Creative Knitting Newsletter
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Knitting for Charity
If you're like most knitters, it's not possible to live for more than a few hours without having something, anything, on your needles ready to be worked when the spirit moves you. So when you've finished your latest and greatest masterpiece and haven't planned another project, why not cast on for charity? There are many national and international organizations that will take your items and distribute them to people in need, and you can also make arrangements with local establishments, such as homeless shelters and hospitals.
Knitting for Established Charities
If you want to knit for an established charity, get its guidelines first. Guidelines will include the types of projects and the types of yarn that are preferred. Many organizations will also include free patterns. For a list of organizations and great pattern ideas, visit Giving Hearts and Hands at AnniesCatalog.com.
Think Global, Act Local
Unfortunately, most of us know someone who has fought or is fighting cancer. And because most cancer treatments lead to hair loss, knitting chemo caps is a very worthy cause. If you and your friends want to pursue this type of project, get in touch with someone at a local cancer treatment center and ask if hand-knitted caps would be useful for the patients. Some of these centers place a basket of hats in the treatment area, and clients can go through the basket and find a hat that's just right for them. You can knit for children and adults, both female and male.
The most important thing to consider with chemo caps is that the yarn should be very soft since it will be in contact with very sensitive skin. Natural fibers are preferred as opposed to acrylic, and cotton for summer and wool for winter work well. Attach a label to every hat. It can include your name or the name of your organization, perhaps words of encouragement to the recipient, and always, the fiber content of the yarn. Sad as it may seem to the wool lovers among us, many people are allergic to wool, so consider knitting with alpaca, which is lovely, soft and lanolin-free. There are loads of free chemo hat patterns out there, and you can find more than 200 on Ravelry.com.
Donating Your Time
Another way to give with your knitting is to teach others the craft. The therapeutic nature of knitting can benefit prison inmates, homeless women and troubled teens. It can also be taught to young people. Check with your local schools and youth groups to see if you can schedule classes for once or twice a month. And perhaps you can join forces with a local yarn shop or distributor to help with the cost of supplies. For more ideas, check out KnittingforCharity.org.