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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Komi Kids

The Komi Kids Yarn Project started from a 2004 trip to Russia taken by Dave and I when I was hired to travel to three Russian regions as a Rural Tourism Consultant. While we were in the Komi Republic, Siberia, in the city of Syktyvkar, we visited The Children's House. This is home for a few dozen special needs children, who will stay until age twenty-five and then leave to make their way in the world. All children are taught basic home making skills; the girls sewing, knitting and crochet and the boys woodworking and gardening. Some children also learn computer and other skills that will help them earn a living in the outside world.

Dave and I came home determined to help...somehow, someway. I'm the resident farmer and shepherd at Thistle Cove Farm and use the fiber from both American Curly horses to spin, knit and weave. I'm also on several fiber lists and decided to ask folks if they would like to join me in sending the girls yarn. So, in 2004, the first of several boxes of yarn were sent to Syktyvkar, The Children's House. In 2005, we sent more boxes of yarn and in April 2006, Woman's Day magazine published a "Reader's Snapshot" of the KKYP and a photo of me bottle feeding lambs.

People all over the USA have responded out of their love of fiber and the knowledge they could do some warm good in this, sometimes, frosty world. The Komi Kids Yarn Project isn't a not for profit organization; it's simply two people who saw a need, told others about that need and dozens have responded. Because we're simply two people, we, probably quite often, don't move fast enough for some. We live on "farm time" and it's a slower pace than "city time". The needs of farming, shepherding and the animals take up the greater portion of my time. Dave's soon to be 93 year old mother lives with us and she requires a great deal of care as well.

All that to say, we still ship boxes of yarn to Russia and we meet with Russian visitors and give them knitting supplies to hand carry home. We care deeply about the people whom we will never meet who also care about children in Russia whom they will never meet. It gives a nice circularity to life that's quite appropriate to farm life.

I've spoken with the most amazing people, heard the most heart rendering tales and been blessed well beyond my deserving. All, save one woman, have been gracious, kind, generous and have given out of an overflowing heart. They have given knowing they receive nothing in return except the knowledge some girls in Russia, in frigid cold Siberia, will be warmed twice...the first time by the loving gifts of yarn sent from America and the second in wearing the garments they knit and crochet.

Suzy, in CA, has become a friend and not only a friend but a shining example of how God is in the details. The Pelican Knitters, in FL, chose this as a project and rounded up skein after skein of delightful yarn to warm the children's hearts and fingers. The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School in Elma, NY kindergarten class in NY chose this as their Lenten project. The stories become more beloved in the telling and warm the hearts many times over.

Thank YOU for reading and hearing about the Komi Kids; for responding out of the generosity of your hearts. My prayer is for God to give you, the giver, ten times over, the love, spirit of sharing and generosity you have shown to girls you and I will never know. I ask God to bless you, abundantly and overflowing with His goodness, grace and mercy, that your lives will be so full of His blessings you'll continue to respond to the needs when He pricks your hearts. And, when people misunderstand you and seek to cause harm against you, I pray their efforts will be to no avail.

The Bible tells us to cast our bread upon the waters and it will return to us. Scripture, in holy wisdom, doesn't say whether good bread or moldy bread but it promises to return that to us which we have broadcast. Some call it karma, some say what goes around, comes around but this I know from life's experiences...we reap what we sow.

Following are names of people who have given; by the way...this list is in no particular order...just as the boxes tumbled. I've only given first names, last initials and city/state when available. Sometimes a box arrived with no name, just a city/state; sometimes with no first name. In all cases, God knows who you are. May His blessings upon you, yours and the work of your hands.

Howard, Greenville, SC
George & Mickey B., Cedar Rapids, IO
Dianne N., Indianapolis, IN
Carol K., Bensalem, PA
Jean L., Waynesboro, PA
Amy B., Champaign, IL
Bronx, NY
Gloria H., Wellington, FL
Gail S., NY, NY
Carine N., Oakton, VA
Iris S., Coral Springs, FL
Melinda H., Silver Spring, MD
Festa, Springboro, OH
Thompson,Centerburg, OH
Charlene S., Moore Haven, FL
Becky O., Bellevue, NE
Pelican Knitters c/o Cynthia G., Sanibel, FL
Marie W., Isanti, MN
Lorraine T., Indian Trail, NC
Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School, Elma, NY
Leslie S., Meadows of Dan, VA
NEFF, Skillman, NJ
Bott, Edgewood, MD
U. Burr, Denver, CO
J. Silverman, Cincinnati, OH
Janice C., Coldwater, MI
Katherine T., Hoboken, NJ
Frieda B., Elk River, MN
B. Promiser, Leominster, MN
Bond, Barrington, IL
L. E. Bruce, Evanston, IL
Kellie N., Jessup, MD
Terri Y., Philadelphia, PA
Jim & Marilyn M., Miamisburg, OH
Mrs. Niespodzinski, Elma, NY
Mrs. Doyle, Elma, NY
Mrs. Gary, Elma, NY
Mrs. Anstett, Elma, NY
Audrey, Elma, NY
Emily, Elma, NY
Angelina, Elma, NY
Joshua, Elma, NY
Chelsea, Elma, NY
Chris, Elma, NY
Hale, Elma, NY
Charlie, Elma, NY
Skyler, Elma, NY
Mark, Elma, NY
Amber, Elma, NY
Tia, Elma, NY
Alexia, Elma, NY
Chanel, Elma, NY
Patrick, Elma, NY
Libby, Elma, NY
Frank, Elma, NY boxes arrive they are re-packaged and addressed both in English and in Russian to be sent to The Children's House.


  1. This is an amazing effort; I can attest to the piles of boxes in Sandra's house, all going to these special children so far away. I wish I could pack them all up and take them to Russia myself!

  2. Hi! Thanks so much for leaving me a comment. Your home sounds beautiful... the sort of place that I love (I live in the city, but every time I get out to the country it's a touch of grace). Hope to see you around more!

  3. I am so happy I found your site. It appears we have more in common than knitting! I'll let you know when I complete the "world renound" triple lindee patern!


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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