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.
As a New Yorker, I often knit and crochet while on the subway. I love hearing your stories about crafting in public, and now we want you to share on Twitter where you’re yarncrafting for your chance to win a gift certificate to LionBrand.com! To enter, just tweet where you’re crafting to @LionBrandYarn, and be sure to include the hashtag #yarninpublic! A sample tweet would look something like this: “@LionBrandYarn I’m crocheting in Union Square Park! #yarninpublic” Of course, you don’t have to be in public; you can tell us that you’re crafting in your house, at the library, or wherever you may be!
Here are the official rules:
1. Enter as many times as you like. The more you tweet, the more likely you are to win!
2. Open to residents of countries to which LionBrand.com ships. You can find out where we ship by clicking here. Void where prohibited.
3. Must be 18 or older to enter.
4. Tweets must be sent by Thursday, March 3rd at 12 noon Eastern time.
Now, on to the prize. One randomly selected winner will receive a gift certificate to LionBrand.com. The value depends on how much everyone tweets! We will also make a matching donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, so your entries will also help this fantastic charity. Here’s what you might win:
0-250 total tweets: $100 gift certificate
251-500 total tweets: $200 gift certificate
501-1,000 total tweets: $300 gift certificate
Way more than 1,000 total tweets: TBA!
So start tweeting for your chance to win and to support St. Jude! You MUST submit your entry on Twitter to be entered into the contest.
There is so much we offer for free on our site to help you with your yarn crafting but I have the feeling you may not know about all of these goodies. Here are 5 kinds of freebies you can get. Please check them out and let me know what you think.
1. Charity Finder
If you are looking for a charity to knit or crochet for, or if you are part of a group of knitters and crocheters who knit for charity, the Charity Finder will be a great resource for you. We have over 1,000 groups currently listed. It’s easy to use. Just indicate if you have a preference for a type of organization or a type of garment, the Charity Finder lets you limit the choice so you find just what you want. You can also select a group within a few miles of your home. When you go to the Charity Finder you will also find a useful listing of some of our most popular free patterns for charity. We would love to hear from you and find out how your charity group search or organization listing goes.
2. Free e-Cards
When it’s the last minute on an important holiday or birthday, you can dash off one of our free e-cards for yarn lovers. We have a wide range of designs to choose from. Just personalize your message and go.
3. Stitch Finder
Over 100 knit and crochet stitches are explained and shown on our Stitch Finder. It’s a great way to grow your skills and learn to make some changes to the patterns you tend to make over and over.
4. The YarnCraft Podcast
It sounds hi-tech but it’s just a 30 minute radio show that feels like you’re listening in to a couple of friends sitting around and chatting about ideas in yarn crafting, interviewing designers, or sharing what they know about fashion trends. Listen to it online or download it through iTunes.
5. Yarn Substitution Information
Are you about to start making one of our free patterns and you realize you don’t have the yarn that is called for? We have a chart that helps you figure out what yarns can be substituted. We also have articles that review the process of substituting yarns in case you’d like step by step instructions.
What other goodies and information would you like to see us have on our site? Leave us a comment and let us. know.
Last week, I asked you to vote on your favorite Lion Brand yarn for charity crafting. The results are in, and you named Vanna’s Choice as your favorite. Some of the reasons you named were the softness, washability, and wide color range. Homespun was also quite popular in the poll for similar reasons. Now that you’ve selected your favorite yarns, here are 5 patterns to inspire your charity crafting:
1. Knit Warm Up America Blanket: This comfortable blanket is perfect for donating to Warm Up America or any other charity organization. It’s also a great project for experimenting with the over 50 colors of Vanna’s Choice.
2. Crochet Comforting Blue Cap: This comfortable hat makes a perfect chemo cap.
3. Knit Ribbed Scarf: This versatile scarf can be worn by men, women, or child.
4. Crochet Simply Sublime Shawl: The softness of Homespun makes this prayer shawl extra special.
5. Knit Honest Warmth Shawl: This triangular prayer shawl works up quickly and easily.
What’s your favorite pattern for charity projects? Share your thoughts in the comments!
This time of year, many of us wake up from our sense of complacency to remember that we should be thankful for what we have. Studies show that being grateful is actually good for us. Remembering to be thankful for something everyday has been linked to being healthier and happier. When we realize that our lives, while never perfect, have many bright spots, the natural inclination is to give back, to show our appreciation by paying it forward.
One of the lessons I have learned from working for Lion Brand for over a decade is how important charity is to this company. It’s been part of the family’s traditions for generations. We don’t talk about all of the donations, but there is one we would like to share with you today because it is with your help that we make this donation. Lion Brand Yarn Company and Vanna White have partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with the goal of furthering research to fight childhood cancer. With your help in making Vanna’s Choice, Vanna’s Choice Baby, and Vanna’s Glamour successful, we have raised $622,745 since March 2007 to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This donation supports the extraordinary work of an organization where no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or the ability to pay.
Tomorrow’s post will be about yarn crafting for charity–a topic we know is near and dear to so many of you who believe in charity as well. Before we all leave for the holiday, from everyone at the Lion Brand family to you we want to express our thanks for being part of our community.