Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Drive-by Update

Today I had Chinese food for lunch and my fortune said,

"You have a strong instinct to take care of people you love." ahh...

Seriously, where does the time go? Please forgive me for the lag time of posts of late. When did life get so crazy? (Maybe it always has been...)

As of Monday, I have in my possession 344 hats. HURRAY!!! I am so thrilled. Beside myself excited. This is amazing! And everyday I am a little more excited and eager to see where this is going to take us. 500? 600? More? I am in awe. Thank you so much! This weekend or early next week I am going to post a list of names of the people from whom I've thus far received hats. Just as a check.

For now, though, how about a picture of the latest additions?

There's the whole crowd - 120 new ones since my last post - followed by closer views of the same hats. Can you pick yours out of the crowd?

And this little darling that I particularly love, knit by Ruth in Minnesota.
It is probably a good thing I don't wear hats because I would want to keep this one for myself.

A Plea for Help

I am posting this next bit verbatim from what I posted this morning on Ravelry so if you've already read it there, skip to the "Look What I Did" section below.
Help! Ok. I have been privately panicking about this for the past week and I’ve decided I can’t solve this one on my own so I am appealing to all of you.

When I go to Ukraine in September, the bulk of the trip will be on Austrian Airlines. Back in June, I contacted Customer Relations at Austrian Airlines and explained about the hats and the orphans and they told me how to go about getting them to wave the fee for the third (heavy) piece of luggage. So I went through that process and I thought it was settled and I hadn’t been worrying about that expense. This week I got a letter saying that they have discontinued the practice of waving that fee except under very narrow circumstances…circumstances that don’t include handknit hats for orphans.

I have considered the idea of splitting them up between everyone in the group but there are two things that make that a non-option. 1) I won’t be meeting up with the group until we are all at the airport the morning of September 22 so if it didn’t work out, I would be stuck and 2) we are also taking school supplies and necessity items over with us so everyone is pretty much maxed out in the luggage department.

As with many of life’s worries, this one comes down to a matter of dollars. The mail isn’t a reliable option to that area (which I have known all along) so they are going to have to go on the plane with me. My best estimates (and I think they are very good estimates) indicate that with the large duffel bags I have and the space bags that were so generously donated, I will be able to get all of the hats there in two (admittedly heavy) duffel bags. (I am using an estimated total of 600 because that is where I think we are going to end up. How awesome is that?!?) This means two of us will have a third bag. Per Austrian Airlines, the third bag fee is $105 for a bag up to 50 lbs. These two bags will be heavier than that (right at 70 lbs) so that is another $75 for the overweight fee, plus a $50 charge per additional leg (i.e. we fly from DC to Vienna and then Vienna to Kiev. The $50 additional fee is for Vienna to Kiev.) All of that adds up to an additional $460 I hadn’t planned on.

I will concede that this is an excellent problem to have…but a problem nonetheless. I don’t know about that rest of you but nearly $500 is a chunk of cash for me. I have already covered the $2800 for the base cost of the trip (at least that is done) and then I’ll have the expense of the hotel stays when I go to meet the group in North Carolina and then again when we come back, I’ll have to spend a night in NC before flying home as well as miscellaneous costs while I am away.

I have debated and debated about posting this. I guess it is my Southern roots… I come from a place where it is considered bad form to discuss money matters publicly. (Equally bad form to ask a woman’s age, but that is an entirely separate matter.) In the end, I’ve concluded that we have been in this hat making business together from the beginning so it is only appropriate that I should come to you with this.

In my heart, I know that we are doing an amazing thing with the knitting of the hats and I also know that the Lord wouldn’t get us this far and then not make a way to get them there. I know, too, that, cliché as it sounds, the Lord helps those who help themselves.

All of that being said, here’s my idea. Tell me what you think. I am working on putting some things together – yarn related things, maybe a jewelry item, other things…I’m still working on the specifics. (This idea has only recently come to me.) Anyway, whatever those items end up being, what do you think of the idea of an eBay auction to raise this money? Do you think it would work? Have any of you sold anything on eBay before? I haven’t so I would need some help. Do you have any other ideas? This is starting to keep me awake at night…

And as an optimistic side note, if we raise more money than I need for the expenses directly related to this trip, I would donate any extra to the orphanage in Rivne.

Look What I Did

I have once again (or still...) been neglecting Lori's socks. This weekend, I was being particularly neglectful by both starting and finishing a brand new project. One of these days, I will tell you the whole story behind this but for now I will just show you the pictures.

I knit something for myself. A Kiwi bird.
Based on this pattern, with a fair amount of poetic license. (I added the "feathers" and completely changed the feet.) Thank you, EnnaVic, for the fabulous mug!

Today's Quote
"I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end." -Abraham Lincoln


EnnaVic said...

The hats look awesome - and it is a nice feeling to see my small contribution amongst them all :)

Your kiwi really is a good colour you know - looks a bit like one of the spotted varieties. And I prefer the new feet too.

Hope the airline thing gets sorted!

RuthieJ said...

Wow Kristy, you surpassed 300 hats with lots of time to spare (I did find mine!). I've never put anything on eBay for auction, but have purchased on the "Buy It Now" option. You'll post when you've got everything set up so we know when to go and start shopping??
P.S. That kiwi is too cute!