Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Asylum Has Internet!

And also, a mess to clean up.

But that's all we have to worry about.

Mambocat will be busy cleaning up the Knitting Asylum, mopping the floors, and calming the inmates for a day or two -- not to mention sorting out newsworthy hurricane photos -- but really, everything is quite all right here at the Asylum, and all we have had to deal with, so far, has been mere inconvenience. Thoughts on that subject are forthcoming.


For now, I ask you to turn your attention to an urgent task.

Many of you, I am sure, are fans and customers of Knitivity Yarns, owned and operated solely and entirely by Ray Whiting. Knitivity is Ray's bread and butter. He doesn't have another job. Dyeing yarn is both his joy and his sustenance. He does it exceptionally well. He also does an ace job of customer service, and is a dauntless supporter of many charitable yarn-related causes.

But Ray has a rather large problem.

Ray was in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (you can read about his ordeal on his blog, Knitterman, which you can link through the Knitivity website.). At that time, Knitivity was in its infancy. Because of Hurricane Katrina, Ray moved to Houston, Texas to start his life over, to build his business and to be closer to his family.

Then Hurricane Ike came along last week, wiped out Galveston, and trashed Houston. Ray works out of his home, but he was in harm's way, so he evacuated inland for the duration. When he returned, he found his home, business and supplies reasonably intact, but in the midst of a neighborhood heavily damaged by wind, fallen trees, and a mad tangle of downed power lines, power poles, and related hurricane debris. Streets are impassable, and it will be weeks before Ray has electricity and Internet at his own home again. He is now camping out in his house.

No electricity means he can't dye yarn. No Internet means he can't fill orders promptly.

However, thanks to the magic of the Internet, Ray's website is floating around out there in cyberspace, so you can make orders, and put money in Ray's Paypal account so he has funds to function with until he can actually fill orders.

Ray also has a donation button on his Knitterman blog, and if you are on a yarn diet or you're not feeling quite flush enough to order some yarn right now, please consider clicking on that "donate" button and place just a dollar or five in Ray's account. It will come back to you in your Karma account.

Ray didn't ask me to do this, and he doesn't yet know I have undertaken this campaign. He is far too proud to go begging for business himself, but I am his friend, and I am a professional beggar -- fundraising is part of what I do for my real job.

I beg for money for good causes. Knitivity is in dire straits at the moment, so that qualifies as a good cause.

So here's how it works:

1. Visit

2. Drool over Ray's beautiful yarn, make an order, read the adventures of Knitterman, and/or click the "donate" button on his blog.

3. Do this as many times as you want until midnight, October 15th, US Central Standard Time.

4. After you have done so, email me and tell me that you've ordered yarn and/or made a donation. Be sure to include your physical mailing address (and customs details if you are not in the US) as well as a contact phone number. My email is:

dezcrawford AT hotmail DOT com

Please substitute the appropriate symbols, I typed it that way to avoid getting spam.

5. Be patient. Ray may not be able to fill your order for 4-6 weeks, depending on when he gets his utilities and Internet service again. Be aware that Ray will not be able to fill orders until he has utilities and Internet service at his home. At the moment he must visit friends who have power to briefly use their Internet services to check on his website, blog, and answer messages, but he of course he can't conduct normal business without reliable Internet access at home in his own office, where his merchandise is.

So you must be patient for your yarn order to actually arrive in the mail --- perhaps around Halloween. But you have other things to knit until then, don't you? UFOs hiding in the back of the closet? A half-done sweater stuffed in a basket near the couch? Socks in your purse? Of course you do. Also, the fall issue of Knitter's magazine is out, as well as Spin-Off. In the unlikely event that you actually run out of yarn, go read about yarn until your order arrives.

6. On October 16th, I will randomly draw a name from the entries and you will receive a generous-sized skein of my handspun yarn, along with some other surprise goodies. By this weekend, other prizes will be added, and more opportunities to win will be available. So stay posted.

I believe in the power of knitters. When Malabrigo had a fire, knitters came to the rescue. When Blue Moon Fiber Arts got screwed and libeled by their bank, knitters came to the rescue.

Ray's business has been derailed by not one, but two major hurricanes. In the grand scheme of things, that's stunning bad luck, and just not fair at all. But I have faith that knitters will come to the rescue for him as well.

What? You're still reading this blog? Get over to Knitivity, spend some money, and come back here in a few days, when I will entertain you with photos and stories of life in the world's biggest beaver dam, formerly known as Baton Rouge.

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At 10:51 AM, Blogger duraknit said...

Hey, Dez -- the link in the last paragraph, after "You're still reading this blog" doesn't work! Since you're sending people there on a mission, I figured you'd want to know.

(The link earlier in the post is OK, though)

--Elizabeth D

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Woo hoo!!! Lights and internet. Good deal.

I'll up the ante on Ray's orders with chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Add that to the potential haul. Dez- we'll figure out the details on shipping later.


Lisa Louie
Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
where yes, we do grow macadamia nuts

At 6:05 PM, Blogger Mary Lou said...

Glad all is better your way, what a great friend you are to send folks Ray's way. I'm on my way.

At 4:15 AM, Blogger Mrs. Wonderful said...

The correct link to Ray's blog is Both the links in your entry are incorrect...

thanks for doing this! You're a peach!

At 10:54 AM, Blogger Dez Crawford said...

Odd. That is exactly how the links are encoded, and they both work when I view my blog from a different computer than the one I composed on. They are also working for other people, but not for a few (do you have an oldder version of Apple, or a wonky version of Vista, I wonder?)

I'll have to email blogger about the link not working for some people, as it is entered correctly.

At 10:33 PM, Blogger ashpags said...

Hooray for having internet back!!!

And this is such a nice thing for you to do for Ray. I tried to go buy some yarn, but PayPal is acting strange. Do you know if it is possible to pay him by check? Should I wait 'til he gets power/internet back and contact him directly? Oh, and the links worked just fine for me. =)


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