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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hugs for Japan Ends On September 11th

People around the world were touched by the pictures of the damage caused by the earthquake that hit Japan on March 11th.  But the yarn community, true to form, took action. 

Chandler pattern designer, Yumiko Alexander, a native of Japan, wrote a two simple free patterns for knitters and crocheters to make scarves.  This effort was christened "Hugs for Japan".  An interesting side note is that several knitting groups in the earthquake impacted area took the patterns Yumiko wrote and started made scarves to sell in Tokyo to help them survive.  

Tempe Yarn & Fiber, where Yumiko spends several days a week designing patterns, joined this effort and put out a call for knitters across the state to make the Hugs for Japan scarves.  In parallel, Universal Yarn heard about what Yumiko was doing and put it on their website.  Tempe Yarn was designated as the collection point for North America for all Hugs for Japan scarves.

New York Times Best Selling Author Christina Skye read about Hugs for Japan and donated copies of her new book, The Knitting Diaries, and held a book signing at Tempe Yarn.  All proceeds for her book sales were donated to the Hugs for Japan to help offset the cost of shipping the scarves to Japan.  A fund has been established (Crafts for Japan) to help pay for the shipping of the items to Japan.  

Since this effort began, knitters and crocheters across the country have made and shipped to Tempe Yarn over 600 scarves.

Earlier this week Yumiko, with some help from her friends, began wrapping each of the scarves for delivery to Japan in September. 

Attached to each scarf is an individual tag.  

The tag reads, "I hope this scarf, made with love, warms your heart as much as your body this coming winter.  You are always in our prays.  From American Charity Knitting Groups."
Tempe Yarn & Fiber is proud of our involvement with this worthy effort.  We want to thank everyone across the country who has participated.

But as we prepare to end our efforts for the Hugs for Japan, those impacted by the earthquake in Japan are preparing for the winter months ahead.  We all wish them a mild winter and a quick recovery.

If you have scarves ready or near ready, remember the last day for collection of the Hugs for Japan scarves is September 11th. 

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