I was inordinately pleased tonight, when logging in to the site statistics, to discover that someone had arrived at the website by googling “the diversity project knitting”. In hindsight, I realize that they probably already knew about the project and just needed to get hold of a link, but nonetheless it made me smile.
There have been plenty of big things happening today too, as alluded to in last night’s rather late (and rushed) post. I met Sandy for coffee this morning–we’ve facebook “known” each other for a while now so it was great to finally put a real face to the name. Sandy is wonderful. We spent ages chatting about the project and she’s given me some fabulous pointers about raising awareness and potentially raising funds.As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I’m aiming to raise money to provide a one-off scholarship for an LGBT student here in Lexington. When I first thought of the project last week (was it really only just over a week ago?) I had the rather lofty ambition to raise $1,000, primarily from the auction of the finished blanket. Sandy thinks I’m being conservative, as do several other people that I’ve spoken to. I’m astonished. Raising $1,000 would be incredible but raising more than that would really blow my mind. I need to really believe that together–because this won’t happen without lots of help–we can make it happen.
Amongst other things, Sandy gave me some great tips for news releases and getting in touch with local television stations (I’m not sure I’m ready to be seen on television…) but we also talked about the possibility of raising funds for the project prior to the blanket being auctioned. I’ve already realized that I’ll need some sponsorship from local businesses to cover the immediate overheads of the project–buying yarn and needles for community knit events and possibly printing flyers and business cards but I hadn’t considered the possibility of raising funds for the scholarship by other means than the auction. It sounds like a great idea, but I need to check with the Gaines Center that it’s something I’m allowed to do. That will have to go on my to-do list for next week. After meeting with Sandy, I flew down the road to meet with Tiffany, the new director of UK’s OUTsource center. She’s really enthusiastic about OUTsource supporting the project in a variety of ways, I think it has the potential to be a mutually beneficial collaboration.
And then, two more lovely things happened. Just before the summer break I made a new English friend, Alison. She’s been here in Lexington for a couple of years now and as it turns out she’s from pretty much the same part of England as me, we’re both northern lasses. I’d promised Alison I’d make a gluten free bacon, lettuce, and tomato salad for an event she was involved in planning–when I popped by to drop it off (with no small amount of regret, I might add–it’s an incredibly yummy salad) she handed me an envelope with $30 inside and instructions to buy some special yarn for the project. We’re going to meet “fer a brew” next week so if I haven’t managed to buy some yarn with her donation by then, I’ll rope her in to choose it with me. And her donation makes me all the more aware that I need to start keeping very careful records of contributions, especially if there’s money involved. I need to hop in to the Credit Union on campus tomorrow and have a chat with them about opening an account for the project so that I can keep things well organized. And a record-keeping book wouldn’t go amiss either.
The second lovely thing happened when I got home. MB, my community juror, mentioned last week that she thought her mother-in-law (who very sadly passed away not too long ago) had a huge stash of quilting fabrics. MB very kindly offered to pass the fabrics on to me so that they could be used to back the finished blanket–not only will this look pretty but it will also help prevent the squares stretching when it’s displayed. Well, it also seems that her lovely mother-in-law also had quite a stash of yarn that MB would like to donate to the project–and according to her post on the facebook page’s wall, there’s a lot of yarn too! I can’t wait to start getting it knitted up into squares!
I’ve tentatively spoken to one of the girls that works at Coffee Times about hosting some community knit events there. She was very positive about it but I really need to call and talk to the owner very soon. All the donated yarn is definitely going to come in very handy for that. Did I mention yesterday, by the way, that Nadean on Ravelry has already donated 4 skeins (about 800 yards) of a rainbow-coloured yarn? Things are taking shape.
I’m noticing that I’m saying “very soon” in almost all my posts–right now I’m really starting to feel that I’m doing a lot of talking and not much action, which is a bit concerning. Certainly, things are happening in that the word is getting out and people are starting to contribute, but I need to start organizing concrete things–setting dates for knit-events, organizing news releases, sending out emails, I need to make real, tangible progress and I don’t feel that’s happening yet. Maybe I’m being impatient. It might help if I plan a schedule rather than just keeping things in the back of my mind–there will come a point (if I’ve not reached it already) when my mind will refuse to cooperate and I’ll forget everything I want to do. Time for me to get a notebook and start making lists, I think. Soon.