Wednesday, September 19, 2012
happy anniversary!!! the flowers are beautiful---lovely photos!!!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
In 2007 & 2008 the Campanula for the Cure and Hibiscus for Hope sock patterns, together with some very sore muscles, blistered feet and 60 km (twice) helped me raise some $13,500.00 for The Weekend to End Breast Cancer. As there continues to be interest in these patterns, I have reformatted the patterns and I'm offering them as incentives to knitters to donate to these two other worthy causes.
I have re-purposed Hibiscus to raise funds and support for Médecins Sans Frontières, whose efforts in Haiti have been in demand both before the catastrophic earthquake on January 12, 2010 and even more so since then.
To obtain the HIBISCUS FOR HAITI pattern, simply make a donation in any amount to MSF at Donate to MSF's Emergency Relief Fund. Then notify me here or on Ravelry and I will send you the pattern.
MSF’s devotion to this calling, despite personal risk and losses, is truly heroic. MSF trauma centres were seriously damaged by the quake. Latest announcements confirm the quake killed 4 Haitian MSF staff; 4 others who’d recently worked with them also died; 6 are still missing. They just rolled up their sleeves and moved their treatment clinics to tents and mobile centres in the open. Their staff has a good sense of what’s going to be needed in the short term as well as how much the rehabilitation of emergency and other healthcare in the country will cost in the long term. As the worldwide generosity continues, donations to their Emergency Relief Fund give MSF the maximum flexibility to respond directly where it’s most needed in Haiti, while ensuring they can still act rapidly should another disaster strike.
Meanwhile the world is distracted from so many other areas where lives continue to be ravaged by unbelievable cruelty. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo it is more dangerous to be a woman or a child than a combatant, as women and girls remain targets for violence. Despite the supposed formal cease of hostilities, several armed groups still use sexual violence as a weapon of war. Physical and economic insecurity still characterize the lives of women and girls and the threat of and the use of violence are constants. Discrimination against women and girls underlies the violence perpetrated against them, and the current climate of impunity allows the many forms of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, to flourish. For more information, please see: MSF Top Ten Humanitarian Crises of 2009: DRC and V-DAY: Sexual Violence In the DRC
I have re-purposed Campanula to raise funds and support for the ongoing crisis of women and children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
To obtain the CAMPANULA FOR THE CONGO pattern, simply make a donation in any amount to V-day at Donate to V-Day. Then notify me here or on Ravelry and I will send you the pattern.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Now, I am a very picky theatre-goer and I tend to hold very high standards as an audience member so pardon me while I simply GUSH: If you are in NYC you must (absolutely, unequivocally MUST) go to see A Little Night Music. It is magnificent! Brilliant in the seamlessness and economical simplicity of it's staging and beautifully crafted, nuanced and wonderful performances from everybody! It's at the Walter Kerr (on 48th St). Even if the only ticket you can get is expensive - it's worth it. It is as close to a perfect production as I have ever witnessed. If I did not have to come back rehearsals and performances of my own, I would have extended my stay over the weekend to see it another two or three times!
While I was away, in response to the horrific crisis in Haiti, I pledged to match dollar-for-dollar the money I spend on myself that week with a donation to Doctors without Borders and Haitian relief efforts - and I challenged everyone on my Facebook page to do the same! I had no secure internet connection while away, so the total will be donated now, and I have to say it's a whopper!
I am also instigating further efforts to raise funds and support for this cause as well as the ONGOING crisis of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where despite the supposed formal cease of hostilities, several armed groups still use sexual violence as a weapon of war. In the DRC it is more dangerous to be woman than a combatant as women and girls remain targets for violence. Physical and economic insecurity still characterize the lives of women and girls and the threat of and the use of violence are constants, discrimination against women and girls underlies the violence perpetrated against them, and the current climate of impunity allows the many forms of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, to flourish.
Some of you may also know me as MezzoDiva the Operatic Knitaholic, as well as the designer of the Campanula for the Cure and Hibiscus for Hope sock patterns, which together with some very sore muscles, blistered feet and 60 km (twice) helped me raise some $13,500.00 for The Weekend to End Breast Cancer in 2007 & 2008.
Well, if I can scrape together some time this week, I intend to reformat and re-release those patterns as Hibiscus for HAITI and Campanula for the CONGO. It may have to wait a few days, though as I just returned from an exciting but strenuous week of vocal endeavours in NYC, I am juggling assorted family crises and medical emergencies (my 90 year-old mother-in-law is due to be released from a 3 week stay in the hospital this week) and I just dove into rehearsals for an upcoming opera and for the Quintimacy concert next weekend.
With the agreement of the artists, all proceeds from Quintimacy's upcoming salon will be donated to Médecins Sans Frontières, whose efforts in Haiti have been in demand both before the catastrophic earthquake> on January 12, 2010 and since then.
MSF's devotion to this calling, despite personal risk and losses, is truly heroic. MSF trauma centres were seriously damaged by the quake. Latest announcements confirm the quake killed 4 Haitian MSF staff; 4 others who'd recently worked with them also died; 6 are still missing. They just rolled up their sleeves and moved their treatment clinics to tents and mobile centres in the open. Their staff has a good sense of what's going to be needed in the short term as well as how much the rehabilitation of emergency and other healthcare in the country will cost in the long term. As the worldwide generosity continues, donations to their Emergency Relief Fund give MSF the maximum flexibility to respond directly where it’s most needed in Haiti, while ensuring they can still act rapidly should another disaster strike.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Hi there! MezzoDiva here with your belated contest report.
teribella posted (in the comments for the Contest post) about her Hibiscus sock's adventures as mother's helper at church, after school and at the dentist. Affectioknit wore her socks to the library/shopping/errand-running/biking. And last but not least, rxknitchic's Hibiscus-in-progress got their artistic groove on when they went to the Art League and to the kids art class with her girls.
In my capacity as official Knitters for Knockers arbiter of contests, I have decided that ALL THREE of these participants will receive a prize for their eager participation. As such I will be sending something special and appropriate for them to all the winners.
It seems we haven't had a lot of action as a KAL here at Knitters for Knockers. Ravelry seems to have taken the stuffing out of off-site KALs in general, but that's okay because it serves as a wonderful vehicle for disseminating news and generating enthusiasm and sharing ideas about patterns. Quite frankly I've personally hit several big bumps in the road in recent months which are finally working out okay, but have left me feeling drained as a dishrag. Though we have a Ravelry group too, I just haven't had any gumption to spare to get my pompoms out, hoot and hollar and lead the pep-squad the way I did last year.
I fully intend to continue my commitment to this cause and devise further patterns to raise money and awareness in the battle against breast cancer, but I'm not sure how best to move forward with this webpage. I'd appreciate getting your feedback about whether you think we should continue as a KAL, or perhaps alter the function of this site to an information centre reporting further Knitters for Knockers related news and events. Please let me know, either in private email or here. I am open to discussion.
Thanks again for everybody's enthusiasm and support.
Best Knitterly Regards,
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I know I am late for the contest, but I wanted to show you my sock about the town. Hibiscus for hope went to the Art League and to the kids art class with my girls. As you can see, Mo wasn't too happy about holding the sock. She would much rather be painting her head. My sock is now on hold as I broke my size 0 harmony wood circular and am waiting for new ones in the mail. I am going through sock withdrawal. I am almost done with the ankle on the 2nd sock and will finish them together.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
So I told her about the pattern - I don't think she knits but she could just make a donation too. I have already blogged about the pattern at my site and the Vegan Sock KAL site so now I have also emailed the link to my friend knitting friends...
Sunday, September 14, 2008
So get ready to take your Hibiscus-for-Hope out in public and spread the word about the pattern and KAL and the purpose behind them: raising money and awareness for the fight to end cancer forever!
I take my knitting projects with me every day to work - I knit on the bus, on my breaks, at lunch and then again on the bus ride home. Every day someone asks about what I am making and I'm happy to chat about the pattern or the project or about why I'm addicted to knitting. So my second Hibiscus-for-Hope is going along for the ride!
Your mission, should you accept it, is to take Hibiscus-for-Hope out with you at least once in the next 10 days and tell someone or several someones about our foot-related fundraiser (a sock pattern KAL to raise sponsorship donations for The Weekend to End Breast Cancer).
ANY PLACE YOU CHOOSE TO DO IT IS GREAT. If you work at a LYS, if you go to a knit-night,SnB or other gathering of fiber-enthusiasts, those would be a VERY good places to spread the word, as other knitters will be intrigued - especially once they see your lovely socks in progress. Or do something else. Take them out and knit anywhere you want. Be as creative or mundane as you wish - knit them on the bus, at the park, on your lunch break, at a party, on the treadmill at the gym (I can't, but know there are people who do this!).
The Hibiscus-for-Hope socks have already had many summer adventures. Examples range from the Yarn Harlot's early-August adventures in Newfoundland, Affectioknit's recently posted trip to the lake while test-knitting, and Ellie's (Crazy for Knitting) summer road-trip. Now that fall is here maybe they would like to take a trip to the apple farm or a road trip to enjoy the changing leaves. Maybe they would enjoy a romantic dinner out in a restaurant with a roaring fire . . . The possibilities are endless . . . !
It would just be great if you could enlist more support for our mutual fundraising efforts. Even if your audience are not knitters themselves, they might be inspired to contribute by donating to the WEBC, so bring some spare copies of the donation info with you on a piece of paper. And tell them to credit you as their contact because you could win a prize.
So take your Hibiscus-for-Hope socks out with you and show them around. Then post about it by
And what would a contest be without a prize? For this contest the prize will be a skein of yarn generously donated by Maggie from her indie shop Dyed in the Wool Handmade! Thanks so much Maggie! The winner will be determined by a random draw from all of the eligible entries.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I worked on these while we were at the lake and I had packed several different sized needles and my yarn as Mezzodiva was going to email the pattern.
The pattern was written for two circular needles and I had only brought dpns so I had to do a little adapting.
but it worked out just fine.
I love them!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
P.S. Come over and join the Knitters for Knockers Ravelry group, a gathering place for those of us walking in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, and for fiberholics who are supporting us by knitting the Campanula for the Cure and the Hibiscus for Hope socks.
knitting together to make cancer history!
There seems to be a little confusion about how to get the pattern. To get your very own copy of the Hibiscus for Hope sock pattern, all you have to do is sponsor me for the 2008 Weekend to End Breast Cancer, supporting the Princess Margaret Hospital, Canada's leading centre for cancer treatment and a world leader in cancer research.
Here’s the link to my personal page at the WEBC - you should be able to sponsor me directly there. You can also go to the main site for the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, then click on Toronto, then click on Sponsor a Participant, and enter my name: Ramona Carmelly.
It will ask for your name and credit card number and other details. Please put HIBISCUS in the comments (though in the last few days I’m assuming every sponsor has come looking for the sock pattern via the grace of the Yarn Harlot and I’m sending it anyway).
The WEBC site will send me a notification that I’ve received a new donation and I follow it back to get the name and email of the donor.
Monday, September 8, 2008
designed for the fight to end breast cancer
Starting from a toe-up construction (magic loop or 2 circular needles recommended), the sinuous lace motif (a variant of a lace design found in Leili Riemann’s Pitsilised Koekirjad) begins from a point somewhat above the toe-box, expands across the instep and ultimately wraps gracefully around the ankles after the heel to meet itself in the back and continue up around the leg. The comfortable arch-hugging heel combines the under-heel gusset increases from Cat Bordhi’s Riverbed architecture with Wendy Johnson’s short-rowed heels to accommodate a high or wide instep.
To get the pattern, all you have to do is sponsor me for the upcoming 2008 Weekend to End Breast Cancer, and put HIBISCUS in the message.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I have to say that I am delighted with the enthusiastic responses for the pattern and all the lovely examples of Hibiscus socks that are popping up on Ravelry, and for the warm and generous the support everyone has shown for this fundraising effort.
I've received a tremendous outpouring of support for the walk and also many notes from people about their own battle with cancer or that of a loved one, and some about their loss of close friends or family members to cancer. I wish you could read some of the moving personal stories people impart in the messages with their donations. I will try to figure out the best way to share them here.
P.S. Please stand by for further action here regarding the KAL and related contests (yes, my darlings, there will be prizes). I'm a bit behind on my plans for this, occupied with some personal events at present that require all my immediate attention and have assumed slightly overwhelming proportions:
In short, I am trying to (a) plan my wedding, (b) train for a 60-km walk, (c) unclutter my home life, and (d) sort through 4 years of financial records for tax returns, all in the next two weeks.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Hibiscus for Hope Diary: August 10, 2008
Yesterday, my husband and I decided on the spur of the moment to rip up to Jasper for the afternoon. Jasper is four hours away in the Rocky Mountains. It’s been twenty years since we saw Jasper and we were both very excited to be going. The drive up and back afforded me hours of time on my socks. I had one toe done and was keenly working my way up the sock toward the pattern part.
There I was, singing along to the radio, knitting away, enjoying the feel and colour and action of every stitch, watching as the prairies turned to foothills, the foothills began to be dotted with small rocks here and there, and suddenly seeing and being in the middle of the mountains. The beauty and sheer size of these rock formations really take your breath away. They remind me that I’m but a small part of this earth. They exude a solid strength and I take great energy from them.
Back to the sock. It was around the time that the prairies turned to foothills that I reached the point in the sock where I could start the patterning. How exciting! When I reached into the Ziploc bag that held the sock accoutrements for the pattern I realized the pattern was sitting on my dining room table at home. Sigh. I had pulled it out of the Ziploc bag the night before to read ahead in the pattern and had forgotten to put it back. In our spontaneous dash out the door I didn’t give it a thought. I had the Ziploc baggie with the wool and partial sock in it. I threw in an extra ball of the yarn because I wouldn’t want to run out. There was paper in the bag but it turned out to be a Movie Gallery print out. Isn’t that the way it goes? Throw in a Crayola “burnt orange” for marking rows and you’ve got the full domestic picture.
Luckily, I brought back-up knitting. I worked on the Victorian lace scarf I’m making for our adopted daughter who lives in Inuvik. In winter, the kids wear their parkas in school all day because the building can’t be heated enough. She’s actually a friend of my daughter’s but we love her too and consider her one of our own. The pattern is “Scarf with a wide and handsome border,” found in Jane Sowerby’s Victorian Lace Today. I’m knitting it with Fiddlesticks JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk in the colour Jade.
My Hibiscus for Hope socks’ journey will continue. I may print out a few extra copies of the pattern and place them strategically in both our vehicles, in my purse, in my knitting bag, and anywhere else I may be inspired to look for it the next time I leave it sitting on the dining room table.
Best wishes to you MezzoDiva in your walk, and thanks for championing this important cause.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Because I have a shocking confession to make:
It's my pattern, but it's not originally my design.
I was fiddling with ideas for the pattern off and on since mid-winter, but to no satisfaction. Though I unwittingly managed to reinvent any number of lovely sock patterns that are out and about these days (aaargh!), I just wasn't able to make any of my original inspirations comply with my requirements for a new pattern that would: keep the basic construction of the sock fairly simple so that sock-neophytes won’t be scared off, but hopefully introduce some new structural ideas to a few people in a simple and fun way, while letting an intriguing but still easy to accomplish lace do most of the talking so that sock-experts will want to play too.
I did give it several valiant tries, but frankly in recent months all my creative juices were flowing in musical directions, all my brain cells were otherwise occupied and in overdrive (preparing for the then-upcoming opera performances) so that all I could do competently with sticks and string was knit rounds and rounds of mindless stockinette. Even the simplest short-row toe was truly a challenge because my brain was just too full.
Meanwhile, way back in Januray I came across That Logan Chick's gorgeous Agatha shawl on Etsy, and I fell hard. I was completely enthralled. I immediately ordered the pattern (as well as a couple of her beautiful beaded shawl pins). Though unable to commit to a shawl project at the time, I was nevertheless besotted, completely under the spell of that pattern, unable to stop dreaming about it, scribbling its name lovingly in the margins of my opera scores, sketching its motif in my diary...
In late spring, as I wrestled with the umpteenth idea for my 2008 Knitters for Knockers sock, I started tinkering with ideas for using the Agatha shawl motif in a sock and couldn’t think in any other direction. After much frustration (and the near demolition of a perfectly lovely skein of Fleece Artist sock yarn from frequent ripping and reknitting and ripping and reknitting...) it occurred to me that really I was (oh, fer heaven's sake, again?!) trying to reinvent and codify something that had already been created beautifully by someone else - and I love her version of it so much that I could never be content with any poor imitation I would make.
I wisely decided to put it aside and sleep on it.
I woke up the next day and realized I'd been operating under a false assumption. I mistakenly believed that because it’s my fundraising program, I have to be the sole designer (pardon the pun) for this endeavour. Of course my ego was egging me on, whispering insidiously that I had to come up with something brilliant and beautiful like last year's pattern Campanula for the Cure and I had to do it all by myself.
Well, I'd been reading a lot of Eckhart Tolle lately. Somehow, his words of wisdom afforded me just enough detachment to see through the egoic trap of my non-existent dilemna. Aknowledging the simple yet profound error in my thinking was quite liberating! (Though I am still sheepishly succumbing to an ego-driven desire to state that I bought the book last year, before the big Oprah-induced phenomenon, but I had a few other books on the night-table ahead of it and I only got around to reading it this spring).
I promptly sat down at my computer and sent an email to Rebecca, the brilliant creator of that shawl I love so much, asking her to be my guest designer for the Knitters for Knockers 2008 campaign and I'm thrilled to report she was happy to oblige! Rebecca not only generously allowed me to borrow the motif, she pointed me to her own prototype Hibiscus sock AND graciously sent me her notes (for a size 11 sock - gulp!) and all her charts.
I must admit the road from there to a clear instructive pattern for public consumption that would allow most sock knitters to make their own was still a long and occasionally arduous one as the conceptual steps were easy to imagine but a lot harder to articulate. But now that it’s done, tested and vetted by my faithful team of experts, and revised and edited to within an inch of its life and mine, I am SO proud to reveal it to you in all its glory.
I know I am biased, but it's a beautiful sock pattern and I hope you'll love it as much as I do. If you're intrigued, please sponsor me now for the 2008 Toronto Weekend to End Breast Cancer. I'll send you the pattern as soon as I get notice of your donation. Or, better yet, go check out Knitters for Knockers, and join us for for this profoundly empowering life-altering experience.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Sneak Peek - new Sock Pattern coming up for the Knitters for Knockers campaign 2008 and a detour for another very good cause.
Pretty, no? Dare I say - even sexy?
Come on. You know you want it!
My brilliant guest designer and I are in the final stages of creating the pattern for you and then I can reveal it (and her) to you in all its (her) glory. I'm so excited! It's a beautiful sock and I hope you'll love it as much as I do.
If you're intrigued by this sneak peek, please go ahead and sponsor me now for the 2008 Toronto Weekend to End Breast Cancer. I'll send you the pattern as soon as it's been tested, tech-edited and made ready for public consumption. Or, better yet, go check out Knitters for Knockers, and join us for for this profoundly empowering life-altering experience.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
(Happy dance! Do it with me!)What better way to celebrate than by immediately whipping up another sexy new sock pattern for yet more worthwhile fundraising! So far I have a toe. It's a lovely toe, but there's nothing new to see yet. (Soon, my lovelies, soon...). In the meantime, I have repurposed our lovely Campanula sock pattern from last year to aid this cause as well.
The beneficiary of all proceeds from the repurposed Campanula pattern and from my other forthcoming pattern will be the brave and beautiful Tish. Tish is at the end of an amazing weight-loss journey that began last summer with gastric bypass surgery.
Now she requires extensive and expensive reconstructive surgeries to tighten and trim some of the, er, um, leftover bits. It's a so-called "cosmetic cleanup" of all the hanging skin and residual leftovers that (in my not-so-humble opinion) is totally necessary to quality of life, but it’s not covered by Ontario’s much vaunted health care system.
Okay, that's not strictly true. Though our provincial medical plan would pay for a crude tug-slice-&-sew version of the procedure that leaves some nasty scars (I’ve seen the results on other folks), they will not contribute that equivalent or any portion of the costs to getting it done properly. Nope. That would be too much like right. (Sorry - maybe that was TMI. Can you tell I’m just a little bit angry about this?).
Tish needs to raise an astounding $31,000 for reconstructive surgery.
Frankly after all her hard work and suffering, Tish deserves to have this done right and feel good about herself afterwards! So several friends are banding together to initiate our own fundraising venture to help defray some of the costs. We’ll be offering some Tish-inspired patterns as incentive for donations to her surgery fund.
Of course you don’t have to wait until the patterns are up. Please go over to visit Tish and read about her phenomenal journey over the last year or so. Then click and donate whatever you can to help.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The comments have your name but there's no link to a blog profile or email address. Please email me at "mezzodiva-AT-sympatico-DOT-ca". If you provide an email address I would be happy to send you the pattern for you to make a pair for your friend. I wish it were under better circumstances. And please join the KAL (I will send an invitation using your email address) to share your story here and let us know how your friend is doing. And let your friend know we all send her our warmest wishes, love and support.
XO - MezzoDiva
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
This knit-along evolved from a foot-related fundraiser, a pretty lace sock pattern called Campanula for the Cure which I offered to my sponsors for the 60-km walkathon The 2007 Weekend to End Breast Cancer.
Click here to be redirected to the post with more details. To get the pattern, just sponsor me by donating any amount. Then grab a button from the sidebar, get your needles and your yarn and knit yourself up a pair!
Please CLICK HERE TO SPONSOR ME FOR 2008 since I am (insanely) getting ready to do it all over again!
I’m also going to come up with a new pattern for next year.(Sheesh! Okay, getting my thinking cap on). This KAL will continue for all of us who are still knitting our Campanulas, so please go ahead and knit up a pair and share them with the knit-blogging universe.
If you're a new sponsor and still want THIS pattern, please let me know by putting CAMPANULA in the message line of the donation. If you want the NEW (forthcoming) pattern, please put NEWPATTERN in the message line.
Monday, May 12, 2008
The 2007 WEBC is over, but the fight continues.
Last year, 5,521 walkers, the largest number in the event’s five year history, and several hundred wonderful volunteer crew and support people, participated AND raised more than $17.3 million for breast cancer research and care!
The 6th annual Toronto Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital is planned for September 5-7, 2008.
I have already registered for next year AND I am just now working out the final details for a new sock pattern to use in my fundraising campaign. If you want to get in ahead of the game click here to sponsor me and I promise to send you the pattern as soon as it's ready. (If you want to be a testknitter, please leave me a comment here.)
I am also starting a team to walk with me in 2008: "Knitters for Knockers!" Everyone is welcome: knitters and crocheters, weavers and spinners, and even those who are not fibre-fanatical (though we can’t promise not to attempt to lure you over to the yarn side).
As we train through the year, we’ll set up a flexible buddy system so that faster walkers can go at their pace and slower ones at theirs, but everybody will have someone with them throughout training and the walk for both company and safety. I'll definitely be planning some extended yarn-crawls… downtown like last time but then also to the beaches, etc.
60 more in 2008! click here to join us for this profoundly empowering life-altering experience. Let's work together to make cancer history!
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
-- Anne Frank (12 June 1929 – ? March 1945)
Saturday, March 22, 2008
I was a bit intimidated by the short row toe, heel thing and could not fathom it when I looked over and read the instructions. After overcoming my crisis of faith (I dove in), I am now on my way and I have to say I LOVE this pattern.
Working both socks, here is my progress. I am working on a few other projects as well.