If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed a little more silliness than usual in the past few days. I’ve been tweeting, apparently inexplicably, about the knitting habits of Caribou.
I promise that there is a very good reason for it!
The Minnesota coffee shop chain Caribou Coffee is leading a program to support women affected with breast cancer.
Caribou’s original cost roastmaster, Amy Erickson, lost her battle with breast cancer in 1995. Since then, the company has dedicated the month of October to supporting women and men in Caribou’s communities who are impacted by the disease. From September 28 through October 31, Caribou offers its Amy’s Blend collection, including coffee, tea and merchandise, both in stores and online, and 10% of the proceeds are donating to those in need.
In addition, this year, they are running a social media campaign. For every tweet or Facebook post that uses the hashtag #CaribouKnits, volunteers will knit an inch on a scarf that will be donated to a cancer sufferer.
Each use of the hashtag #CaribouKnits = 1 inch of knitting, 40 uses of the hashtag = one 40 inch scarf. 1 Scarf = a warm gift for a person dealing with Breast Cancer.
Annie Modesitt writes about the project on her blog, and speaks movingly about the comfort she was able to bring to her cousin with a gift of a warm knit scarf.
It’s true that there is debate about the value of cancer “awareness” programs, and there is some controversy about some of the organizations raising funds. In this case, Caribou is making two very directed and meaningful contributions: the scarves created go directly to those affected, and the funds raised are going to CancerCare, a US-based organization that provides counselling, support and financial assistance to those dealing with a cancer diagnosis.
Kalamzoo, MI, artist Annie Eckrich, has knitted herself a house. Annie, a recent college graduate, created the house, which is on display at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, in Grand Rapids, as part of the ArtPrize program.
The house, which measures 9 1/2 feet square, and 13 feet high, includes a knitted lamp and chunky knitted slippers parked near a small knitted chair. The obvious coziness and comfiness of the house is a draw, but the inspiration for the project is a little darker… the artist’s family lost their house to foreclosure when Annie was a teen, and her mother taught her how to knit to deal with the stress. This ‘Woolhouse’, in a very tangible way, demonstrates the comforts of home.
File under: be careful what you wish for. An 81-year-old knitter won a prize in a contest hosted by a knitting magazine: to win a lifetime’s supply of wool. The challenge is that although he’s a fast knitter, Eric Powls knows he’ll never be able to use it all up… so he’s looking to donate the wool to a good cause.