August 22, 2005

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Water...

(Wednesday Note: Leaving this entry up for another day so we can tempt in as many people in as possible, but already—such commitment, such energy! Wonderful! And for anyone who has asked if they can send something they made last year in this year, a big resounding yes. Last time I checked knitted items do not have a "use by" date. Wink.)



Note the spiffy new logo! Thank you, TMK! Who knew it would be so helpful to have a graphic designer in the family?

And now...

1. An Overview For Newcomers to the Project
2. Information For Returning Participants
3. How Can You Contribute?
4. What Is Our New Goal Number?

1. An Overview for Newcomers to the Project

stairwellchildren2.JPGDulaan is a community crafting project initiated by my cousin Konchog Norbu (affectionately called “Cuzzin Tom”) who is a Buddhist monk now living in Mongolia. Dulaan (which is Mongolian for “warm”) is dedicated to helping the struggling and impoverished children and adults of Mongolia. Due to economic and political upheaval, extreme alcoholism due to the introduction of vodka, unusual and disastrous weather conditions which have devastated the Mongolian nomads’ livestock herds, and “normal” weather conditions which frequently reach -40 degrees in the winter, there are many children who live in heating ducts below the capital city of Ulaan Bataar, and adults who scavenge through garbage heaps to survive. (For more pictures of the extreme living conditions in Mongolia, go see these three earlier blog postings—Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3.)

To help the Mongolians, the Dulaan Project encourages crafters to make and provide two kinds of items: double-thick fringed fleece blankets like this, or knitted or crocheted items. The knitted or crocheted items can be made out of any yarn: Wool, acrylic or blends. You can make anything: Scarves, hats, blankets, mittens, socks, neckwarmers… And you can use any color.

Finished items need to be shipped to the charity organization Flagstaff International Relief Effort (F.I.R.E.) by July 1, 2006, so they can be shipped to Mongolia in time for the winter. See this detailed flyer (in pdf format) for address information and specifics about how to box your items up. Feel free to use this Box Inventory Form to list the contents of your box.

See "How Can You Contribute?” for all of the options and possible activities related to this project. As you can see, if knitting clothing or making fleece blankets are not your cup of tea, you can help us by simply getting the word out.

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2. Information for Returning Participants

All of you, the crafters, knitters and crocheters who participated in the 2005 incarnation of this project deserve 100% of the credit for its continuation for another year. I have had so many people ask me about doing Dulaan for another year, and I have seen so many bloggers write, even recently, “Finished this hat/scarf/sock/etc.. Putting it in the Dulaan box for next year!” that I knew we had to continue.

The deadline for this year is July 1, 2006. See "How Can You Contribute?” for a reminder of all the different ways you can help with the project.

TMK and I have created a newer, more up-to-date pattern list which includes all of the patterns designed last year for the project. (Thank you, Stephanie, Norma, Robbyn, Janine, Julia, Cassie, Lu and Kozmic!)

I have reposted the Dulaan button for you to steal, and the Dulaan Box Inventory Form for you to use for your boxes.

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3. How Can You Contribute?

1. Make blankets and send them to F.I.R.E. I’ve included two blanket patterns on this list of patterns. Just click on “Blankets.”
2. Knit or crochet items and send them to F.I.R.E. I’ve listed quite a few suggested patterns on this list, but you can knit whatever you want.
3. Help us spread the word. Feel free to print and distribute this color flyer or this black & white version (both in pdf format). Give it to your friends, your guild members, family members, or local scout troops; post it at your LYS; post it at your place of worship; link to it from your blog. Talk the project up; put it in your guild newsletter. Be creative!
4. “Steal” the button in the upper-right-hand corner of this page and use it on your blog.
5. Design patterns for Dulaan. One of the highlights of last year was all the patterns the participants created. These patterns have all been added to the suggested pattern list.
6. Have me add your name to the Dulaan Brigade list!
7. Visit this blog for updates!

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4. What Is Our New Goal Number?

Because there are many factors that figure into our “goal number,” such as how much time we have to make items (more this year than last), and how much or how little Guideposts and the other charity knitting organizations will contribute this year (maybe more, maybe less, maybe none), based on last year’s final number of 4,517, we decided that our new goal for this year will be:


Perhaps we’ll do more, perhaps we’ll do less, but this number, suggested by MaryB, is the only number that really resonated with me. To quote Goldilocks, it’s “not to big, not too small, just right.”

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Welcome, everyone, to another year of Dulaan! Don't forget: If you participate in the project in any way, send me your name so I can add you to the Dulaan Brigade list!

Posted by Ryan at August 22, 2005 02:59 PM

I'm definitely going to be a Brigade member for another year. TMK, the spiffy new logo is indeed very spiffy. Mary B

Posted by: Mary B on August 22, 2005 03:13 PM

Now that was worth waiting for! I'm sooooo in!

Posted by: Rebecca on August 22, 2005 03:19 PM

Hot tap dancing dang!!! Let's go! 'Course I burst into tears when I read the new number. Perfect!

Posted by: marylee on August 22, 2005 03:26 PM

Yippee, Yahoo and Yay!! I've already got 6 hats, a scarf and a pair of mittens in my Dulaan cache. I had faith.

Onwards :)

Posted by: Robbyn on August 22, 2005 03:30 PM

Oh, yes, sign me up! I'll be posting the new - very spiffy - button on my blog, as well as knitting lots of hats and mittens.

Posted by: Jane on August 22, 2005 03:42 PM

I don't have anything made yet, but I do have yarn in my stash that I have Dulaan projects picked out to do! Add me to the list!

Posted by: Sheri on August 22, 2005 03:44 PM

Hey, Ryan and The Mighty Kay (yeah, I know it's really Mysterious, but that's a great button) -- I never doubted there would be a Dulaan II. Question: for those of us knitters who don't have blogs of our own (I think there are 3 of us), can we send a pattern to you for approval/posting?

Posted by: Elizabeth D on August 22, 2005 03:47 PM

Elizabeth D, yes, *please* send me the pattern! I don't think anything touches me more than people who create a pattern specifically for the project. Always gets me...right where it counts!!

My email is (Note the two "r's" and the two "s's.")

Posted by: Ryan on August 22, 2005 03:52 PM

I'm so glad you'll be doing this again. I bet you never dreamed that your great role in life would be cheerleader. ") But you've been cheering us all on and helped create something truly meaningful. It's a wonderful thing, Ryan.

Posted by: Jessica on August 22, 2005 03:55 PM

Oh, yeah. I'm in.

Posted by: norma on August 22, 2005 03:58 PM

You go, girls (and, hopefully, boys)!

Last night I had dinner right here in Ulaan Baatar with Meredith Potts, F.I.R.E.'s director. They've decided to distribute early this year (i.e. when it's not so friggin' freezing). On 9/4 two 40' shipping containers will arrive. One and a half are filled with clothing, the other half with medical supplies. Volunteers come on 9/8, and after a bit of orientation it's off to the races! The contents will be distributed in UB and three other places across the country. I'll be there, at least in the city, to help out and take lots of photos. They're also filming for a documentary.

One new initiative will involve four doctors coming over to offer medical training along with the supplies. Their nurse-trainer backed out at the last minute, so if you know a nurse who can get here, at his or her own expense, by 9/12, a great adventure is guaranteed. Let me know.

Meredith was really touched (okay, almost overwhelmed) by your efforts. She spoke of the thoughtful flourishes, sweet notes safety-pinned to items, etc. Some of your creations are being set aside to offer as special gifts.

You all are so marvelous. You're going to touch a lot of hearts. On behalf of Mongolia, this fantastic country, many, many thanks in advance.

Posted by: Cuzzin Tom on August 22, 2005 04:12 PM

Me too! Me too! Pick me! Pick me! Me too!

Posted by: Childe on August 22, 2005 04:22 PM

Once more into the breach! Count me in. :)

Posted by: Bron on August 22, 2005 04:30 PM

I may have to start a blog so that I may post the fantastic Blog Button! So how does one blog?



Posted by: laura on August 22, 2005 04:33 PM

Sign me up, I'm a hat/sock/scarf machine!

Posted by: Elaine on August 22, 2005 04:49 PM

Three toddler sweaters done and a hat on the needles. I, too, had faith and I have a lot more yarn this year.

Ryan, do you realize that Dulaan is the perfect excuse to never stop knitting? "Dust? Mop? Cook dinner? Not now! There's a CHILD waiting for this sweater in Mongolia!!" You must say this in tones of deepest righteousness -- it scares the dust molecules away and sends husbands to search for leftovers in the fridge.

P.S. Just how many bottles of wine did Meredith get?

Posted by: daisy on August 22, 2005 05:25 PM

Ooo, I'm in doll! I am so glad you are doing this again!

Posted by: Rose on August 22, 2005 05:29 PM

Oh yeah, we're down. Count on Commuknity's participation now that the shop is up and running smoothly. Will you and TMK take the train down for a visit in the spring?

Posted by: Nathania on August 22, 2005 05:45 PM

dulaan 2- but of course!! count me in- i've already started putting items in the 'dulaan box'-

hooray for continuing this-

stay happy-

Posted by: barb in texas on August 22, 2005 05:49 PM

I missed last year, but I'm definitely going to make something for Dulaan by next July... Also, that was a highly amusing title, considering that a few of my friends went swimming (or "staying very still underwater") with sharks yesterday.

Posted by: naomi on August 22, 2005 05:55 PM

I totally just saw a blurb about the Dulaan Project in the Fall Vogue Knitting; made me happy to see it getting attention outside of the intarweb!

Posted by: Beth on August 22, 2005 06:19 PM

count me in - again! This is the perfect thing for my "what shall I knit now? I need something that will be instant gratification and go to a good home" knitting. Thanks for putting together all of the info - again! :)

Posted by: Kristen on August 22, 2005 06:32 PM

You bet I'm in!

Posted by: Annie on August 22, 2005 06:47 PM

Special gifts?

Posted by: Robbyn on August 22, 2005 07:34 PM

You bet I'm in!

Posted by: melissa on August 22, 2005 10:26 PM

I don't knit very fast but I sure will knit something for Dulaan. There is a new yarn store opening in my area and I will see if they will post a flyer!

Posted by: Cheryl on August 23, 2005 06:00 AM

I'm in!

Posted by: martha on August 23, 2005 06:11 AM

I'm in, I'm in! I have a scarf that I ran out of yarn for that was earmarked for Dulaan so I have already started!

Posted by: Seanna Lea on August 23, 2005 06:28 AM

Woo hoo, can I send the 3 things I made but got buried and never sent for the first year???? Geez I am so disorganized. But they are there...waiting. And god knows I could add a few more things by next July....

Posted by: Lisa in Oregon on August 23, 2005 08:48 AM

PS to my earlier post: Ryan, you AND The MARVELOUS K did a wonderful job on Monday's post announcing Dulaan '06. Every bit of info is there, easily accessed, and the pattern list, which I had a chance to really look at this morning, is superb. With organization and direction such as this, it would indeed be a mystery if our Brigade members are not successful this coming year! You've set forth the goal, and how to achieve it so clearly. All we have to do is knit--quite the easy part.

I'm hoping that this new year generates some of us actually getting together and knitting together. It was such a successful thing to do last year for the Seattlites and the Berkleyites.

Mary B

Posted by: Mary B on August 23, 2005 09:15 AM

The thing is, Dear Mary, I'm a technical writer and webmistress and sometimes that part of me leaks ever so quietly over into the blog, hence the table of contents, the sections, the detail, the links, the navigation. Thank God I don't do that for every entry or my writing exactitude would bore you all cross-eyed!

We will do get-togethers; promise!

Posted by: Ryan on August 23, 2005 09:20 AM

Do I even have to say it? The Stalker is so in. Now that ye olde stash is organized, I have a lot of yarn that needs to go to Mon-freakin-golia in the form of hats, and scarves and I'll think of something else. Oh, and I finally found that 4th damned blanket, so I am off and running for next year already. 4,518? Pffft. We are so busting that for Dulaan part deux.

Posted by: Stalker Angie on August 23, 2005 09:53 AM

(in tom petty's voice) o my my, o hell yes!

Sue and I are so doing this.. now that madame has become a baby knitter extraordinare (and no, none for us. thanksomuch.) we will be filling the box with warmth from Philly.

Thanks for the info. Off to let marfa know so she can post for the retreat members.

Posted by: anj on August 23, 2005 10:32 AM

Anj--Sue knits babies?! I am VERY impressed!

Posted by: Ryan on August 23, 2005 10:45 AM

I used Dulaan as an excuse to get a ridiculous amount of yarn. I'll have to knit 4,518 items all by myself just to use it all.

Put me down in the brigade!

Posted by: Laurie on August 23, 2005 10:52 AM

considering that everytime we talk to someone and they tell us they are pregnant (all summer.. we are up to around 100 kids..) I am starting to think that perhaps we DO knit babies. that knitting is a carrier and that we just infect people. eep!

Posted by: anj on August 23, 2005 11:26 AM

I will print up color flyers and bring to Stitches East next month!

One wish: a flyer where your blog was more prominently displayed and also a little bit of background as to why you decided to create the project (i.e. some mention of Cuzzin Tom perhaps), and why the goal for 2006 is what it is (really the only number possible I should think). For me part of the wonderfulness of this project is its connection to actual people, some of whom I know. So, because I think your blog is an important part of the project and its success, I wish it were a bit more visible on the flyer.

Posted by: Susanna in Seattle on August 23, 2005 11:44 AM

Well, add me to the list, too! I've already got a pair of mittens sitting in a box that didn't get finished in time for 2005.

Posted by: Lyme on August 23, 2005 02:28 PM

Yay! Count me in for D2 - I'm up for any reason to buy yarn and gift someone with warm wooly goodness.

Posted by: Gina on August 23, 2005 02:48 PM

Don't forget to include my name! (I've already got three sweaters and a pair of socks!!! That means there's only 4,513 more to go!)

Posted by: Carol on August 23, 2005 02:49 PM

Susanna, TMK and I are, to put it tackily, "dialoguing" over the flyer. I'm of the mind that this project isn't about Mossy Cottage; it's about the cooperative effort of the crafters, F.I.R.E., Cuzzin Tom, and Mossy Cottage but TMK has reminded me that, regardless of how I feel, the blog is "Information Central" and people need to be able to know where to go for information...

Posted by: Ryan on August 23, 2005 04:09 PM

Listen to TMK, listen to TMK, listen to TMK...
Mary B

Posted by: Mary B on August 23, 2005 04:37 PM

Anj, we are needing some infection over here. My mother-in-law would be indebted to you for the rest of her life. And she's worth having on your side. So, can you talk Sue into knitting a baby for me? Hehe

Ms. Ryan, listen to TMK.

TMK, the button is absolutely top drawer, hon. :)

Posted by: Stalker Angie on August 23, 2005 05:22 PM

You and TMK rawk, doll. Wowie. Sign me up.

Posted by: Rachael on August 23, 2005 08:59 PM

Dialoguing is good.

What brought me to this project was: YOU (and a little bit of Cuzzin Tom). What made me stay interested and finally knit some Mon-frickin-goleean hats was: YOU. What is making me sign on for 2006? YOU.

It's not that I'm a callous person who doesn't care about the plight of Mongolian children; it's that this project is offering me a sense of community that is often absent in other charitable efforts (the one exception that comes to my mind is Stephanie's Tricoteuses Sans Frontičres project). MaryB had some wonderful comments about the community aspects of the Duulan project in a recent SKG newsletter that really resonated with me and helped me see why this project is so successful on so many levels.

Regardless of what the flyer ends up looking like, I will print off color copies and bring to Stitches East next month. But I want to say: dialogue all you want as long as TMK and MaryB have a BIG say in the outcome...

Posted by: Susanna Hansson on August 23, 2005 10:41 PM

Hi Ryan!I sent a parcel to F.I.R.E for 05,i hope it arrived safely through customs etc.. i'd like to be added to the list if this is possible,i've already got 2 pairs of socks finished and a sweater on the go!

Posted by: Diane UK on August 24, 2005 05:33 AM

Ryan, thank you so much for taking this on for another year. I'm in, for sure ... I was at my LYS yesterday, and mentioned that I would be making some hats and mittens for Dulaan. The owner took me to a corner, and there was a huge bag of yarn oddments, especially for charity knitting. I snagged some very warm-looking bulky yarn which should make a great pair of mittens.

Posted by: Ruth on August 24, 2005 07:17 AM

You all are giving me goosebumps! As all you readers know, I stay in the background for the most part, and I don't usually comment unless someone asks me a specific question, but I just have to say that you girls (and Devin) rock! I am amazed at how generous you all were last year with your time and talent. And here you all are, signing up to do it again! Thank you!


Posted by: The Mysterious K on August 24, 2005 08:14 AM

Count me in, too! Button is already up on my blog and I have a couple of things ready to send.

Posted by: Judy on August 24, 2005 09:43 AM

Count me in. As soon as the Christmas knitting is done, I'll be organizing and planning my projects. (Must figure out the blog button posting mystery.)

Posted by: Kat on August 24, 2005 09:51 AM

Love the new logo! And the pattern list! Especially the patterns created specifically for Dulaan. It just ties the whole experience together. Or is that "knits" the whole thing together? (tee hee)


Posted by: Diana Dean on August 24, 2005 12:47 PM

Please add me to the Brigade! I sent a box of 6 hats in June, and I've already started a new hat for 2006's box (which will be much larger - the box, not the hat).

Posted by: DebbieB on August 24, 2005 01:45 PM

wooohooooo...i'm in...button has been saved and will be on the blog as soon as i find my way back there...been too long since i've posted anything (shame on me)

now all i have to do is learn how to knit 24/7 it possible to knit in one's sleep? ;-)

Posted by: laurie on August 24, 2005 02:07 PM

Count me in. Thanks!

Posted by: Angela on August 24, 2005 03:03 PM

I am going to put the blog button up at once! Looking forward to knitting lots of warm goodies for our Mongolian friends.

Posted by: Stacy on August 24, 2005 03:12 PM

Please add my name to the list! Is there anything else I need to do besides put the button on my blog and start knitting?

Posted by: Jane on August 24, 2005 03:34 PM

count me in. Andrea

Posted by: andrea on August 24, 2005 04:03 PM

I am totally IN!!! YiPpEE!

Posted by: Kary on August 24, 2005 04:08 PM

You bet! put my name down!
My personal Dulaan goal this year is also to make one more than I did last year.

Posted by: Emily on August 24, 2005 04:31 PM

Ryan you brazen hussy, perpetrating your scam a SECOND time. Of course I'll send something or other, sometime. I won't know what until it comes off the needles.

Posted by: CarolineF on August 24, 2005 05:30 PM

I'd be happy to participate!

Posted by: Debbie on August 24, 2005 07:50 PM

I have my four items that I made for Dulaan last year but was too stupid to mail in time, so I'll send those off and make some more. (I'll also post the button on my blog and take flyers to my guild).

Whatchoo bet you get over 4,518? Clearly, ma'am, we are all mad.

Posted by: Janice on August 25, 2005 02:17 AM

I would love to participate again, and I also have several friends who would like to contribute items too! Here is to another great Dulaan year! Love that new button! ;)

Posted by: Lolly on August 25, 2005 05:36 AM

I'm in!

The button is great, but until I figure out coding on my LJ/blog, I'll have to settle for a link.

Posted by: Mel on August 25, 2005 06:55 AM

I'm so totally in this year - I was awestruck by this project last year and want to be part of the fun!!

Posted by: JenH on August 25, 2005 07:23 AM

Count me in! I am not a prolific knitter, but I know I can come up with a handful of items at least. Been looking for a good excuse to try one of those Baby Surprise jackets... heh, heh.

Posted by: Denise in Kent, WA on August 25, 2005 07:30 AM

Count me in!

Posted by: Tammy on August 25, 2005 07:37 AM

I'm in.No longer in the wilds of Oregon, I'll be able to drive my box from Phoenix to Flagstaff myself!!

Posted by: vicki on August 25, 2005 07:56 AM

W00t! (someday somebody will tell me exactly what that means, but anyway). Noah and I are in! My goal is that Noah actually knit a hat. I'm sure he can do it by next July. :)

Posted by: Patti on August 25, 2005 12:05 PM

Count me in too!!
Ann in Vancouver BC

Posted by: Ann Andersen on August 25, 2005 01:44 PM

Yup, me too!

Posted by: Melinda on August 25, 2005 05:05 PM

I'm with you this year, and I'm going to pull in everyone that I can.

Posted by: Gina in Calgary on August 25, 2005 07:19 PM

Can't resist trying to break THIS RECORD! 4518? HA! Somebody get ahold of Guiness. I think we will be breaking or making a new record! Here we go!

Posted by: Lana on August 25, 2005 07:44 PM

Count me in. I heard about this recently and think it's such a great idea.

Posted by: Amy on August 26, 2005 07:47 AM

I'm so glad you are continuing this project!!! I work for an agency that supports adults with developmental disabilities to live in the community and we are "doing the Dulaan" as one of our community service projects. A small but enthusiastic group of clients and support staff are starting on scarves and hats. We are teaching newe people to knit as well! Thanks for the inspiration.

Posted by: Ashley on August 26, 2005 10:06 AM

I'm in!

Posted by: cari on August 26, 2005 12:26 PM

Zev, Grover and Kaje say they'll stop swiping the handspun long enough for me to make hats. So with the dogs' blessings, I'm in...

Posted by: Tracey on August 26, 2005 02:25 PM

I would love to contribute to this project. Count me in.

Posted by: Laura Ann on August 27, 2005 06:19 AM

Count me in! I should be able to crank out a few things at least.

Posted by: Amy on August 27, 2005 01:19 PM

Please add me to the list as well. I'm a bit late to the party - the computer finally crapped out on me and I was awaiting the replacement, and I was also on vacation for a week. However, I'm uploading the button to my space and posting the link on my LJ page. Thank you both again for doing this!!!

Posted by: perclexed on August 27, 2005 03:36 PM

Please add me to your list,I'm looking forward to starting my jacket.Hope to get it to you soon.

Posted by: nancy on August 28, 2005 11:04 AM

I'm a relatively new knitter (and slow) but I think with nearly a year I can have a few items done. Please put me on the list.

Posted by: twig on August 28, 2005 09:27 PM
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