Posts Tagged ‘Knitters’

That’s a biggun

September 14, 2010

I get a lot of emails about IBOL.  Sometimes, it’s small talk.  Sometimes, it’s about loved ones who are deployed.  Sometimes, it’s about things like what to use as a phone number on the customs form (for which there is no good answer, by the way).

Today, I got an email that started, “I sent out a 37 lbs package today….”

A 37 pound bundle of love.  Wow.  That’s one heavy bundle!

I also had a wonderful comment, when someone said that started by figuring out what they’d want to receive as a starter kit, and then going into their stash and digging out those kinds of things.  That just struck me as being awesome — making the kind of bundle you wished you were receiving.

So, keep ’em coming.  I am fairly sure I am all caught up on comments and sending out the address, as of…. right this second.  If I wait 3 minutes, there will be another comment, for sure.


August 26, 2010
How do I know this is taking off again?
1.  I am getting traffic from some place called;
2. Guys are leaving comments, asking for the address;
3.  I’m actually recognizing both people’s names and their email addresses, from last year;  and
4. We had almost 1000 web hits on 25 AUG.
Not bad, for day two.
Remember last time, when I put out the challenge for a fabric store to come forward with bundles for sale, at or just above cost? Sew Mama Sew! stepped up and did just that — with some totally amazing results (love you, Sew Mama Sew!)
This time, we need that for thread.  We need it for fabric and yarn, too, but thread would be totally awesome.  Anybody know someone that can either put me in touch with, or that they can drag into this?  Surely there are small business owners out there, willing to Give A Little, right?

Well, that was a bad idea

September 15, 2009

I went to the warehouse today. Folks, we need to talk.

1. Right now, you do not want to play me at Tetris. I will win. I have packed bajillions of IBOL boxes into and out of the truck in recent weeks. I have it down to a science.

2. Let me see a show of hands — how many of you wrote a warm, heartfelt note to me and stuck it in with you bundle, before closing it up and mailing it? One, two, three, four — that’s what I thought. Apparently, nearly all of you did. It’s enough that you’re helping with this project — you didn’t need to go and get all flowery and mushy and thanky on me. I’m a hardened killer — I’m not suppose to be getting all choked up and stuff.

3. I did make it to the warehouse today. I said some very bad words when I walked into the warehouse. Some very bad words. For the first time in a long time, I was damn near speechless. Here’s a little of what I saw.

4. Here’s the view of my drive to the warehouse. You might look at this and think, “ugh!” I look at it and ask, “When can I go running again?” I run along this road, in the dead of night, a few times a week, and it’s an awesome little stretch of road.

Oh, and I totally almost forgot. You’re going to want to see this.

Over the hump and to the finish line

September 5, 2009

IBOL Sundae is almost here, and that means that the 8th is just around the corner. Just a few more days to package up the bundles and get them into the mail.

Over this long holiday (in America) weekend, if you’re looking for some more light reading, take a peak at this. It’s a Google search of sites out there that have linked back to IBOL.

In it, you’ll find all kinds of quilters and knitters, crafters and dreamers. Some say little more than “OMG, go see IBOL!” but others write at length about IBOL, their bundles, and the process of being involved in this. And, worst case, you may find a link or two to an artist whom you’re not familiar. Right now, it’s got 126 leads for you to follow and explore. That should provide you with some entertainment for a while, I would hope.

One story, one update

August 18, 2009

Mail arrived on Tuesday, third time in 4 days. One of the NCO’s comes in and announces, “Hey, mail’s here. We’ve got a lot of it” and looking at me, “and sir, you got a lot of mail.

“Did I get 50 boxes?”

“What? No! Why would you get 50 boxes in the mail?”

“I have this little side project thing going. How many boxes arrived for me today?”

“A lot. Like, maybe a dozen.” (13 actually)

“Tell me when I get 50 boxes in a day. That’d be a lot of mail.”

He turns to another guy. “You hear this? He thinks he’s going to get 50 boxes in a day. Remember before Christmas, when Smitty was getting all that mail?”

So I ask, because I remember when that happened. It even made the press. “How many boxes did Smitty get in the mail?”

“I don’t, but it was a lot.”

“Like how many?”

“Oh, it was tons. Like, maybe 100.”

I snickered.

“What?” he asks. “How many boxes do you think you’ll get?”

“Five hundred.” It was the first time I had used that number with my outside voice. And I gotta admit, it produced a holy crap look on just about everyone’s face.

And I kid you not — the thought that was running through my head right then about the 100-box guy was, He probably does know any knitters.

The update from today is both that 13 bundles arrived (including some from Europe!), but also that we made some progress on the larger, overall project. One of the core units at my base that also just arrived, enthusiastically agreed to get involved. Which means that after me and my unit leave, the mechanisms may well be in place for this overall, larger project to continue on. Enduring. Which I love, especially as we move closer to the end of 2011 and the withdrawal of US forces. I am hoping our work now pays dividends for the rest of the time.

The week in review

August 16, 2009
IBOL Kitteh say, Meh.

IBOL Kitteh say, "Meh."

On this quiet Sunday morning, I thought I’d try and wrap up a few loose ideas and other things.

1. Thanks. Holy smokes, THANKS. I really thought that success for this project was going to be measures in tens, not hundreds. My units is trying to figure out where to put all these bundles until we start making deliveries — and yes, this is a marvelous problem to have!

2. Yes, by all means — I am totally OK with you giving the mail address to people. I ask a couple of things — a) I am trying to keep the actual address off of the web, since this thing only runs for so long (and since I leave not long after it ends), and 2) you pass along that stuff should be post-marked by 7 Sept. I think that probably applies for international mail, too. If you’re on Palau, well, I’d send stuff sooner rather than later.

3. Has anyone convinced their local fabric / yard place to support this by selling stuff at cost (or darn tootin’ cheap)? Please let me know. I would love, love, love to find a fabric / yard place doing this. It’s gotta be possible, right?

4. What if that store had local volunteers who built actual bundles? And took Visa? Suddenly, the non-quilting / knitting people of the world — stop laughing! They really do exist! — would have an easy way to pile on board, too. I could soooo sell that idea to nerds. And to people to go to sock week dressed as Darth Vader. And rock stars. The rest of the world.

5. Jacquie posted some wonderful eye candy about what she’s sending (here), and in the comments, Rachel made what was probably a tongue-in-cheek offer to send 20 yards for fabric in exchange for one of the pieces heading her way instead. Which might actually happen. Which got me thinking — one yard becomes 20? Really? How else is this thing mutating in weird, wonderful ways?

6. There’s a Flickr tag for this whole thing: iraqibundlesoflove. Over on Facebook, I am linking to some of the many photos of bundles that people are posting to the web, mostly on their own websites. And I gotta say — wow, they are stunning. And very popular with the cats, since they seem to be almost magnetically attracted to these bundles, too. Probably because the bundle represents a pile that they can either 1) sit on, or 2) barf on.

7. Fans of the blog Happy Zombie might want to swing by JoCo‘s site here and download the zombie song. Yes, it’s legal to download this (even in the US), and yes, it’s free.

8. The first day this site was up, 10 people visited. And I bet they all shared the same family name as well. And Google returned no results when you searched for the phrase Iraqi Bundles of Love. Friday, the site was hammered by just a hair under 2000 hits, and what seemed like 1000 people leaving comments asking for the address (Ok, it was probably just 50). There’s been a ton of visitors from the US and Canada. And Germany, my other home. And now some from Australia (!). And the UK. And Norway. It warms my heart plenty to have so many, from so many places, offer to help out this US Soldier. So, I will leave you with one of my favorite photos of all time, that I took in Flam, Norway, back when we were expecting IBOL Kid #2. Maybe it’ll warm our heart, too.

And for the record, yes, you can now go do your part to stimulate the international economy by shopping for material to re-stock your stash.

Still waiting on you, Australia

August 10, 2009

I am truly amazed at how the web has changed things.  This entire effort is web based — I am in Iraq, writing to  server that I assume is in the US, coordinating boxes to go to either NY or the Netherlands and on to me here.


I am a bit worried about the number of boxes headed this way — there have been a TON of volunteers!  So far, I’ve heard from the US, and Canada.  Knitters, sewers, and quilters.  Germany, and the Netherlands.  Even the UK chimed in.  Still no Romania, still no Australia.

Still waiting on you, Australia.


August 6, 2009

Yep.  Sure.  Send it – lots of it.  Knitting needles, too.

Super mega-bonus points if you can help me do either of the following two things:

1.  Find basic knitting instructions somewhere, that are very good and very free of words.  If anyone has seen or knows of good knitting instructions that are just pictures (drawings / photos), I’d love to inclde a link here so interested people can include them in their yarn bundles of love (YARBOLs?).  Someone told me once that knitters were pretty resourceful; hopefully someone can help find a solution for this.

2. Cram the Yarn Harlot into a box and send her.  I’ve heard that she can surge an Army, all for a greater good.  Insurgents would likely lose to an Army of knitters.