January 20, 2006

An Inadequate Thank You

(Super Bowl, Shmooper Bowl. Although we do have to say to Ms. Pittsburgh Steelers, "Yo' mama."

That being said, I'm leaving this entry up for another day so as many people as possible can see the photos. See you Wednesday!)

Picture-heavy post, Dear Readers, but well worth it...

There is no way, truly, that I could sufficiently thank each and everyone one of the knitters and blanket-makers from the United States and around the world who participated in last year’s Dulaan efforts. However, I hope today’s entry, which features photos of the Dulaan Brigade’s knitted items being distributed at a kindergarten and an orphanage in Mongolia, will go a long way towards showing you what all of you have accomplished, and will reward you in a way that I cannot.

As I warned the other day, have your hankies ready. Seriously. No, seriously; go get something, anything—Kleenex, toilet paper, a paper towel, the hem of your shirt, the hem of your office-mate’s shirt, I’m not picky. The pictures will both uplift you and make you misty-eyed, guaranteed. I know this because the photos have been trial-run past a few people and, to a person and despite feeble attempts to deny it, they all became farklempt. Even TMK called me and said, in a nod to the little pink girl-squid in “Finding Nemo,” “You made me ink!”

If you see anything you knit in the photos, please let us know! Local knitter MaryB reports that she has espied an item or two of hers, which is not surprising since she knit 50 (50!) items for the project.

Okay, on to the photos:

Per Meredith, the Executive Director of F.I.R.E.:

“[This first set of] images was taken at Kindergarten 59, a particularly poor school. We arrived with our hand-knitted items on the day of the first snow. Most of the children were under-dressed. Being under dressed for school in Mongolia is a big problem. If you are not appropriately clothed, you will be sent home. These children refused to take off their new hand knitted clothing. They were so excited they wore it all day in a very hot building.”

(Editor’s note: It is supremely important for me to mention at this point one of the Dulaan Project’s biggest benefactors, Guidepost Magazine’s “Knit for Kids” project. Month after month, this remarkable group of volunteers simply churns out hundreds, even thousands, of sweaters for children. As a result, they were able to donate hundreds of sweaters to the Dulaan Project which is why almost every single child in these pictures has a new sweater, and why some of them are sporting “Knit for Kids” stickers. For me, that alone was enough to get the ol’ waterworks going.)






Again, per Meredith:

“This was an orphanage called the Lotus Center. You can see in one of the pictures two kids fighting over a hat. [Ed. Note: In another picture, you can see who won!] The items were received with a combination of shock and awe and pure excitement. The hand knitted items were so beautiful and warm that people could not help but feel extra special for receiving it. Although there was always the question of "why." Why would be people go to all this trouble just to help us? Because we can, is what I always say. As much as they appreciate our gifts of love, they have trouble grasping the concept of doing good for others, just for the good feeling it gives you.”







If you know of anyone who knit for Dulaan but doesn't usually read this blog, please send them the permalink (which can be obtained by clicking on this entry's date and time) or somehow share the photos with them. It's important to me that as many people as possible learn what a difference they made in the lives of these children as well as in the lives of the adults who take care of them.

Posted by Ryan at January 20, 2006 11:39 AM

I stared at this post and just didn't know what to say. So I went over to the harlot's page and signed up for her olympics.....16 Dulaan hats in 16 days. Now, if you'll excuse me (you didn't say we'd need *multiple* tissues!!) Thank you so much, Ryan.

Posted by: marylee on January 20, 2006 12:11 PM

I posted about this today. Thank you. Just...thanks.

Posted by: perclexed on January 20, 2006 12:32 PM

Thank you.

Posted by: Virtuella on January 20, 2006 12:34 PM

It's really overwhelming to see how many children are in these few photos from just 2 locations. You, TMK and Cuzzin Tom have done a wonderful thing here, Ms. Ryan. Thank you for everything you've done to pull this project together. You are a very special lady and I am honored to have met you, even if it is only online.

Hugs *sniffle*

Posted by: Stalker Angie on January 20, 2006 12:49 PM

Wow. That's all. Just wow.

Posted by: Stephanie on January 20, 2006 12:58 PM

Truly amazing to see those photos. And to read the stories. Yes, we do these things just because we can. What better reason?!

Posted by: Carol on January 20, 2006 01:03 PM

Wow. That is great. We want more. Aren't those little faced just too much.

I have a pair of socks for Dulaan this year. I got there by cheating - they shrank just a tad and won't fit me anymore but would fit a kid in Mongolia. But I still feel happy that they'll get sent.

Posted by: CarolineF on January 20, 2006 01:03 PM

Thank you, Ryan, and thanks to marylee above for helping me choose a Knitting Olympics goal -- I'm goin' for the (Dulaan) Gold!

Posted by: martha in mobile on January 20, 2006 01:05 PM

Those pictures were great. It makes me really happy to participate in a project that brings such joy.

Posted by: Mindy on January 20, 2006 01:14 PM

i should have listened about the tissues, pardon me i must needs go blow my nose. . .

Posted by: laura on January 20, 2006 01:18 PM

ROCK ON! this totally rocked. This was so fulfilling. *does cartwheels* OK I was not sad.. I was so happy to see happy faces. ROCK ON!

Posted by: anj on January 20, 2006 01:23 PM

Thanks Ryan, for hosting Dulaan, and for sharing these photos. Wow. I've lost all other words.

Posted by: Elaine on January 20, 2006 01:25 PM

Thank you for the photos, and for taking on this project for one more year.

I'm excited to be a (very small) part of it.

Posted by: Susanna in Seattle on January 20, 2006 01:29 PM

These are wonderful pictures, making me want to knit more feverishly as we approach our new deadline.

A sad note. My corgi, Corky (almost 15 years old), died this morning. May Frankie live long and prosper.

Posted by: Sylvia on January 20, 2006 01:45 PM

Wow, Ryan.
The photos are totally gorgeous, the children are out-of-this-world adorable.
Incredible joy mixed with deep sadness. I must knit some more now.

Posted by: Carrie on January 20, 2006 02:12 PM

I see dozens of gorgeous, high-quality BEAUTIFUL items. I'm so proud to be a part of this. Oh, my. Excuse me. I'll have to come back when I pull myself together.

Posted by: Norma on January 20, 2006 02:29 PM


OK, I have FOUR items made that didn't make the deadline last year. Two pairs of booties, a baby hat and an adult scarf.

I'm going to mail them today 'cause I just got paid. And then cast on something else even though I'm doing the Olympics and need to finish a sock as well.


Posted by: Rabbitch on January 20, 2006 02:54 PM

Awww. I've had a stone-cold-awful week, but those pictures really put everything in perspective. We've done and are doing a good thing. Thanks so much for the pictures.

Posted by: Melinda on January 20, 2006 03:56 PM

I know. You warned me, but I didn't believe. And now look at me: laughing, shouting, clapping, dabbing at my eyes with my robes, and honking into a hankie. Cuz! Can you STAND it? That's just about the most beautiful set of photos I've ever seen in my LIFE!! Oh I LOVE all of you who made that happen. LOOK at those happy critters! OK, I've got to link to this right this second.

Posted by: Cuzzin Tom on January 20, 2006 04:01 PM

Just wonderful. Thank you.

Posted by: Julie on January 20, 2006 04:07 PM

WOW! Must get started on stuff for this year! What beautiful things everyone made! Super!

Posted by: Sheri on January 20, 2006 04:38 PM

Can't quite explain how marvelous I felt seeing the pictures AND actually recognizing about 5 hats I had made actually being worn by real kids in REAL Mongoleeeeah. My heart is warmed beyond measure. Thank you, Ryan--looky at what you've gone and done! I'll be a knitting fool for this next Dulaan drive.

And then when you realize not only did we make all this stuff, but the friendships that were formed at the 3 knit-ins in Seattle AND the group attendance at the Stitch n Pitch at the Mariners game as the Dulaan Project Knitters--and the community made on this blog, and the other knit-ins in other places, too! What a community we have built.

I think Mom's face in the very last photo says it all. Wow.

Mary B

Posted by: Mary B on January 20, 2006 05:40 PM

It is a wonderful thing you have done in putting this together! Seeing the faces of these wee ones really brings it home!

Posted by: Kim on January 20, 2006 06:45 PM

I didn't knit anything; I tried to do my part by sending winter coats and hats and mittens that were no longer being used by my family. I'm not so good at knitting for others - but oh my goodness. I have to start now. Thank you so much for sharing these photos. The only thing more beautiful than the knits and knitters behind the knits are the glorious smiles on the faces of these children. Thank you again for all your hard work.

All best,
Cara Davis

Posted by: Cara on January 20, 2006 07:03 PM

Oh my goodness, what precious babies! It makes me happy to be have been a small part of this.
As for the Olympics, I hadn't decided yet what to do, I had thought that I would try a (shudder)sock, but now I know. A sock will wait, it will be something for the babies. Thank you, Ryan and Cuzzin Tom for getting this all going.

Posted by: sheila on January 20, 2006 07:14 PM

MUST knit Faster! So darn cute!

Posted by: Rebecca on January 20, 2006 10:18 PM

Thank you, Ryan, for sharing the pictures. I've been trying to come up with an Olympic project for the challenge and I think marylee's idea is perfect.

Posted by: Lavender on January 20, 2006 10:24 PM

Aim crying my eyes out here......what a wounderful project....i havent word that describe what i feel......*snufs*

Posted by: Randi on January 21, 2006 03:51 AM

What wonderful pictures! Thank you so much for sharing them. You are truly making a difference.

Posted by: Sonya on January 21, 2006 04:22 AM

Thanks, Ryan! Gee, I can only say that I wish you would post every day! Reading you gives me warm fuzzies, and laughter, and , um, you're better than a decongestant!

Posted by: Jenny on January 21, 2006 05:36 AM

How wonderful to see all the smiles! I knit the green sweater with the leaves up the front... Good to see it made it 'home'. Thank you for posting these pictures. Thank you to Lynn for getting me involved!

Posted by: Nell on January 21, 2006 06:05 AM

Nell, beautiful sweater!!!!!!! That little girl is the perfect model, I mean recipient for it too, she must feel like that sweater was made for her personally.

Ryan, I reached this post from Norma's blog and I'm so touched that I'm going to start knitting for the Dulan project.

I think the comments here have proven what a huge contribution your picture post has made to the cause!

Posted by: Trinamac on January 21, 2006 07:20 AM

Oh, my. How beautiful. I want to adopt ALL those children. Now I want to go knit up hats for the project.

Thank you for posting these pictures!

Posted by: jessica~ on January 21, 2006 08:25 AM

How perfect that you posted this yesterday, the same day I had tossed a ball of yarn into my bag for my first Dulaan hat! (I've been picking up yarn, but had to get through Christmas before I could start). I'm proud to be involved - what great pictures!!!

Posted by: Mel on January 21, 2006 10:24 AM

BRAVO to everyone who participated! As someone who has just survived a very cold week in Moscow (we're talking -20F for the daily high) due to high-tech underwear and woollens, let me assure you that your work will be greatly appreciated for years to come!

Posted by: Kristen on January 21, 2006 11:15 AM

LOVE THE PICTURE!I just found your website and would love to be involed in the project if you are doing it again. please If you could pass along any info, I would love to knit for the children.
thank again

Posted by: jill on January 21, 2006 11:43 AM

Thank you so much for sharing the pictures and for organizing this in the first place. It made it very real for Noah, too - it was funny, he wasn't reading, just looking at the pictures, and he said, "Are those two FIGHTING over something?" He was impressed and amazed and touched (even though he didn't tear up with me - I've looked at them 3 times and I tear up every time). I'm going to go work on some hats now. And they are going to Pakistan, too, this year, right?

Posted by: Patti on January 21, 2006 03:48 PM

I see I'm not the only one who can't see the keyboard for the tears...jeez, I recognize the patterns and everything...

I don't know how to thank you, except for to help you do it again.

Posted by: Lee Ann on January 21, 2006 06:22 PM

Wow, you are right..sniff...I have 1 hat so far and a bag full to knit up for this years shipment. It is so good to know how appreciated these are and that they will be put to good use. Thanks for all your help and I look forward to sending my contributions!

Posted by: Zonda on January 21, 2006 10:53 PM

I am overwhelmed, Ryan. Can't wait to show the text and pix to the many women all over Brattleboro who participated in this project. My basement is filling up yet again with warm knitted good for this year's donations. Hurray for you and everyone else - a demonstration of true compassion.

Posted by: Aunt Jo on January 22, 2006 12:09 PM

What beautiful children!

Posted by: Susie on January 22, 2006 03:19 PM

Oh, it's the last picture that set me off.

Beautiful. Just so beautiful.

Posted by: Sisina on January 23, 2006 05:54 AM

Oooh, what precious children! It's wonderful to see the joy brought by our knitting. I think the little girl bending over the box in the first Lotus picture is wearing a vest I knit. Whoa - something I knit is in Mongolia. Must get busy making more items.

Posted by: Jen on January 23, 2006 11:06 AM

JUST for the record, I'd like to mention that I consider the warm and comforted children MUCH more important than the fact that we whopped Denver's butt.

Though the fact that The Bus is going home to Detroit, for the last game of his career....sniff, sniff...that sorta gets to me.

Posted by: Anne on January 23, 2006 11:13 AM

What a wonderful thing to do! You are all amazing. Wow!

Posted by: DeeAnn on January 23, 2006 05:25 PM

Thank you soooo much for sharing these pictures. I am signing up...thank you :).

Posted by: Isela on January 23, 2006 10:48 PM

Wow. I've got chills. Excuse me while I go get my needles,

Posted by: Li_B on January 24, 2006 08:41 PM


Posted by: Barbara from Nova Scotia on January 25, 2006 05:56 AM

thanks for this post, and the photos it contains. was very glad to participate last year, and i'm glad you're pushing on through to '06! so much warmth. so much inspiration.

Posted by: kelli ann on January 25, 2006 07:19 AM

Just beautiful. Totally and completely beautiful. So moving.

Posted by: Ann on January 25, 2006 08:07 AM

Oy! Ach! Amazing! Beautiful! (kids and handknits!)

I was NOT going to sign up for the Olympics of the Certifiably Insane, but now I am totally copying Marylee's fantastic idea. 16 days, 16 hats---no problem. The only challenge is getting a little variety into those hats! MAYBE I'll do a pair of mittens for one day. Just to get those 'technical difficulty' points from the judges.

THANKS RYAN!!!!!!!! You are the Eleanor Roosevelt of knitting. Go Ryan! Go Ryan! xoxo Kay

Posted by: Kay on January 25, 2006 08:41 AM

Amazing! This post made me cry.

Posted by: Tilkkusisko on January 25, 2006 08:57 AM

This is amazing! I would love to be involved in this. Will you do it again? Please let me know.

Posted by: celtic knitter on January 25, 2006 09:09 PM

sniff! you sure were right about the kleenex!! Wonderful pictures! Great job, everybody. Seeing these kids' smiles was certainly worth it.

Posted by: Julia on January 26, 2006 04:39 AM

Okay, I'm weepy now. I followed a link on Isela's blog. She (and I) have joined for up Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. Like her I was going to tackle the Hourglass Sweater but also like her, I am now going to commit to this project instead. I figure I can crank out several small projects in the same amount of time that it would take me to knit something for myself.

Posted by: peggy on January 26, 2006 08:33 AM
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