed to finish designing the Israel-Palestine flag in August, but set the knitting aside for after the Jewish holidays.
With the excitement of competition, I cleared up the “studio,” sorting out piles of unfinished projects to enter in the WIP Wrestling event. I managed to complete quite a few projects, among which were:
- five hats for the HatDash (on the ChinaCare team, which executed hundreds of hats for Chinese orphans).
- my Passover “unborn egg” (based on Mochimochiland’s Reversible Egg pattern).
- the embroidered coins on a felted tote bag inspired by Tink Knits Penny Bag and the [198 Countries Peace project; I composed and international coin mosaic with all the coins retrieved from my sons’ rooms (received from their grandfather after his travels). Having made the “rather large” Noni carpet bag already, I thought I’d have a go at the medium. It’s a very nice size, though a bit narrow – like a laptop case. I don’t know if I can bear to give this one away, though I really don’t need it. Maybe it will be my new laptop case.
- a felted bowler, to add to the growing collection of Jewish headgear in my Minyan Project.
- a reversible cabled Steam Scarf, lusciously thick and cozy.
- a niece’s neglected birthday present (fluffy tutu, too heavy to be worn, so turned into a pillow).
- a densely-knit cap (DIY Peasant’s Cap), made from ultra-soft bulky merino from handpaintedyarn.com.
In August I joined a group aiming to help resettle Iraqi refugees (mostly families of translators who had helped the American military and had to flee for their lives). To add something handmade to the used household items we collected for their new homes, I designed and knitted a number of dishcloths based on the traditional Hamsa (Khamsa) Hand (the Hand of Miriam for Jews, and Hand of Marjam or Fatima for Muslims). I modifed the traditional hand, converting the outer fingers to peace doves. With the eye in the center of the palm, the design is suitable for Jews; without it, I make it for Muslms, for whom (I’ve been advised) the eye is pagan and offensive; to my knowledge, Jewish folk tradition has always made affirmative use of the eye symbolism.
This seems like quite a bit was accomplished, and yet I recall being disappointed with what I wasn’t able to finish as well (I had to withdraw quite a few projects from the WIPs Wrestling match). But by the end of August, the heat of the season and the presidential campaigns were serious competition with the knitting baskets.