Sheep-to-Shawl Charity Drive to be held in Santa Cruz

Mistress Collette de Rayncheval has announced that she will host a Sheep-to-Shawl Charity Drive May 28-31, 2010 in the Santa Cruz, CA area. Items produced will be donated to local battered women's shelters.

Mistress Collette writes:

The Sheep-to-Shawl Charity Drive 2010 will be happening this coming May 28-31, 2010 (over Memorial Day Weekend), near Santa Cruz, CA (~45 minutes from San Jose, ~ 1.5 hrs from San  Francisco, off the coast).

The Sheep-to-Shawl runs from Friday through Monday (Friday: 6pm - midnight; Sat.-Mon: 10am - midnight).

What we do is start with wool (this year it will be merino sheep's wool and alpaca), prepare the wool for spinning by using a picker and  then a drum carder, spin the wool into yarn, and from the yarn we crochet or knit scarves and hats which will be donated to local Battered Women's Shelters. This Sheep-to-Shawl is done such that everyone is working together as ONE team to produce as many scarves and hats as possible. This is a fun, social party with lots of great food, great company, and a great cause! Our goal is to make as many scarves and hats as we can so we have a wealth of items to donate in this time of need!

You may have noticed that I moved the Sheep-to-Shawl date later in the year. This will allow us to have more people participating, as we will  be able to spread outside. We will also have space for people to set up tents,  if they would like and the weather should make camping and being outside a pleasant experience.

For those who don't know, 5 years ago I decided I wanted to do something meaningful for my birthday party. I had always wanted to be involved in a Sheep-to-Shawl, but I didn't need a ton of shawls. Since approximately 2/3 of women are abused at some point in their lifetimes, and some desperately need help to get free from their abuse, I chose to give the products of the Sheep to-Shawl to Battered Women's Shelters. And thus this charity drive was created, and the donations have been greatly appreciated by the Shelters. This is the first year that this Sheep-to-Shawl won't be in my birthday  month, but I think moving the date will make the event a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

I have been thinking a lot this year about the poor economy, the number of people who are out of their houses, many on the streets, how stress exacerbates problems with relationships and tempers, the chilly weather, and the greater need for donations of warm clothes this year. There can be
no question that this year there is definitely an even greater need than usual for the Sheep-to-Shawl Charity Drive.

If you Spin, Crochet, Knit, Cook, or are interested in Helping with the production, and would like to participate, please let me know!

Who we need:

  • Spinners: As many spinners spinning on wheels as we can get!

  • Finishers: eg. Knitters & Crocheters! (We need as many Finishers as we have spinners.)

  • Cooks for Friday night, Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, Sunday lunch,

  • and Sunday dinner! (Monday we eat up the yummy leftovers)

  • Helpers (We need at least 4 helpers, depending on how many spinners/finishers we get.) Helpers help with everything and are essential for the Sheep-to-Shawl to be a success. The most important job a Helper does is to set the yarn, once the spinners are finished spinning it, so it can be made into a finished product. Other important things they do are make and sew on the care tags, drum card wool, use a wool picker to clean debris from wool and to tease felted wool, help with the kitchen/food/set-up/clean-up, and help make everything run well.

(Everyone picks up after themselves, but that still leaves a lot of  things help is needed with.) This is a great opportunity to learn some of the essential skills needed for spinning that are seldom taught in a basic spinning class.

Other details to know:

The Schedule will be the same as in past years, with the house opening Friday, when Helpers will arrive and start frantically processing alpaca, the Spinners will arrive and start frantically spinning the processed merino, and the Finishers will need to have chosen a pattern and practiced the pattern for evenness (if Crocheting, you may want/need to choose and practice several patterns). The spinners will work in groups to keep each Finisher supplied.

(If you have participated before, then you have a good idea of how things will go. Of course, every year I learn from the previous years, so every year things get better and more fun! This year, like last year, we will be spending a lot of time processing alpaca so be prepared to help with that when you aren't busy.) This weekend ends up being very intense and a lot of fun, and yet very relaxing!

There is overnight space available for those who would like to stay. Please reserve your overnight space so we can plan both space and breakfasts. There will be room for people to set up tents in the backyard, also. When you RSVP please let me know if you will be setting up a tent.

Allergy suffers, we have indoor cats, a dog, and everything is covered in horse hair, not to mention the spinning fibers! We also have a large variety of plants and many wild animals, since we are in the country. Expect lots of plants to be blooming. Bring your meds!

The charity drive will be taking place near Santa Cruz this year, since we have moved into our beautiful new house with lots of space.

There is lots of kitchen space (temporarily, we have access to 2 ovens, stoves, and fridges), and cooks are welcome to do as much of their cooking here as they would like. Cooks are welcome to just come to cook if they would like, or they can also participate in other S-to-S activities.

To cover the cost of the food, I ask everyone for a donation per meal they eat with us, that was prepared by the cooks. You do not have to eat with us, to participate in the Sheep-to-Shawl. I only ask that if you are eating with us you RSVP so the cooks can plan on how many they will be feeding. The costs of the meals go down if the cooks can accurately plan. This year, because the costs of things have gone up, I am budgeting the cooks $6 per person, per meal. What this means is that I am asking each participant who eats a meal with us to put in $6/meal to cover the cooks' expenses.

Because of all the planning involved, it is important for me to get RSVPs from everyone, and for each person to let me know what meals they will be eating with us, and any food issues they have if they are eating with us. (All food will be vegetarian.)

I provide simple breakfasts to those who arrive early (10am-12) each day, or stay overnight, and want breakfast. (I will gladly accept cooks for preparing breakfasts, too!)
If you are interested in participating, please contact me directly via email, even if you have already told me verbally that you can come, this way you will be emailed the detailed information. (Don't send your responses to the email lists, as I may not see your email.) Email me at: autumn _ cardone .at. mindspring com

Please include the following information:

1.) Your SCA name (or what name you are known by).
2.) What you are interested in helping out doing? (Spinning; Cooking; General Help; Finishing --
3.) What days you can make it (hopefully all, but not everyone can...).
4.) If you need overnight space in the house or are bringing a tent, and which nights.
5.) If you will be eating with us, and if so, which meals? (To cover the cost of food for the weekend, I am asking everyone who is eating with us to put in $6/meal they will be eating with us.
Please tell me if you will or will not be eating with us so we can plan correctly for the meals. I am trying to keep the prices of the meals down, but to do this I need accurate numbers of who is actually planning on eating with us.)
6.) If you will be eating with us, do you have any food issues? (The house is vegetarian. Are you Vegan, do you have any food Allergies, or strong food Aversions?)
7.) If you need to borrow a spinning wheel, let me know. Several people have been generous enough to offer to lend wheels for this activity. (Wheels will be reserved on a first asked for, first reserved basis.)

In Service,

-- Mistress Collette de Rayncheval, OL (aka. Autumn Cardone)

P.S. Please feel free to pass this on to other lists where you think people might be interested. Thanks!