As you may know my life has been strongly affected by cancer. I’m not alone in this.

I doubt that there’s anyone reading this who hasn’t had a friend or family member affected by some type of this horrible collection of diseases.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’ve always had mixed feelings about this (could EVERY cancer have it’s own month?) but ultimately anything that raises awareness of simple steps that a woman can take to lower her risk of breast cancer is okay with me.

Jan and two of her babies

Jan and two of her babies

Five years ago I lost my cousin Jan (she was really more like a sister to me than a cousin) to breast cancer. She was the last in a long line of cancer diagnosis in my immediate family, and her passing hit me harder than any other had.

When I was with her near the end she was scared, and she was — cold.

There was something about her treatment, about the weight loss that accompanied her illness, about the hospital and hospice where she spent her last days, that caused her to be chilled to the bone.

So I gave her a scarf, and a hat, and some other knitted stuff (heaven knows I had a ton of it!) and I saw how her body was warmed and her soul was a bit calmer.

Caribou Coffee#CaribouKnits

Here in Minnesota there’s a local company which is becoming known in many other parts of our country, it’s called Caribou Coffee, and it’s one of my favorite places.

I’m fortunate to be graced with 4 Caribou Coffee shops near my home, each one with free wifi, comfy seats and welcoming to folks who just want to sit and have a coffee or iced chai and knit a bit (folks like me!)

IMG_0390The odds are very good that when you see a new design of mine, or read a blog post, it was at least partly crafted at a local Caribou Coffee!

So when I was approached by Caribou Coffee a few weeks ago to be their ‘knit blogger’ for the new #CaribouKnits hashtag campaign, I was eager to say, “YES!”

When I was told they’d be working with Cancer Care, an organization with which I’m intimately familiar, it seemed like kismet.


When you tweet or post on facebook and use the hashtag #CaribouKnits, a little counter goes off at Caribou Coffee headquarters here in Minnesota, and the Knitting Elves (Caribou staff volunteers who are using a knitting machine) get to work.

Each use of the hashtag #CaribouKnits = 1″ of knitting,
40 uses of the hashtag = 1 40″ scarf
1 Scarf = a warm gift for a person dealing with Breast Cancer

For example, if you use #CaribouKnits four times a day, by the end of the month you will have “knitted” (or have caused to be knitted) three scarves for folks who could probably use an additional layer of warmth as winter draws.

Cancer Care, a great organization which assists folks dealing with cancer in many ways (counseling, support groups, resources & financial assistance) is managing the distribution of the scarves to their clients.


But it’s not just scarves & love that Caribou is donating to Cancer Care.

For the 18th straight year, Caribou Coffee is honoring a beloved employee, Amy Erikson, Caribou‘s first roastmaster, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1995.

Each October, Caribou Coffee donates 10% of all sales of Caribou Coffee Amy’s Blend products to Cancer Care.

IMG_2286This helps the organization assist not just breast cancer patients, but ANYONE affected by cancer (including me and my family).

So if you are lucky enough to be in a Caribou Coffee community, stop by and pick up one of the Amy’s Blend products.

And, no matter WHERE you live, use the hashtag #CaribouKnits to add a few inches of warmth to a chilly body and soul.

It’s the easiest scarf you’ll ever knit!

During the next few weeks I’ll be blogging about #CaribouKnits regularly, and also giving away some delicious Amy’s Blend products! Stay tune – and USE THAT HASHTAG!!

5 thoughts on “#CaribouKnits

  1. I saw your tweet about #CaribouKnits, read your blog and thought for the umpteenth time what a wonderful community this (crafting) is and how blessed I am to be a teeny tiny part of something that can make such an impact on people’s lives. Thank you.

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  5. Dear Annie,
    A couple of years back I contacted you with some questions. Though I did not know it then, I am a Combination Knitter. I learned to knit as a child in Mexico City, where I grew up. When I came to the States, people told me I was doing it wrong! Of course I was not and all my stitches were perfectly straight and even. You helped me figure out what was going on. I bought Gibson-Roberts’ book, and have happily continued to do what I do.

    I sent your web site to a friend who was puzzled by my style of knitting. While I was at it, I decided to check one of your blog posts. The news that you had cancer rocked me. Our son, who lives in St. Paul, MN, is also a cancer survivor. The cancer community was so helpful to him. Ever since, I have been knitting hats that I donate to a support group here In Albuquerque.

    Next time we visit MN, I may try to catch you at Caribou Coffee. Meanwhile, stay healthy and keep on doing your wonderful work.

    Best wishes,

    Johanna DeMay
    Albuquerque, NM

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