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Campaign for 250 Pairs of Wool Socks for Students

To Be Hand-Carried to Afghanistan in March!

Due Date: March 7, 2007

Please visit our guidelines page for current campaign information, new due dates, and information on how to get involved.

Dear Knitters and Crocheters for Afghanistan,

Socks for Marsha's students

We have a special and quick opportunity to have 250 hand-knit wool pairs of socks delivered by plane to Afghanistan in March.

Please read on ...

As many of you know, in 2006, we sent two collections of our handmade gifts to Afghanistan via Afghans 4 Tomorrow, a U.S.-based non-profit organization with relief and development projects in Afghanistan. One load arrived in Kabul for distribution, and we have another load en route. It can take 6-9 months for our gifts to be shipped over and distributed.

Who's Marsha?

Periodically, the U.S. leadership of Afghans 4 Tomorrow travels overseas to monitor and evaluate needs and progress. In March, board member Marsha MacColl is heading to Kabul to teach and work in their schools, among other assignments. Marsha is a devoted and energetic champion for the Afghan people. She has seen our lovely handiwork and marvels at the generosity and skill of all our volunteers across the U.S. and Canada. We marvel at Marsha's compassion and organizing talent. Marsha knows how to get a job moving and done. Afghanistan is fortunate to have her dedication!

Marsha has agreed to carry a duffel bag of our hand-knit wool socks on the plane with her. Traveling with excess baggage is always a hassle these days, but if the items are of high value, the effort is worthwhile. Warm, beautifully made socks for the students will make wonderful gifts for the girls and boys when Marsha visits. Marsha is going to have a great time distributing our gifts. She will tell the kids that their socks were made especially for them by many Americans and Canadians who want to express their friendship and concern.

March will still be cool or even cold, and the socks will be very useful and appreciated. Socks are typically worn without shoes inside the home and outside with shoes or sandals. Wearing a good-quality pair of socks to bed can mean a much more comfortable sleep. Socks help conserve body heat. Socks offer a lot of value in a small space. Please keep in mind that most homes are poorly built and without a dependable heat source or any at all. Afghans 4 Tomorrow burns wood in their schools, but firewood is expensive.

Now, some specifics on socks for Marsha's students ...

You guessed it ... Wool is best for these socks. Other animal fiber can be mixed in. Most sock yarns have a small percentage of nylon for strength and wear, and that is OK. Basic wool worsted-weight yarns will provide a wonderfully thick sock. Let's make durable socks.

Please avoid white and very light colors that soil more easily. Afghans like all colors. Feel free to mix up a bright and cheery palette -- more fun for the kids. Use up those wool oddballs.

Knit your favorite pattern or try something new. We want to provide basic socks with heels and with coverage for the lower leg. Please, no booties or slippers. The kids range in ages 7-18 years. The older kids can wear a small adult size and some up to a women's large. We want to send a variety of sizes to make sure all the kids get a pair.

Here's are a few free online sock patterns that you may wish to use:

  • Children's socks, courtesy of Claudia.
  • Use DK wool to make these ribbed socks.
  • Toe-up socks.
    (Thanks to community knitter extraordinaire Elizabeth Durand for vetting these patterns. Please email us if you have additional suggestions of links to free sock patterns that would be appropriate for Afghanistan. The pattern should include a photo on the page.)

    Please forgive us, but we're going to ask crocheters to sit this one out. Crochet doesn't lend itself as well to a sock. But, that's ok -- we'd love if the crocheters could work on making wool blankets (not lacy, though). Crochet goes faster and is thicker generally -- perfect for blankets.

    Important information to review

    Our general guidelines and mailing addresses are here for your reference.

    Please review our memo on wool and fiber content.

    Due dates

    U.S. due date for receiving socks is March 7.
    Canadian due date for receiving socks is February 19 (via elann.com in B.C.)

    Please send in your socks as soon as they are ready -- we need to stay on top of the sorting and packing rather than scramble at the last minute. This also let's us gauge how we're doing on reaching the goal of 250 pairs of socks.

    Typically, we receive fewer socks than any of the other items.

    We now need a lot of socks -- 250 pairs -- in a short timeframe.

    We're not sure whether we can make this goal, but we have to give it our best. We need to reach sock-knitting fanatics! Know any? Please feel free to share the link to this webpage with sock-knitters.

    For those of you who don't knit socks -- we know you're working on the campaign for hats for the kids' circus program, or making blankets, or ready for whatever comes next. If you could recruit a few sock-knitting friends to make a pair in the next several weeks, that would be a big help. We count on our volunteers for the essential word-of-mouth to keep our momentum.

    Thank you for considering this special request for wool socks for the students. Having Marsha hand-carry our handiwork to Afghanistan in March is a real treat and an honor for us. Makes the world seem much smaller and closer together. We like how that feels, and the kids will like the feel of their new socks!

    Thank you for joining in and for continuing to care.

    Our best,
    Ann and colleagues at afghans for Afghans

  • A4T School
    Afghans 4 Tomorrow School in Kabul



    Marsha
    Marsha MacColl with
    Afghans 4 Tomrorow


    gula



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