Kohl Crecelius and two of his friends from high school wanted to do something meaningful with their lives and they decided to use their crochet skills to make it happen. When I first heard their idea five years ago — California surfer guy who loves to crochet beanies and wants to use that skill to lift people out of poverty — I could not have imagined how that story would develop.
They weren’t exactly sure how they would use their crochet skills for good until one of the friends took a trip to Uganda. There he met people who had been living in government camps for over 20 years. Rebels had attacked their villages and these people had no other means of survival. They were poor, uneducated and had little hope for their future. A generation of children had grown up in the camps knowing no other life.
The “Krochet Kids,” as they were later described by their local newspaper, taught the women in the camps how to crochet hats, and they then helped them sell those hats back in the U.S. That’s when we got the request in 2009 to help get them started with a donation of yarn.
In recognition of American Heart Month, we’ve partnered up with Laura Zander and Sixth & Spring Books to bring you a very special giveaway. Stitch Red is a book series created to raise awareness around heart disease and preventive heart health in general. A portion of each sale goes towards HeartTruth®, a public awareness program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.
Their most recent book, Crochet Red is full of beautiful crochet projects paired with heartwarming stories from prominent faces within the crochet world, including our beloved Vanna White.
To celebrate Laura Zander’s third book, we have two offerings: 1) we’re sharing an exclusive pattern: the Mitered Brick Throw, and 2) we’re giving you a chance to win a copy of the book and enough yarn to make the Mitered Brick Throw! We’ll be picking three lucky winners on February 28th–enter now and good luck!
Updated 3/3/14: Congratulations to Elaine Harper, Shannon Sowalter, and Jan Bennett! We’ll be contacting you shortly to get your prizes to you!
On Monday, June 10 on her show Wheel of Fortune, Vanna White shared a look at her recent trip to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
She visited the facilities in Memphis with Lion Brand President/CEO David Blumenthal and EVP/COO Dean Blumenthal to announce our $1 million dollar donation to this great organization.
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Video courtesy of Wheel of Fortune.
Tune in this Monday, June 10, to see Lion Brand spokesperson Vanna White talk about working with Lion Brand to create her signature line of yarns, her love of crochet, and our $1 million donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on her show, Wheel of Fortune!
Vanna will show some footage of her visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and talk a little bit about why this cause is close to her heart. [Updated: click here for a blog post by Vanna about the trip.]
There’s also footage of Vanna crafting with the kids and demonstrating her crochet skills.
Check your local listings for details on what time this episode airs in your time zone!
Photo courtesy of Wheel of Fortune.
Yesterday, as President of Lion Brand, I had the honor of joining my cousin and EVP of our company, Dean Blumenthal and Vanna White, Lion Brand’s spokesperson, at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to present a check representing donations of $1 million. When we first introduced the Vanna lines of yarns and Vanna shared her wish that we donate a portion of the proceeds to this fantastic cause, I had a dream to donate $1 million. Yesterday that dream became a reality.
As the fourth generation in our family-owned business, we learned the importance of giving charity in both our business and personal lives from our parents. The opportunity to tour the St. Jude facility and learn more about what this amazing organization does was truly a highlight of my life.
We heard from one woman who survived leukemia when she was 10 years old. The survival rate was 4% at the time. Today, the survival rate for this type of leukemia is 92%, thanks to the cutting edge research and treatment that this organization provides. We saw the heartbreaking scene of small children who are being treated for cancer. We heard the extraordinary fact that no family every pays for anything related to the treatment of their child. Not only does St. Jude cover all the costs of medical treatment, but they take care of housing for the family and provide emotional support for the siblings and parents.
I knew that we were donating to a good cause, but it was humbling to see the human side of this organization. I was inspired by what can happen with vision.
(Please NOTE: there is a brief ad that appears before the segment)
Courtesy of KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News
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One of the things I liked best about being out on the road with sales was meeting yarncrafters face to face. Now that I spend more time working with the Lion Brand Yarn Outlet here in New Jersey, it’s still a treat for me to talk to knitters and crocheters in person, and to see their faces light up when they see all our colorful yarns and supplies.
Last week several ladies from the Cedar Crest Retirement Community in Pompton Plains came out in dreary Monday morning rain to pay a visit to the Outlet. The ladies came in, shook off the weather and strolled through the rows and rows of vibrant yarns stocked on the shelves.
If you’ve been thinking about learning to knit or crochet, now is the perfect time! With the New Year upon us, now is the time to think what you’d like to learn or accomplish in this year. Whether you’d like to learn your first stitch, make your first scarf, or learn a new craft having mastered another (knitters learning to crochet, weavers learning to knit, etc.) now is the time to begin.
Here are 5 great reasons to learn to knit or crochet in 2012. Use them to get yourself started, or share them with friends and family members who are interested in getting into yarncrafting.
|Yarncrafting makes a perfect New Year’s resolution. Taking up a craft is a great way to add creativity to your new year. Many resolutions involve giving up habits, but learning a new art is both a wonderful resolution that will keep your mind engaged and your fingers nimble.|
|Crafting with your hands can help you relax. Repetitive, calm motion coupled with the texture of a beautiful yarn can lend meditative qualities to your spare time. With so much stress in all our lives, it can be restful and soothing to spend even just a little time in a creative, calming way.|
|Connect with old friends and meet new ones. Yarn lovers always seem to find each other in any crowd, so take advantage of the opportunity to make new friends and connect with people you know. Try joining a crafting group or starting your own with crafty friends. Meeting with yarncrafters is also a great way to pick up new skills. There’s a good reason they call close friends ‘tight knit’ groups!|
|Crafting for charity is a great way to give to your community. If you can spare a few moments to knit or crochet, you can make a world of difference to someone in need. Whatever you love to make, there’s probably a charity collecting that very item. Try our Charity Connection for details if you’re interested in finding a group to donate to.|
|Be your own designer in the new year. If you’ve been scouring stores for just the right hat or scarf, learning to make your own might be the answer! Making your own garments and accessories gives you the freedom to combine your favorite colors and textures and create new and exciting looks.|
With long, chilly winter nights ahead, curl up with some yarn and get started with one of the most enjoyable resolutions you can make for the new year. Happy yarncrafting!
If you’re interested in learning how to knit or crochet, check out these resources:
The holidays have past, but crafting for charity is a great way to stay in the spirit of giving.
With so many worthy causes and charities in the world, choosing what to make, which yarn to use and where to donate can be a bit challenging. These tips are are organized to help you find the right project and organization for you. Enjoy making someone wonderful and sharing it with someone in need this winter using the 7 suggestions below.
|Choose the Best Yarn for Your Project
When you donate a project to charity, make sure it is easy to care for. It’s a good idea to use all machine washable and dryable yarn, like Wool-Ease Thick & Quick or Vanna’s Choice. But if you are using a fiber that needs special care, make sure to check that the group you a donating to can take projects made of that yarn and sew a label for care instructions into your gift. Click here to see our yarn pages with all the care instructions and yardage information.
|Try Our Charity Connection
When you’re looking for a group to work with, our online Charity Connection is a user-friendly way to find out what groups are accepting donations, where they are located and what they are hoping to receive. If you know a charity who that is looking for donations, you can register on the Charity Connection quickly and easily to let others know about your project. Click here to visit the Charity Connection page.
|Project to Donate: Prayer Shawls
Making prayer shawls for those in need of support or strength in any way can be a helpful, warm reminder that others care for them in their time of need. Prayer shawl groups or ministries are devoted to making and giving shawls to those in their communities. Find out if there is a prayer shawl ministry in your area, or you can start one yourself with friends. Click here to see the patterns for prayer shawls.
|Project to Donate: Afghans (whole or squares)
If you only have a little time, why not make a block for an afghan? If you’re looking for a new stitch to try out or want to develop your knit or crochet skills, use our Stitch Finder to pick out a stitch pattern and then create a block the appropriate size. You can use up your excess stashed yarn making afghan blocks and seam them together yourself, or get help from a group like the Warm Up America! foundation. groups like WUA help knitters and crocheters connect their individual blocks into large masterpieces that can keep others warm. Click here to see W.U.A.’s site on donations. Click here to see pictures of the Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s donation drive with W.U.A. this fall.
|Project to Donate: Chemo Caps
Softness and comfort are key for these projects simple, fast-finish projects. These caps warm and comfort patients undergoing chemo therapy, and are often made in cheerful and bright colors to brighten their time in treatment. Many hospitals or cancer centers will accept donations, so be sure to call and see if they are in need. Click here for free knit and crochet patterns for chemo caps
|Project to Donate: Warm Accessories
During the holidays many people donate small accessories to scarf or mitten trees; but just because the holidays have past it doesn’t mean donations aren’t needed. If you love to make smaller projects, shelters, schools and hospitals are often accepting them during the colder months. Plenty of charities specialize in mittens, scarves, or hats, find a pattern you love to make, and you’ll keep a lot of people warm this winter. Click here for patterns for hats, scarves, mittens and accessories.
|Short on Time? Donate Yarn.
While not knitting or crocheting yourself, donating your extra stash is a great way to support children’s after school arts clubs, senior center craft groups, and local charity organizations in your area. Arts organizations are often in need of supplies, and sharing your left over yarn with those who have been crocheting for decades or are just learning to knit is a beautiful way to share the crafts you love with others. Many groups donate their projects to charity after they are finished, keeping the cycle of giving going. Click here for help finding a group to donate to, or just call our local schools and charities to ask if they are accepting donations.
Have you made a project for charity? What is your favorite kind of project to donate? Leave a comment to share your story.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and many crocheters and knitters show their support through crafting. From cancer awareness pins to scarves to cancer caps, there are so many projects that you can make in pink yarn to raise awareness and show support. Try using any of these pink yarns for your October projects; they’re all super soft and easy-care, so they can be shared with loved ones currently undergoing cancer treatment or donated to your favorite charity.
Choice Organic Cotton
In response to the devastating tsunami and earthquake in Japan, many crafters have asked us how they can help. As crocheters and knitters, it is our natural inclination to want to donate handmade goods. However, I want to encourage you not to try to donate your goods directly to Japan at this time. As pointed out by this article, the country’s infrastructure has been severely damaged, making it virtually impossible to ship donations and have them distributed.
The most important way you can help right now is through monetary donations. If you still want to support relief efforts with crafting, consider raffling or selling your goods and donating the proceeds. There are so many fantastic organizations currently accepting donations. Here are just a few of them:
In addition, the group Handmade for Japan will be auctioning handmade goods on eBay from March 24th-27th. Started by Japanese-American ceramic artist Ayumi Horie, the auction will donate 100% of proceeds to Global Giving. You can check out the auction here on March 24th, and you can view more details about the project here.