It feels like quite a long time since my Nine Months Of... Crochet Challenge started and yet when I look at the countdown on my sidebar and see that there are only 50 days left (as of 1st March) my heart skips a beat as I realise my time is running out.
Here's what I've managed to make so far...
Looking at it all together like this I realise just how much I have actually managed to make. I could have stuck to the smaller patterns and made many more individual items, but I think the baby blankets are my greatest achievement. Previously blankets have taken me far more than 9 months to simply finish one, and here I am with one complete, one 3/4 complete, and one which though still very small has grown so much in it's first week I know it will be finished in no time at all. I must say a massive thanks here to Black Sheep Wools who donated the yarn to make two of the blankets, and whose gift cards have been used to buy the yarn for the third blanket.
I had hoped to update you all on each project as I worked, but this past year has been pretty hectic and just fitting in the actual crochet was challenging enough! But as my challenge draws near to its end I know I will need to start writing about each item in more detail so that when they go up for auction in May you'll have all the information you need to know what has gone into making each of these items.
But here's the thing... I don't want to just have a small auction with a few items I have made myself. After the success of last year's Handmade Auction I want to open up the opportunity for others to donate items they have made as well. Last year we received so many donations I listed just over 80 items on eBay and we raised over £300 for Pregnancy Sickness Support. Isn't that amazing?
For a charity that currently receives no funding and runs entirely on donations and the time offered by volunteers, raising a few hundred pounds makes a massive difference. As the Volunteer Co-ordinator for the charity I know this more than ever now. Every day I speak to women who are suffering so terribly from sickness that they are unable to function at all. I speak to women who are considering terminations (or have had terminations in the past) because the sickness was so severe and support was so limited. I speak to women who have suffered from depression and PTSD because of what they have been through. And I speak to women just like myself who are so terrified of ever being that ill again.
Our charity runs on the time and energy that our dedicated volunteers offer to supporting these women through the darkest hours of their life. And we are doing an amazing thing. But we could do so much more, and this is where fundraising is so vital. To sustain what we have already developed and grow further, we need funds. It is a cause I am so passionate about and I want this year's auction to be even bigger and better than last year's, because the more money we raise the more we can do!
I've been raiding my cupboards for additional items to add to the auction. I will make it very clear in my listings on eBay which items have been made as part of my challenge and which items have been donated by others (or made prior to the challenge by myself). Things like these bootees, which have been lying around for far too long now...
Do you think we can maybe beat last year's tally? Perhaps we could aim for 100 items in the auction and nearer £500 raised overall? Do you think that's achievable? Maybe, just maybe, it will be. But I need your help.
Are you a crafter? Could you spend just a couple of hours making an item for the auction? It doesn't matter how small, the only thing I ask is that it is handmade. And why is that? Well it's because handmade items are made with love and that makes all the difference... it is symbolic of the love and dertermination that gets women through their pregnancies and spurs them on to support others once their own pregnancy is over. It doesn't have to be perfect, just handmade and with love!
What if you're not a crafter? Well then maybe you could share this post with your friends, family, social media circles, or anyone else you can think of! I may only have 50 days left until I have to stop my crochet challenge, but I won't be launching the auction until the second week in May. This gives you around 9-10 weeks to spread the word and post those items.
I've already received a truly stunning donation of these beautiful knitted cardigans and a fantastic scarf from the wife of one of our trustees. And I know she is busy knitting more... could you join her and add to the donations?
If you have items to donate, please get in touch with me via my contact form so I can send you my postal address. And if you decide to make something, let me know on Twitter or Instagram so I can share the love with my followers!