Sunday, November 18, 2012

Yes, hats are welcome!

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for the kind and concerned messages you've been sending my way. We're doing fine here in Efrat but of course the south is under steady fire and we know many soldiers who've been drafted with little notice. The hat knitting goes on. Please keep sending them in and feel free to share this site with your friends. As always, I'm available to answer any questions you may have.

Thanks again for being there and may we know quieter times in the near future.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Good Things Come in Pairs

And  just to prove it....

Two great yarns for making hats are on sale at Webs from now until the end of May 2012!
A ball of either one would make a wonderfully head-warming hat.

Plymouth Yarn Encore (75% Acrylic 25% Wool) $4.19 for 200 yards

Cascade 220 Superwash (100% Wool) $7.49 for 220 yards

Here are two adorable letters to soldiers from school children:

And...a lovely couple!

That's my son, whose cold winter-long army service on the Hermon started this whole thing. Here he is back on the Hermon (several years after the army) with his lovely fiancee! Yup, my oldest got engaged just before Passover and is getting married at the end of August. Mazel tov!
(And yes, that is a hat I made for him -- NOT army regulation.)

For comparison's sake, this next photo is from way back when, waiting for the right girl to come...

So two's definitely better than one, wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Someone I like

The stories and photos you all send me are amazing and have enriched my life tremendously. Here's another wonderful knitter and human being, Ruth from Toronto. And what a smile!

Ruth writes, "Since retiring in 2003, I have been a volunteer at Mt. Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto. I volunteer every Tuesday at a desk on the outpatients floor, directing patients to their respective appointments. I can almost finish a hat in the 6 hours that I am there. People stop and ask what I'm knitting. It's quite a conversation piece and I've given a few people the website address..."

Isn't she great? Thank you, Ruth, and all you other inspirational knitters out there!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Good Luck, Guys!

Sixty-one boys from Otniel, a Hesder Yeshiva in southern Israel, are to be drafted to the army this coming week. They'll be serving in three different units: tanks, Kfir (an elite infantry unit) and field intelligence (that's when you live in a bush for 3 days at a stretch, keeping watch on the area). They're all pretty rigorous, and not a lot of fun. Since both my sons attended the yeshiva in Otniel, I have warm feelings for the place so when one of my sons suggested that it'd be nice to distribute hats to all those being drafted, I couldn't refuse.

Here's a sweet thank you note and photo they sent back (the original note, in Hebrew, is below. This is my rough translation):

To Channah Koppel and her dear friends,

Our class in Otniel Yeshiva is being drafted into the army this month and this week we received the woolen hats you knit. We just wanted to say thank you very much for the hats, they are amazing and much nicer than any others we’ve ever seen! May you merit many mitzvoth! (good deeds)

Here’s a photo of some of us with the hats…

לחנה קופל וחברותיה היקרות!

השיעור שלנו בישיבת עתניאל הולך להתגייס בחודש הקרוב לצבא והשבוע קיבלנו מכם את כובעי הצמר שסרגתם. רק רצינו להגיד ממש תודה רבה על הכובעים, הם ממש מהממים והרבה יותר יפים מכל כובע צמר שראינו אי פעם!

תזכו למצוות!

מצורפת תמונה של חלקנו עם הכובעים...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The 100+ Club

Today, I want to share with you all photos of two amazing knitters:

This is Leila from Leeds, who just knit her 100th hat for Israeli soldiers!

And this is the amazing Natalie from Florida who sends me a box of about 20 hats every 4-6 weeks! I know, can you believe it?!? 

There are some incredible knitters out there and I'm deeply grateful to all of you for your ongoing dedication to this project. Knit on, ladies!We're having a cold winter here. It may even snow this weekend. 

If you need a little inspiration, here's a note from the mother of a soldier in Maglan, an elite fighting unit:

I want to thank you so much for the warm amazing hats that we gave to Maglan!  They are not able to write to you now, but they will when they return to base.

A little to tell the knitters:  Maglan just received the Ramatkal Prize for excellence this month [the Ramatkal is the Chief of the Israeli Army -- CK]. They are a fighting unit and they developed some new anti-terrorist tactics.  They work very hard and would be at a comparable level to a top USA Commando unit.  They want the knitters to know that their hats, which were so lovingly made, are literally helping them "keep their heads" warm in the bitter cold terrain that they are training on.

May you merit to see loads of blessing coming from your incredible endeavour!
T. on behalf of Maglan

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Package from Home

As many of you know, about half the hats I collect are distributed to lone soldiers in cooperation with a wonderful organization called "A Package from Home". Today, I had the privilege of taking part in the packing of 920 (!!)  packages in Jerusalem. They contained long underwear, socks, toiletries, snacks -- and, of course, a handknit hat. Within 2.5 hours all the packages were packed and soldiers were coming to pick them up in trucks. If you're not a knitter and want to know how you can donate funds or items to A Package from Home, check out their website.

And now for some photos...

the bags of labeled hats arrive in Jeru.

Each table is an assembly line that begins with hats

volunteer packers

more volunteers

some finished packages

soldiers come to collect the packages

Barbara Silverman, founder of A Package from Home

YouTube, MeTube

Here's a short 2.5 minute video about me & the hats:

It's quite strange to see and hear yourself on film but I agreed to do it because I do want this project to be "out there". Yes, I know they didn't spell my name correctly all the way through but other than that, I think it tells the story pretty well. Happy to hear your comments, and feel free to share it with others (please also inform any interested knitters that they can download the official pattern from this page). Thanks!