The MKG community-service knitting project for the second quarter of 2007 (April, May, and June) is the Ships Project, which sends warm hats and slippers to U.S. military personnel. We will collect items at our June meeting.
Here is information on the program from the Ships Project Web site, www.theshipsproject.com:
The Ships Project was founded in October of 2001, when a female sailor on board the U.S.S. Bataan responded to an "Any Sailor" letter written by the project's founder, Ellen Harpin. In that letter, Ellen mentioned her love for knitting; the sailor responded jokingly that maybe Ellen could send a pair of knitted slippers to keep her feet warm as she slept, since her berthing was extremely cold. Since then, the project has grown far beyond that small beginning and has earned the respect and support of the military. The U.S.S. Bataan has long since returned home, but the Ships Project has continued to send packages to sailors and Marines on dozens of ships deployed since then, as well as to Army, Marine, and Air Force units on the ground.
The Ships Project now sends handmade hats, slippers, cool-ties and cool-heads to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines deployed across the world. More than 1,000 individuals, as well as dozens of church and civic groups, have adopted this project and are making handcrafted items to be sent to our troops. With troops still being deployed by the thousands to Iraq and Afghanistan, the need for what they have come to call the Ships Project's "hugs from home" is increasing daily. The military has asked them to continue this effort even with the Department of Defense restriction on mail to the war region.
The Minnesota Knitters Guild will be collecting hats and slippers made from worsted-weight yarn. You can use wool if you label the item to be handwashed in cold water and laid flat to dry. Because the items are going to the military, they suggest we use only dark colors like blue, green, red, brown, gray, tan, black, red-white-blue combinations, digital camouflage (blue/gray), or desert camouflage (tans/browns). You can use either variegated or solid colors. Stripes and color patterns are welcome. Avoid using pink, lavender, pastels, neon or jungle camouflage (olive green/black/brown).
Patterns for hats and slippers can be found at www.theshipsproject.com/ItemGuidelines.htm.