When my dear neighbor, Christine, told me about Spreading the Warmth, I knew I had to join in on the fun! I don't knit, but I crochet, and our Knit Nights remind me of the cozy afternoons I spent learning to crochet from my UNT dorm director. Scarves are the perfect size project to take with me and keep my hands busy while I watch TV or travel. I like that I don't need to be a master craftsman to make something someone else needs and will enjoy. Giving out the scarves has been such a joy! I keep a bag of them in my car and almost hope for a cold day because I know I'll see someone at a bus stop who is cold and who needs the physical and internal warmth. The smiles, hugs, and waves goodbye that I've received after giving scarves out say so much. It doesn't take much to make someone's day; It just takes someone to make each scarf and someone to see the need. The warmth just keeps growing from there!
Velia E. Carranza
My claim to fame is that I was in Christine Nicolette-Gonzalez’s English IV AP English class at North Dallas High School during the 1981-82 school year. I remember that I was introduced to tragic Russian literature, and I was hooked. No pun intended. Many years later we bumped into each other at a Benefit Auction for a friend who had an accident and became a paraplegic, and we maintained contact after that. A few years later she befriended me on Facebook and invited me to “Knit Night”. I was both intrigued and a little hesitant as I did not know how to knit. Upon a further invitation to just come along and check it out, I did. Three years later, I am part of this great organization that brings warm smiles to so many in so many ways, and I can even knit now! In April of 2017, I was approached about joining the STW Board of Directors. Again, I was intrigued and a little hesitant, however, I accepted. As a board member I hope to help the organization with both my technical skills and my quick humor and wit.
I taught myself to knit when I was six-years old. In my late twenties, I continued that education, teaching myself technical skills, learning to read patterns, and studying construction techniques. Knitting and crocheting became my passions, which brought me to Holley's Yarn Shoppe in search of great yarn. I ended up working and teaching there for two years, one of which I also served as President of the Dallas Hand Knitters Guild. I met Christine in June of 2012 at Holley's. As I helped her with her knitting, I got to know her better, seeing firsthand how much knitting was helping her and how her new passion was, in turn, spilling over into her helping others. I continue to love teaching and fixing knitting. It will be my pleasure to lend my years of knitting experience and technical skills to Spreading the Warmth’s Knit Nights.
I met Christine Nicolette-Gonzalez over twenty years ago through a book club at the school our children attended. In the summer of 2012, I was thrilled to hear that she had learned to knit and to see the joy she felt as she lovingly made scarves for her family and friends. Last winter, she called to share her joy with me. It was a particularly cold day in Dallas, and she and her husband had driven around the city giving out her extra handmade scarves. I immediately thought of two older adult knitters who would probably love to make scarves for that cause, and in doing this it would bring purpose to their lives. Both of these women have now made several scarves for Spreading the Warmth, and they have encouraged their friends to join in. I am honored to be a part of this heartfelt project and am looking forward to its growth for years to come. One person really CAN make a difference.
There are plenty of people out there surprised that a 20-year-old loves to knit, but as soon as I attended my first Knit Night, I was in love! Knitting with Spreading the Warmth came into my life at the perfect time. I graduated from Hockaday in 2017, but had to take a gap year and felt aimless and directionless. My mother connected me with Christine, and for the first time in a long time, I felt genuinely excited about my future! We discussed my career plans and my passions, and she told me about Spreading the Warmth and the powerful purpose behind the group. I leapt in headfirst and have had such an amazing time! Between the calming act of knitting, the tangible proof of my efforts once a scarf was completed, and of course, the incredible community of Spreading the Warmth, joining this organization has been an incredible blessing. Now, I am a Junior Board Member as I go into my freshman year at Southern Methodist University, hoping to study history and creative writing, while keeping up with my knitting, of course!
I learned to crochet from my aunt in my 20’s. Like many of my hobbies, I had a great amount of interest for several years before a new hobby or interest would come along and the bag of yarn and hooks would get pushed to the back of the closet. When I learned about Christine’s endeavor to connect with people through the simple act of making and giving out scarves, I was immediately intrigued and pulled out that dusty bag. After attending the first Knit Night in September 2014, I realized this organization is not only about spreading warmth through the act of giving scarves away, but also about creating connections and community between the knitters and those who receive the scarves. I have two daughters (ages five and seven in 2019) who now join me for Knit Nights and for giving away scarves. Seeing them learn from and interact with fellow knitters is heartwarming and has added another level of connection to this open and ageless organization. As a member of the Board of Directors, I will continue to share my enthusiasm for this organization and serve our community one scarf at a time!