Gathering Momentum

As the Project approaches its one month anniversary I’m delighted that we’re continuing to make progress. Three beautiful squares arrived in the post last week from “A Perfect Stranger, Greater Chicagoland”, there have been massive donations of yarn from Mary Beth, Katie, and Asri (with lots more promised), and there’s been a phenomenal response to the upcoming knit-in. If you missed the post about it, it will happen on Thursday 6th October, 6.30-9.00pm, at the Gaines Center for the Humanities on East Maxwell Street. More details can be found on the facebook event page. The media frenzy continues–last week I had a wonderful time talking to Allie from WRFL on their Out Loud show and I hope to talk to them again as the Project develops. This Sunday, I’ve been very kindly invited to talk with the members of the Interweave group at the Universal Unitarian Church here in Lexington. I’m very much looking forward to meeting everyone there and certain that it will be a positive event.

But what’s most pressing now is getting squares for the blanket. I’m estimating that there are already around 30 squares that I either have in my possession or know to have been completed–that’s wonderful, but we need more! If you haven’t already started knitting (or crocheting) and want to contribute, I’d urge you to do so sooner rather than later. I know December sounds like an age away, but I really need to have all squares in by the start of December and that’s only around 9 weeks away. Please, if you can find the time (and these squares don’t take long at all to work up) make a square (or two!) and get it to me as soon as possible.

The first drop-off point has been set up this week, which should make things easier for you to get squares and yarn to me. It’s on the 13th floor of the Patterson Office Tower building in the University of Kentucky’s main campus area, and the box itself is just outside room 1353. Feel free to just drop your donations in–there’s no need to register them. There will be at least three other places on campus, as well as some downtown locations, so watch this space for more details. Until then, you can continue to contact me directly if you have donations ready.

Tomorrow will be a day of writing press releases and seeing what extra publicity I can drum up–although I already feel like my name is popping up every time I turn my head. This afternoon, our eldest daughter announced, on her return home from school, that a fellow student had asked her if her mum’s name was Catherine. When she answered “yes”, the student went on to say that she’d heard me on WRFL on Friday afternoon and thought it was an amazing project. I’m thrilled that the news is spreading. And our youngest daughter–who is just getting into Twitter–decided to tweet the website address to all her middle school teachers. Add to that my wonderfully supportive partner who, as well as writing articles about the Project for local newspapers, has been amazingly tolerant about the ever-increasing quantity of yarn in our living room and you can see why I am so incredibly fortunate. This project would not be possible without their support, or your support. I might be organizing it, but it stopped being “my” project a long time ago–it truly is a community effort and that makes me very, very happy.

Incidentally, Ellen hasn’t called yet. If you want to give her a nudge, you can do so here.


I Wonder if Portia Knits?

That was one of the very random thoughts that occurred to me when I was walking across campus this morning. Lots of celebrities, both past and present, like to click their needles–just check out these blog posts from Eclecticiti and Cheaty Monkey to see the who’s who of the knit and purl world. Anyway, I found myself wondering whether or not the lovely Portia de Rossi knits–and if not, she should do,but then, that’s my advice for everyone that doesn’t knit. From curiously pondering what Portia does in her free time, it was natural that I’d then wonder about Ellen and hot on the heels of that came the surprising thought that maybe I should email Ellen about the Project. So I did.

I spent most of the day talking myself out of it, then back into it, then back out of it again. I’m sure that she gets thousands of emails every day all from people who are doing incredible things in the world, and as much as I have complete belief in this Project and the people contributing to it, I just wasn’t sure whether that would translate to anyone else–silly really when I remember just how many people across America have already thrown themselves into the Project. I must have visited her website a dozen times today, clicked on the link to email the show, and then closed the window in terror. I can’t quite say what made me shy away from sending an email, other than perhaps an irrational fear that there’s a slim chance that she might just get to hear about the Project and like it, and what then?

Earlier this evening, though, I finally managed to put those fears behind me. I wrote a very brief email (actually, the submission form only allows 1500 characters so I had to be brief) outlining the Project and its aims. I’m not sure I was entirely coherent–my email was the written equivalent of an over-excited 5 year old meeting Father Christmas–but I think I got the main thoughts down. I did remember to send a link to this website and to the podcast I did for WUKY yesterday, if nothing else, maybe she’ll like my English accent. But the email is sent now, and all I can do is wait, and hope.

If, though, anyone else feels like petitioning Ellen on the Project’s behalf, here’s a link to her “contact page”–I’d be thrilled if you told her about the Project from your perspective.


Tune In!

This week has been hugely exciting for me–the Diversity Project is attracting some local media attention!

Yesterday, I did podcast interview for our local NPR station, WUKY. My interviewer, Josh James, was lovely, and I also got to meet the Programming Manager, Stacy Yelton, who I now realize has been following the Project’s progress almost since the beginning. Not only is the podcast already live on their website but they’re also going to edit it down to shorter chunks and air it during Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Very exciting!

Click here to listen to the WUKY podcast.

Today at 3pm, I’m also going to be on WRFL 88.1 Radio Free Lexington. I’ll be on the Out Loud show with Allie Huddleston. Those of you in Lexington, please tune in and let me know what you think. For those a little further afield, I’m pretty sure that you can listen in via the website so if you have chance, please do so.

Next week I’ll be recording another podcast for the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences, which will be available on their website. One of the members of my Jury Panel, KJ Rawson, has very kindly agreed to participate with me. I’ll post more about that when we’ve recorded the podcast.

Thanks to the lovely people at WUKY and WRLF for the wonderful publicity–I’ve enjoyed speaking publicly about the Project far more than I ever anticipated I would. Now, does anyone know how to get in touch with Ellen…?