At this time of year, it’s nice to do something to make the world a softer, warmer place with a little more love and light in it. There are so many ways that we can help as knitters and the list is growing daily. There’s a particular audio podcast I really enjoy, but I just can’t get with her ideas about charity knitting. The host is bothered by the fact that knitted items, whether donated or auctioned, are often undervalued, overlooked and taken for granted and I suppose on some levels, this is true. However, I think charity knitting is just that: charity. It’s about someone else. It’s not about you or your glorious craft. It’s not about raising awareness of how wonderful knitting is. It’s about someone who needs the help of another, plain and simple.
Partly, I think charity knitting is about ordinary every day mindfulness. I don’t know about you, but when I’m knitting for someone, they are in my mind at every stitch. I’m thinking about them as I knit and I think that in itself is a powerful expression of love and hope. I think it’s important to knit for those you know, too. Think about your priest or pastor, your mailman, the girl at the grocery store who walks to work without a scarf or that guy on the corner. You know the one. When we knit for our loved ones with luxury yarns and intricate patterns, maybe we could take an old or under loved item and leave it on a park bench or at the library or on the parking meter in front of the church. When time is in short supply like it is at Christmas, maybe the best “knitting” we can do is to head to a second-hand store, buy up a bundle of warmies at pennies a pop and drop them at your local homeless shelter. Every little bit helps.
If you’re interested in knitting for a good cause, Yarn Canada has begun what they hope will be a yearly event. They’re supplying up to $2000 in yarn for those who are knitting for charitable causes. Applications are due by December 15; details can be found HERE.
We know so many wonderful people knit and crochet for good causes. We’d love to hear your stories and help out! We’ll be choosing 12 individuals and groups to get a total of $2000 worth of yarn to use towards their projects. Since we get requests from all over, and we’d like to do something nice for our neighbours, this is open to Canadians and Americans.
Let’s not forget some great folks who offer free charity knitting patterns like this one from Knitting Daily/Interweave Knits:
Here are some of my favorite knitting charities:
This agency, founded in 1991, accepts 7″ x 9″ knitted squares which they combine to make blankets for homeless shelters, hospitals and other charities. You don’t need to knit a lot to help a lot.
Wildlife Victoria is committed to the well being of wildlife in Australia. Lately, they’re caring for many orphaned kangaroos who lack the safety and shelter of Mama’s pouch. Yes, they need people to knit these. Imagine that.
Who doesn’t want to help a little one in need? These are children suffering from HIV, drug abuse, child abuse and chronic or terminal illnesses. You can make a blanket any ol’ way…knitting, crochet, quilting or sewing.
I love this idea! This organization has designed a pattern for prostheses for women who have lost a breast to cancer. Now, that’s girl power!
These guys send knitted teddy bears to children in emerging nations who are affected by HIV and AIDS. They add a red heart with the name of the knitter before the toys are distributed. I think that shows a lot of gratitude and respect for those who contribute.
One way or another, let’s share a little knitted love this holiday season!