今日で5年 5 years today


Has it really been 5 years since that March afternoon that changed our lives forever?  In some ways it feels so very long ago and yet it feels like it happened yesterday. I am talking about the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.  As we have said so many times, we would never, ever wish for an experience like that, but having lived through it we can be thankful for so many things that resulted from that absolute devastation.  



One such thing I am thankful for is Yarn Alive. Before the Tsunami, my husband and I were living year round in Shichigahama, a place that used to be our summer vacation spot on the ocean. My husband was traveling most of the time. I was in semi-retirement, living the slow life on the cliff over-looking the Pacific Ocean. I did knit and crochet, but only as a relaxing past-time. 




Then came the tsunami and the idea, a few months afterwards, to give ladies in temporary housing something fun and purposeful to do with their hands. We started by providing needles and hooks and yarn and working on a joint project to help others who had suffered more than we had during the tsunami time.  Everyone joined in.  There was so much laughter and joy when we gathered!  Knitting and crocheting gave hours and hours of pleasure to these women who had nothing else to do.  Some even said knitting helped them relax when they woke up in the middle of the night, too anxious to sleep. According to one lady, "I have no future and I have no hope, but I have yarn. I am so thankful." 



As word spread about our activities, yarn poured in from all over the world. There was never a day when I had to say, "Sorry, the yarn has run out."!  All of the needs were supplied by so many people.  Yarn of every kind, needles and hooks of all sizes, stitch markers, scissors, patterns, buttons, etc.  What an amazing out- pouring of love for the ladies here in this corner of Japan!  We have been blessed beyond measure!



Just as we have been blessed by others, it has been our joy and privilege to bless other people around the world who have also faced disaster in their lives.  We have sent hats and scarves and children's clothing that we made to Syrian refugees in Jordan.  We have sent blankets to a children's home in the Philippines after the tsunami in the Philippines.  When the earthquake happened in Nepal we sent hats for people in the mountain regions.  We have also sent hats to school children in Mozambique and just this past Christmas we donated 2,440 hats to go to children in the Philippines as part of the Operation Christmas Child project from Japan. Can you imagine how one of our ladies feels when she realizes that a child somewhere in the world is wearing a hat that she knit? Our world has become so much bigger!



Yarn Alive is getting bigger too. We finished building the Yarn Alive House last year and moved all classes there in September, shortly before I had to leave for the States. When I left, we had about 80 members, but when I returned just 5 months later we had grown to about 120 members! Yarn Alive is growing!  So many people hear what we are doing and want to join!  What a joy it is to welcome them to our groups! 



Needless to say. our classes could not have continued without the Yarn Alive House. I can not say thank you enough to those who contributed to the building of our wonderful facility.  It is fulfilling the purpose for which it was built!  And this week the Yarn Storehouse will be totally completed so that we can move all of the yarn into the new building!  Again, we could not have done this without the help of so many of you!




Five years after the Tsunami, most people who were in temporary housing have moved to newly built houses or into government-provided apartments. People are finally beginning to settle into their new homes, but we hear that stress levels are up again. Some people report being lonely after leaving the temporary housing areas, which was like being in a big camp. Adjustments are hard for all of us, but especially the elderly. How thankful I am, then, that we can provide yarn and purpose to so many of these ladies to help them through this new stage in their lives.  Truly yarn is helping keep people alive here in Shichigahama!



With a heart full of thanksgiving to all of you who have helped make this possible,

テディ・サーカ、ヤーンアライブ Teddy Sawka for Yarn Alive

4月15日から毛糸の受け入れを再開します!We are ready to receive yarn donations again!






Good news!

We have had to take a break from receiving yarn from the end of last year due to lack of storage space here at Yarn Alive... but we are ready to receive more yarn again! We were sorry we had to ask you to wait. The warehouse construction is going well, and it will be ready after April 15th.

If you would like to donate yarn, needles and knitting books, please write us at yarnalive@gmail.com. Thank you so much!


(昨日や以前に、「毛糸を送ってくださる際にご注意いただく点」をフェイスブックとブログでお知らせしていましたが、今後は毛糸や編み物に関する物、針や本など。。。未使用のものでなくてもありがたく使わせていただきます。以前のお知らせで嫌な気持ちをされてしまった方がいらっしゃいましたら、心からお詫びいたします。よろしくお願いいたします。We wrote on our FB page and blog before that we cannot receive used yarn. We apologize for the confusion we have caused about this... we are so grateful for any yarn donation that are sent to us, and we could not continue our classes without it. So again, thank you so much for your contribution. )


〒985-0803 宮城県宮城郡七ヶ浜町花渕浜字上清水沢27−2(電話090-6170-1764)



Send to: Yarn Alive House, 27-2 Kamishimizusawa, Hanabuchihama, Shichigahama-cho, Miyaji-gun, Miyaji-Ken. 985-0803 Japan.

ヤーンアライブハウス併設 倉庫を建設中です!Yarn Alive House Warehouse construction in progress!

ヤーンアライブのある宮城はまだまだ寒いですが、みなさまはどうお過ごしでしょうか?Miyagi (that's where we are!) is still very cold, but we hope you are enjoying this season!

昨年末から、毛糸などのご寄付の受け入れをお休みさせていただいています。この期間中にも、毎週何人もの方が「毛糸がたくさんあります。ぜひ使ってください!」とご連絡くださり、みなさまのご支援を心から感謝しています。お断りするのが本当に申し訳ないです。We are sorry that we have had to tell many of you to "please wait to send yarn donations" since the end of last year due to lack of space here at Yarn Alive House. 

でもこの写真を見てください!ヤーンアライブでは今、ヤーンアライブハウスの横の倉庫を建設中です!But we are working on this problem... yes! This is our warehouse being build!

ヤーンアライブハウス倉庫 建設中

ヤーンアライブハウスを建ててくださった大工さんたちにお願いしましたが、自分たちでできるところは仲間で頑張って仕上げていきます。The same carpenters who have also become our good friends are doing most of the work, but we are putting in our efforts wherever we can too! 

3月末には完成予定です!寄付していただく毛糸を始め、いろいろなものを保管することができるようになります。とても楽しみです。ヤーンアライブは今年もどんどん編んで楽しんで進んでいきます!みなさまのご支援をありがとうございます。The warehouse will be completed by the end of March. There will be plenty of space to store yarn and other things! This is very exciting! 

また、このプロジェクトにご協力くださる方は、寄付のページをご覧ください。よろしくお願いします。If you are interested in helping us with this project, please see our donation page!











フィリピンへのクリスマスプレゼントのための帽子がどんどん出来上がっています!Beanies for the children in the Phillipines are being made!

毎日の空気もすっかり秋、そして東北では冬を思わせる冷たさが感じられるようになってきました。The air is crisp and it feels more and more like autumn here in Japan. The winter feels closer again in Tohoku where Yarn Alive ladies meet. 

みなさんはいかがお過ごしでしょうか。We hope that all of you are enjoying this season!

街中は最近ハロウィンの飾り付けで盛り上がっているようですが、ヤーンアライブはハロウィンを通り越してクリスマスに心を向けています♪ In Japan, halloween is becoming a big event every year, and the shops are filled with halloween goods everywhere. But here at Yarn Alive, we are looking even beyond hallowed season - Christmas!

以前にもお知らせしましたが、オペレーションクリスマスチャイルドという素敵なプロジェクトとコラボレーションするための帽子がどんどん出来上がっています。As we have announced to all of you before, we are making beanies to send to the children in the Philippines with Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child Project. 

また、日本オフィスにはもうすでにプレゼントの詰まったシューボックスがたくさん届き始めているようですが、この集められた箱のチェックをして発送準備するボランティアを募集しているようです。The Operation Christmas Child's Japan office is probably receving boxes every day now, with each of them full of lovely presents. But these boxes need to be checked individually to make sure that they can be sent off to the children. They will need a lot of help to go through sooooo many boxes!! Feel like you want to give some of your time for this?

仙台にオフィスがありますので、もし「もっとお手伝いしたい!お手伝いすることでフィリピンの子供たちにもっと愛を送りたい!」とムズムズしている仙台近辺に住んでいる方々、チャンスです!The office is in Sendai, close to Shichigahama where Yarn Alive is. So if any of you reading this want to love these children in the Philippines more by going through these presents and getting them ready to be sent off, here is your chance!

詳しくは、こちらをご覧ください。Click here for more information!

毛糸のご寄付の受け入れをお休みします We are going to take a break from receiving more yarn for a little while

夏の終わりから再開していました毛糸など寄付品の受け入れですが、おかげさまでたくさんの方々が送ってくださいました。We have been receiving many boxes of yarn from many of you since the end of the summer again. Thank you so much!!

只今、たくさんの箱の整理と毛糸の保管が間に合わないという嬉しい状況となっています。本当にありがとうございます。We have received so much that now we will need to ask you to wait to send yarn at this point until we sort through what we have received so far. We are so thankful!

勝手なお願いで申し訳ないのですが、ここでもう一度毛糸のご寄付の受け入れをストップします。すでにご連絡くださっていた方々を除き、しばらく発送をお待ちください。So until further notice, we ask you to wait to send any more boxes. 

ご理解ご協力よろしくお願いいたします。いただいた毛糸を使うのがとても楽しみでワクワクしています。Thank you for your support always! We are excited to use what you have sent us!

ただいま次なるプロジェクト準備中!フィリピンの子どもたちにクリスマスプレゼントを! Let's send Christmas presents to the children in the Phillipines! (We are knitting beanies!!)

毎日だいぶ涼しくなって過ごしやすくなりましたね〜みなさんもこの季節を楽しんでますか? We've been enjoying this cooler weather here in Japan. It's a beautiful season. We hope you are enjoying the autumn as well!

ヤーンアライブではクリスマスに向けて次なるプロジェクトの準備に忙しくしています!今年はオペレーションクリスマスチャイルドというステキなプロジェクトとコラボさせていただいて、フィリピンの子どもたちに毛糸の帽子を贈ることになりました。Yarn Alive is getting busy for our next project at Christmas! We are going to partner with Operation Christmas Child this year to send knitted beanies to the children in the Phillipines! 

そこで、編み物ラバーズのみなさんにぜひご協力をお願いします!もし「わたしも一緒にフィリピンの子どもたちに帽子を送りたい!」と思ってくださる方がいらっしゃいましたら、完成した帽子をヤーンアライブまでお送りください。大切にフィリピンの子どもたちに届けられるようにします! Sound like a lovely project? Here is how you can be a part too! If you love knitting too, and you would like to make some beanies/hats yourself for the children, you cant send them to us and we will make sure they will reach the children in the Phillipines, who are going to be so excited to receive them. 

募集する帽子の詳細は以下の通りです Here are a few things we would like to ask you as you start knitting:

☆帽子の行き先フィリピンは年中亜熱帯だそうです。なので、あまり暑すぎない素材のものでファッション的に使えるものが喜ばれます。It's hot all year around in the Phillipines! So please use yarn that would not be too hot to wear on their heads if you can! They will be used more as fashion than keeping warm : )

☆男の子用、女の子用(または男女兼用)と明記して「9歳児くらいのサイズ」と「14歳児くらいのサイズ」を目安に2サイズのうちどちらかで制作してください。Please let us know if your items are for boys or girls, or unisex. Please choose either 9year-old size or 14year-old size. 

☆スタイル、デザインはおまかせします!ただ、一人ずつ箱に入れてプレゼントを詰めるので、あまりかさばりすぎないデザインだと助かります。You can use whatever pattern or design you like! But please remember that each hat will be put into a shoebox, so something that's easy to pack with other goodies would be great. (No pompoms or other big attachments)

☆帽子はいくつでもとても感謝です。一つでも、20でも!ご協力をありがとうございます。You can send just one or however many you make. We would be so excited and happy for your contribution!

☆送ってくださる際、荷物の外側の見やすいところに「OCC」と大きく書いてください。毛糸などの寄付と区別するのに助かります。Please mark the box (or bag, whatever you use to send them) "OCC" big and clear so we know they are hats/beanies for OCC. This will help us sort through our boxes that we receive. Thank you!

☆締め切りは11月17日でお願いします。Please send them by November 17th. 


〒985-0803宮城県宮城郡七ヶ浜町花渕浜#36 TBC ヤーンアライブ(電話090-6170-1764)

Please send them to: Yarn Alive #36 TBC, Hanabuchihama, Shichigahama, Miyagi-gun, Miyagi-ken. 985-0803 Japan.


たくさんの帽子を通してたくさんの愛が届きますように。。。♡ May these knitted hats reach the children's hearts, making them feel so loved…!

東京スピニングパーティーにてヤーンアライヴの作品に出会えます!Yarn Alive items at Tokyo Spinning Party

すっかり秋になりました。シルバーウィーク、嬉しい響きだな〜と思ってますが、みなさん、いかがお過ごしでしょうか? We are loving this autumn season here! We have a long weekend in Japan this year called "Silver Week" (we have a break called "Golden Week" in May too), and a lot of people are off from school and work this Monday to Wednesday. Yay! 

ブログでのお知らせが直前になってしまいましたが、今週末に開催される東京スピニングパーティーにてヤーンアライブの作品に出会えます! Anyway, I apologize for the last minute notice on the blog, but you can find Yarn Alive items at a big event called "Tokyo Spinning Party" this weekend in Tokyo. (see link here)

以前からヤーンアライブを応援してくださっているアーティストの森るるさんが、なんとご自身のブースで私たちの作品を販売してくださるというのです。なんて素敵♡なんてありがたい♡How did we get into this? Well, a popular art yarn artist Ruru Mori is going to have our items at her own booth at this event. 

るるさん、本当にありがとうございます。We are excited and so thankful for her help and support this way! 

ヤーンアライブのことをご自身のブログにも書いてくださっています。She's written about us again in her own blog too. 

るるさんのブログはこちら。If you are able to read Japanese, click here

東京方面の方、機会があればぜひ足を運んでみてください。ちなみに、とっても大人気でとっても混雑することが予想されているようです。 So if you are in the Tokyo area this weekend, and you are interested, visit this event! They are expecting a lot of people so it'll be very crowded but fun for sure!