Monday, June 09, 2008

New Mystery Shawl Along

Orders are now being accepted for the next regular Mystery Shawl Along to begin on July 12, 2008. This is separate from the Anniversary Shawl Along that begins on June 12, 2008.

For more info and to order, visit This new MS9 will be held on the new website I have setup instead of the Yahoo group. You will need to register on the new website in order to receive the pattern:

Friday, June 06, 2008

"Eye of The Storm"

The name for the tornado shawl - I think it's appropriate. I've decided to make it triangular because of the yardage for the yarn I plan to use. I originally thought about making it square and using a different yarn but then I remembered I had another yarn that would be better.


From Yarn Chef called "Buttercream" in colorway "Calm" - also appropriate. I was planning on using this for a Winter Mystery Shawl but when I remembered I had this I thought this was perfect, mostly because of the color name but the colors themselves also, blues, purples and grays. Don't think this is a regular colorway but maybe you can request it. I did notice she has a "Thunderstorms" colorway up now, that would work as well.
More info to come...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Donations or Not?

I've received quite a lot of feedback on my raffle attempt dilemma. Many good suggestions and a lot of people confused about why I'm not allowed to do this. Basically the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals is the agency responsible for enforcing these rules, approving and issuing licenses, etc.

This is their definition of "Raffle":
26. "Raffle" means a lottery in which each participant buys a ticket for a chance at a prize with the winner determined by a random method and the winner is not required to be present to win. "Raffle" does not include a slot machine.

Basically if someone gives you money for a chance to receive something in return, it is a raffle, even if you call the money receipt a "donation". According to their rules you must have a gaming license to have a raffle AND you must be a non-profit organization to obtain a license. Some of the wording in their "rulebook" is confusing and I would probably need an attorney to figure it all out.

So, this is what I have decided so far: I am going to design a commemorative shawl pattern which I will sell to anyone who wishes to purchase it. I will then be donating the proceeds, less expenses, to an organization offering assistance to those affected by the NE Iowa tornadoes - tentatively this will be the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.

I will be posting updates here regarding the pattern progress, when it will be available, etc. So bookmark this page!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

No Go

Okay, it's a no go on the Tornado Raffle. I've discovered that I can't have a raffle because I am not a non-profit organization and don't have a gaming license. I guess I'll have to come up with something else. Any ideas?

What to do..

On May 25, 2008 an EF 5 tornado went through Parkersburg, Iowa causing devastating destruction and 8 deaths. Debris from Parkersburg has been found as far as 100 miles away. This tornado headed east and caused more damage along the way until it dissipated. Originally it was thought that it continued further but another tornado actually formed near the town of Fairbank, which is about 10 miles east of where I live in Oelwein. This tornado changed direction shortly after leaving Fairbank - had it not, it would have hit Oelwein. It did come close though - Hazleton is about 5 miles away. We had some debris falling around our home and then the tornado sirens went off. We headed to the basement then it became very dark outside, we knew the tornado was passing by then. The electricity went out because some power lines went down in Hazleton. After it passed we all came upstairs but were concerned about the possibility of another tornado and with the power out in the entire town how would the sirens go off again? Fortunately the worst had passed and the lights finally came back on. The next day we drove through Hazleton to see the damage. We were lucky!

Here is a map of the tornado path, see how close we came?

You can also see many photos and stories of the damage here:

And here:

I've realized how lucky we were and how close we came to having a tornado come through our town - there hasn't been one here since 1968. Of course, it could still happen, tornado season lasts until October! After seeing all of this take place I wanted to do something to help and I came up with this idea: to raffle off some of my finished shawls.

All of the proceeds of the raffle - less PayPal fees and shipping costs - will go towards helping these communities. I will be selling "tickets" until July 3, 2008 and I will choose the winners by random drawing on July 4, 2008. All winners will be notified by email and their names will be posted here as well as the blog I have set up specifically for the raffle: Tornado Raffle