Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Charity Knit & Crochet-Along: Getting Started

July 23rd, 2009

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Last week we discussed selecting a charity. Click here to read the post if you missed it. Now it’s time to collect supplies and begin your charity projects! First, select the pattern you wish to make. Many charities use their own patterns for consistency, but others allow you to use virtually any pattern. Use our Pattern Finder to help find ideas that meet your charity’s needs. Some of our charity patterns include chemo caps, preemie items, Warm Up America! blankets, and the SHIPS Project hat.

Next, choose the appropriate yarn. Many charities only accept certain yarns for projects; for example, charities for deployed troops often require items to be made of wool, as it is naturally flame retardant, while many children’s charities request machine-washable yarns. Some charities also require newly purchased yarn due to allergies. Always check your charity’s website for fiber, washability, color, and yarn weight requirements prior to purchasing materials. If you cannot find any guidelines, it never hurts to ask a charity’s organizer or chapter leader.

After finding any requirements, gather your yarn! When purchasing new yarn, remember to keep your receipts; the cost of yarn for any donation you make to a 501(c)(3) charity will be tax deductible. You can also check your own yarn collection, as many small items can be made from leftovers from completed projects. Ask friends if they have any extra yarn they would like to donate to your project. You can also find deals at thrift stores and yard sales. If you cannot afford new yarn, some charities have supplies that members may use; inquire with your organization for more details. Remember that it is very important to know your fiber content to comply with any charity requirements.

So now that you have your pattern and your yarn, gather your hook or needles and start yarncrafting! What will you be making? Comment to let us know about your charity, your items, and your yarn. Be sure to share your tips, your charity stories, and your progress!

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  • http://thoughtsNspots.blogspot.com Linda Kennedy

    My husband is LEGALLY BLIND, but does charity hats on the round looms every night. Right now we have over ONE HUNDRED HATS that we need to deliver. He can make one large hat or two small newborn hats each night. He is using more yarn that I do!

    We give any homeless yarn a new home and a new life!

  • Kea

    I am off to a great start! I have gathered my essentials…my favorite double points, pattern for Largish and Smallish Warm woolies socks, and lots, lots, lots of beautiful wool! I am combining LB worsted wool with Lamb’s pride to get cute accent cuffs with lots of warmth! I am not used to doubling up on the worsted yarn so I had a bit of time with that a first but after taking apart the first pair several times I finally got it right. Now I have two pair one Largish and one Smallish pair of adorable socks that will keep some child’s feet toastie warm this winter!
    So happy knitting/crocheting to all, I am off to knit some more!
    Ciao~
    Kea (Memphis, TN)

  • Judy

    I have just printed the easy sock patterns in the newsletter this week. Which means I will be knitting socks for my choosen charity (here in South Africa). The charity I will be donating to is called Door of Hope. This is a house with a hole in the wall. On the otherside is a “crib”. Unwanted babies are put through the hole in the wall into the crib. An alarm sounds in the house and a caregiver will collect the baby. These children are then placed in homes where some will stay for a very long time.

  • Margo Lynn

    I always throw my extra yarn from various projects into a box or basket than remains handy in my stash closet. That way when I need a quick project or get the call that a charity needs items, it’s easy to look in the box and see what’s available. Sometimes I toss in some standard-sized needles as well so they are at hand and ready to go. I always have scarves for Scarves from the Heart or caps for a local shelter at the ready – and find myself getting quite a lot done while standing in queues on my weekend errands!

  • Carol Morgan

    I belong to a craft club which adopted an elementary school in our city where 98% of the students come from low income homes. I knit winter hats each summer so when school begins and cold weather approaches we can supply the hats along with coats and socks for those in need. I am so happy that Lion Brand is supporting those in need. It makes me feel good when I purchase my yarn from you.

  • Julie Hodges

    I have begun small group at my church that makes and donates afghans to a local domestic violence shelter. First we cleaned out our own “stash”. You know that box that you put leftovers in. Then we started to crochet and knit squares. Thus far we have had one “joining party” and completed afghans. We had some ladies that wanted to work alone and collected completed afhans from them as well. We recieve yarn donations from church members and also form a local charity that gets samples from a local yarn mill and rolls it for other charities to use. So far we have been able to deliver 8 finished afghans and have 14 now that are ready. We will attahch a prayer card to each blanket and wish the recipient peace and contentment for their life. The first year has been tough. As we begin our second year I hope to be able to do more.

  • Jane

    I am going to knit hats for Illinois Head Huggers. They donate the hats for chemotherapy patients. I have one hat done that is preemie size. Now I want to start adult sizes–just downloaded some of your hat patterns from the link above. Thanks for doing this KAL!

  • http://rondaletts.blogspot.com Rona

    I heard about Stitches From the Heart through one of your past e-newsletters, contacted them and I’ve been crocheting preemie caps for them in between other projects I’ve been working on. I searched online for free preemie patterns, and have collected hundreds to try. I’m about ready to send in my first batch, and am very excited about it! I keep a separate large clear plastic storage tub with my baby yarns, and have been picking up skeins on sale as I come across them, here and there, and tossing them in. Happy to participate in this K/CAL – what a great idea!

  • Sonja S

    So geeked about this project! I have gathered up my supply of cotton yarn and favorite needles. I will be on vacation the first two weeks of August and am looking forward to some productive knitting time. I had to smile at Michelle Edwards article this week on “Knitting Moments.” Will be looking for those while participating in the KAL.

  • TRACIE

    I am going to use the Guideposts sweater pattern for the sweater to donate to their charity. I will be crocheting this sweater and will use homespun yarn. I love this yarn; because you can use a simple pattern and the yarn adds so much demension. That makes the project easy and beautiful all at the same time. I’m starting now.

  • Rhonda

    My friend and i started making afghans to sell at craft shows, after doing 4 shows and not selling any we decided to give them away. We now incorporate the help of all the people in our church and give the afghans to the VA locally for the Chemo patients who get very cold during their treatments. Of all the places we have donated they appreciate it so very much. It a real joy to make all types of afghans/blankets for these people who have served our country.

  • Loren

    I am going to make the Cascading Colors Baby Blankie (from the Lion website) for the Foster Care Auxiliary of Orange County. They will find a child in foster care to give it to. I’ve been wanting to make another one from this pattern (I already made one for my son), and this is the perfect opportunity.

  • birgit1040

    Hi Everyone! My name is Birgit, and I crochet and knit for Crafty Angels in chicago. I have some hats,scarf, washcloths etc. ready to go but the box is not full. So I am going to make scarfs for men since we are always short on them. This sounds like a blast. Will there be a place to show pics? Well if not, mine you can see at http://www.crafty-angels.blogspot.com/
    Hope you will put up the place/site were we can see yours!
    Have a great day everyone!!

  • http://www.knitonegiveone.org Catherine

    When a friend and I started looking at our department could do as part of a corporate volunteering project, we found Knit One, Give One.

    It operates in Melbourne, Australia and has several thousand knitters working with yarn donated by local yarn company, Cleckheaton. The knitters and crochetters make up a variety of beanies, scarfs and gloves from the yarn provided when they sign up or from their own stash.

    The items are returned to the Pharmacies participating in the project for distribution to Aids charities, Homeless and Domestic Violence Refuges and recently added, Victorian Bushfire Victim Assistance groups.

    I find many of the projects we have completed are fantastic for doing on buses and trains as I travel to work. Some collegues are so involved in the project that they are buying yarn at lunchtime so they can start a new project on the way home.

  • Sandra

    Many knitters pass on without a plan for their stash and tools. Our guild was recently invited to take posession of a carload(!) of supplies by a family member. We each bought some of it, and we’ll be using the rest to make newborn clothes for our local maternity ward. The nurses are upset that some newborns are discharged in nothing but a diaper and a blanket, since their mothers cannot afford more.
    Many churches in your community do not have a ministry that uses yarn, and may get offers from bereaved or strangers to donate yarn. Contact them with a letter of reference, and they may be very grateful to know where to send the yarn.

  • Kim

    I am knitting newborn baby layette sets (sweater, hat, and booties) to donate to my local chapter of the Christ Child society. They give these to at risk new moms in the hospital. I wanted to do a local charity and I found this one over the winter. I have finished 3 sets and am currently working on my 4th.

  • Pam

    I decided to take on a summer charity project early in June, so I am a bit ahead of the game. I have been knitting baby blankets for the Ronald McDonald House in my area. My goal is to complete one a month for June, July and August. I am about to complete my second blanket. I am using the Lion Brand Pound of Love.

  • Joan

    I, also, had a head start on a charity project, since reading about the knit-a-square group in one of the Lion Brand newsletters. (You can also crochet-a-square). I have 17 8×8″ squares done so far and hope to be over 25 or 30 by the time the KAL is done. On their website (www.knit-a-square.com) they also have patterns for vests, hats and sweaters. The Soweto Comfort Club collects the squares and joins them into blankets for children who are AIDS victims. This disease is an epidemic in southern Africa that has left many children sick, orphaned and in dire need of basic requirements.

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  • Lilita

    What I would like is to knit along again a different pattern, but of the same book as the one Shrug of May it is so gorgeous that I repeat it in white for my granddaughter, who is eager to wear it while returning to school. I’ll take a picture and will be sent to the blog.
    (I use to make little shoes for the needed little ones (a local charity)).

    Zontee says: Hi Lilita, thanks for commenting. As I’ve said in response to your previous comments, we will be doing a new knit-along in the fall. However, this summer, we want to concentrate on giving back to others.

  • Marti

    I make easy crocheted caps and scarves out of scrap yarn for the homeless shelters. I got started on this when a Walmart store went out of business and sold all their yarn for 50cents a skein. I really like the way the verigated yarns work up.

  • birgit1040

    Marti, good for you. I have found scrap to make some of the most beautiful and warming comfort out there. So you keep going!!! I know I will! :]
    Have a great day!!
    Birgit
    Oh my first box posted on crafty angel if you want to see. Here is the site thingy!
    http://www.crafty-angels.blogspot.com/
    The rest of the scarfs will have to wait till till the box is full, I’m angel, lol, Birgit Yacoub in Champaign.

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