We all know knitting can be an amazing soothing and relaxing activity. Knitting with the purpose of helping others can be incredibly fulfilling to the soul. It can also be a great way to contribute to or help those in need. There is no greater feeling than knowing a newborn baby, hospital patient or friend
We all know knitting can be an amazing soothing and relaxing activity. Knitting with the purpose of helping others can be incredibly fulfilling to the soul. It can also be a great way to contribute to or help those in need. There is no greater feeling than knowing a newborn baby, hospital patient or friend is wearing and loving every stitch that you knitted. Sometimes though, it can be hard to know where to start when you want to knit hats and scarves for the homeless, for charities, friends or other causes. Here are some tips on how to share your love of knitting with those who need it the most.
Knitting for Charity: What touches your soul?
The best way to decide who to knit for is to go with something that touches your heart and inspires you to give back. Is there a particular cause, charity or location that is deeply personal to you? Maybe you are drawn to knit hats for the hospital your child was born at. Maybe you are inspired to make a blanket for an animal shelter you got your pet from. Or maybe you want knit a chemo hat for a friend who is suffering from cancer. There is always someone to knit for but, if you need help deciding here are some ideas to help inspire you.
Places you can donate knitted items to:
- Maternity & NICU hospital wards or birthing centers.
- Homeless, animal or women’s shelters
- Red cross
- Families or friends in need
- Children’s hospitals
- Cancer treatment centers
- Hospitals or health care facilities
- Assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
Don’t forget to check your local yarn shop, guild or class to see if they have any suggestions, programs or charities that they contribute to.
Once you picked who you want to knit for, the next step is to reach out to them before you cast on. Some places require specific yarns, patterns and colors so, it is best to check if there is any of these requirements before you start knitting. Often times, you can find information on the charity’s website. E-mailing or phoning the donation department or coordinator of your location of choice is always recommended. Ask questions like what items do they need? Is there any yarn or pattern requirements? And where can items be mailed or dropped off? All of this information helps ensure your knitting for charity reach the right people and can be used as intended.
If you are ever in doubt of which yarn to choose, knitting with hypoallergenic, washable, durable yarn is always a safe choice. Acrylic, cottons and linen yarn are usually a favorite among knitters for charity projects. Softer yarns brands are usually recommended, especially for babies and those needing extra care.
Patterns can be as complicated or simple as you want but, most knitters stick to basic patterns as some charities won’t accept knitted items with bobbles, pompoms, ties or anything deemed a choking hazard.
Time to get creative
If the charity or cause of choice doesn’t accept hand knit items, that doesn’t mean you can’t contribute. Knitting items and selling them online or at a craft fair and then donating a portion or all of sales is a great way to help out. Another amazing option is to knit items for auctions or events where the proceeds from the sale of goes to directly to charity, family or cause.
You don’t always have to go the charity route however. Sometimes the best way to give back is to do so in within your inner circle. Simply knitting something for friend who may be sick, grieving or in need can be an amazing gift and way to show you care. A blanket in their favorite color or a comfy pair of slippers may be just what they need. Knitting can do amazing things for both the recipient and for the knitter. Often times, just knitting an item can make you feel closer, more connected to those who wear your handmade items.
There is no wrong way to knit your heart out. Formal charities, local shelters and even just cheering up your best friend are all great ways to share this wonderful hobby and skill. As any knitter knows, a little piece of us is knit into every project we make. It so much more than just a hat, mittens or a blanket. Not only do the items helps keep other warms, it shares the love you have put into making the project.
Knitting to give back, however you choose to do it, can be so inspiring to those around you and to other knitters. Joining forces with others whether it is in person, or through social media is a great way to amplify the love and give even more.
Knitting is more than just needles and yarn. It has the power to change lives, and change the world. Use your knitting skills to make the world a better place and let someone know you care. You never know how someone’s life can be touched by a handmade item. Never underestimate the power that knitting has to make a difference, to give back and to help.
Ashlee Lackovic is a knit designer who lives in the snowy mountains of British Columbia, Canada. She started designing as an independent designer on Ravelry in 2013 after realizing she was truly obsessed with all things knit. She can become inspired by literally anything but, particularly enjoys bright fun colors and unusual stitch combinations. You can find more about her on blog at www.smashleestitches.wordpress.com.