Making a Menagerie

Knitting with double-pointed needles is a bit like using a ninja weapon. Points are everywhere and in constant motion, albeit slow motion. Knitting with double-pointed needles is not one of my favorite things. I much prefer circulars.

Knitting toys, however, is highly satisfactory. Smallish projects, completed in an evening or two, interesting shaping and construction techniques, minimal weaving in…it’s the best of knitting in my book. Progress and finished objects before I get bored. What could be better?

Well, in addition to all these knitting benefits, I’ve also gained a lap cat in the deal. The current stash of cats came here under duress. They spent three years (!) in the local shelter and had sensitive stomachs and twitchy personalities from the stress. Didn’t matter. They were a bonded pair and tolerated me. That was the relationship. I provide food and clean litter, a few comfortable places to sleep, and they (in turn) allow the occasional scritch behind the ears and proximity. No cuddling, sleeping together, or carrying around. They came to me. I was a servant.

Until about a year ago.

Oliver developed thyroid problems. Once those were under control, a tumor (most likely benign but highly annoying) in his sinuses showed up and makes him quite snotty and wheezy. It’s like having a toddler with a never-ending cold. But, like most toddlers, he now enjoys my company despite the undignified nose wiping I insist on.

And now my knitting is perfect, if pointy. We both are learning to cope with the small needles, fiddly shaping, and British murder mysteries on the television. Somehow, with all those pointy sticks, it makes for a perfect image. Now that Oliver appreciates my lap, perhaps I should use him as a bookrest so I can learn to read while knitting.

Now I’ve Done It

Well, I’ve gone and done it now. I’ve met with the local barracks of the State Police, my local constabulary, and the principal of the elementary school in town. The response for the bags has been beyond encouraging.

That’s not the bad thing. That’s wonderful because it means there are other projects that go with filling the bags. That was the whole reason for doing this in the first place. My pastor asked me to think up projects for a daytime group. Now I have projects — blankets, toys, hats, scarves, washcloths/scrubbies. The knitters and crocheters at church can stay busy for a while. That’s the good news.

More good news came from the principal. She is looking for community outreach programs for her kids, both to help with the kids and for the kids to help us. It’s a win-win situation.

I am excited beyond words to make these connections. It also made me a little cocky.

For the tote bags I’m making, I have fabric for the foreseeable future. Mom made sure of that! But, the bags need zippers and I don’t have zippers. And, zippers are hard to find and expensive. Enter the interwebs!

A ‘contact us’ inquiry at Talon International put me smack in the middle of a request for enough zippers for Mom’s stash of fabrics. It’s my first time asking for corporate support and it’s been amazing. Even if I don’t get the supply of zippers, I am encouraged by the positive response I’ve had to my tiny local project. The least might be contact with a local supplier and the ability to buy at wholesale. The best, zippers at the ready to meet the needs here where I live right now. Thank you Talon, particularly Surbhi in Visuals and Merchandising.

Going through this, I had to ‘pitch’ my concept, which meant I needed a name. And so is born Unsewn Potential. More on that next time. Meanwhile, I need to see if my local grocery store chain wants to help.