I'm usually not much for charity knitting. In general, I feel that the poor can use my pocket money more than my stockinette. But I find that The Dulaan Project is an exception. It's a way to turn some of the joy I get from the process of knitting into happiness for others. That works for me. In case it might work for you, too, here's a bit of information.
The Dulaan Project, in case you're a new knitter or have been living in a cave for three years, is the brainchild of two beautiful people: Ryan of Mossy Cottage Knits and Konchog of Dreaming of Danzan Ravjaa.
The goal, in brief, is to send a dizzying number of warm, handmade garments and blankets to those who need them (especially children) in Mongolia, a place so cold that in February the wealthy inhabitants visit Chicago to lie out on the beach. Okay, I made that up. But it's cold there. Wicked cold. And a lot of people (especially children) face the winters with far less clothing than they ought.
For a much more complete, coherent description, visit Ryan's blog.
In addition to knitting my little bit, I'm also considering putting together a Dulaan Knit Night for Dulaan knitters in Chicagoland who'd like to congregate, most likely some time in early November. I have a beautiful venue at my disposal, and will post further details as they develop. If you'd perhaps be interested in attending, please speak up in the comments.
Dulaan Item Number One: Baby Surprise Jacket
Aside from selecting and attaching buttons, my first Baby Surprise Jacket is finished, and it's going to Mongolia.
This pattern, which I got from Elizabeth Zimmermann's The Opinionated Knitter, is legendary and it deserves to be. You knit the entire jacket in one, flat piece with weird shaping every so often. Before you know it, you have a symmetrical garter-stitch amoeba. You then fold this amoeba up just so, sew two short seams, and this is what you get:
I am so impressed with the creative genius behind this design that after I finished it I put EZ's picture on my altar and dedicated the merit of my morning chanting (such as it is) to her memory.
I used a heavier yarn (worsted weight) than the pattern suggests, in order to create jacket that would fit a slightly older baby. Or a baby that eats too many Big Macs, or likes to smuggle a flask of Jack Daniels in its diapers.
I loved everything about this project except the yarn, which is Lamb's Pride Worsted. The fabric is nice to touch, and it drapes well, but every time got up from a knitting session I was covered in mohair fluff. I looked like I'd been cuddling a nervous orange cat in my lap. Yecchh. Never again.
With different yarn, the Baby Surprise Jacket is going to become a mainstay whenever I want something fun but simple to knit up as a baby gift. In fact, if my female friends would please consider getting pregnant, I'd be much obliged. Thank you.