This week I had the opportunity to meet Alex. She is many things - positive, intelligent, creative, energetic, passionate, philanthropic, driven, and a recent breast-cancer survivor. Combine all those things and you come up with 'a little square' which is her fabulous multi-purpose venue - part loft/ store/ haberdashery/ crafting area/ group knitting meet-up place at 1981 Post Road, Fairfield, CT (in the back of the building on the 2nd floor). It’s meant to be a place for community knitting and support of breast cancer patients. Alex has such wonderful, positive energy - that it’s infectious. You'll want to visit and catch her bug!
I went and immediately fell in love with her space. Her community knitting area - the focus of her store - has four distinct sitting areas for Stitch n' Bitch. Each sitting area is distinct in color, energy, and design. I was drawn to the furry bean bag chair from Pottery Barn Teen which I immediately dubbed the Polar Bear Chair.
In fact, I posed for a picture with Alex while sitting on the Polar Bear.
Check it out. Go meet her. See her loft. Take your knitting group.
Learn about her various ways to support breast cancer patients. She has a Monday morning Stitch n' Bitch session dedicated solely to breast cancer patients, survivors, and caretakers. It's a support group. You can talk to people who have been there and are in the know.
Maybe you can participate in her ‘a little square’ project which is part of her growing The Pink Pom Pom Project to help create a V.O.T.Y. quilt (volunteer of the year). Alex started this project when she lived in London. But she moved to Connecticut last year and is in the process of growing her project here. The site still references mostly the project's UK roots, but will have more about the US project soon. It's just starting and she'd like everyone to help.
How can you help?
She asks people to knit a little square (5x5 inches) in the certain colors selected for the quilt out of Debbie Bliss Rialto DK. I took one skein of rose pink (color 42) and was able to knit up 4 little squares.
I used Jan Eaton's 200 Knitted Blocks book and settled in on the Reversed Heart pattern #17.
The book's squares are 6x6, so I downsized mine to be 5x5. I cast on 29 sts and away I went.
I soaked the squares for 20 minutes with a mild detergent and lukewarm water.
After rinsing the squares, I blocked them to the appropriate 5x5 measurements. I was able to knit four squares on US Size 5 needles with one skein of Debbie Bliss Rialto DK. The green square was the sample from the store - to check size. I'm pretty certain I'll be knitting more of these. How could I not? Personally, I like to have repeat patterns in a swatch blanket. I feel it adds continuity to the theme. So at least four of the same squares will be my theme.
In the end, Alex has someone who will professionally join these squares into a quilt which will be given to the Volunteer of the Year who supports breast cancer with his/her efforts. If you know someone who a) wants to help; b) needs the support of 'a little square'; c) wants to knit, donate, shop (proceeds go to her Pink Pom Pom efforts, too); bring groups for crafting classes like Girls Night Out or Girl Scouts, etc. There are so many ways to get involved. Check it out. You'll be so glad you did!
Best of luck Alex! You've got a great vision and mission. Here's hoping the knitting community will love your twist on this idea and really rally around. Happy knitting!
P.S. You can join Alex's The Pink Pom Pom Project group page on Ravelry!