If you are a regular reader of my blog posts, you’ll know that The Celebration Project is all about enjoying the small things in life, as well as those special moments, whilst taking time to give back to good causes. There are so many ways to give back without even leaving the warmth of your own home.
And one easy way is knitting for charity.
So dig out those knitting needles from the cupboard under the stairs, unravel that half-finished cardi and get knitting.
In recent years there has been a huge resurgence in interest in crafts which means you don’t have to look far to find projects to get involved with.
Knitting gains a younger following
My creative side is more about the ‘makes’ than works of art. Nevertheless, I am always fascinated when I come across people who make a living from their creativity in the online space either by selling on Etsy, Amazon, Not on the High Street or from their own websites. You can also find numerous online courses teaching all the ‘How To’s’ – a much more satisfactory way to learn than watching a random selection of amateur YouTube videos.
So it was a great to hear Lauren of Girly Kits (www.girlyknits.com) interviewed on this week’s Pat Flynn podcast https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/smart-passive-income-podcast/id383084001?mt=2&i=377168752. Lauren, a fashion designer, established Girly Knits 5 years ago and sells knitting patterns, writes tutorials and has online courses hosted on Craft University. You can find one of her knitting courses here: My First Hat and Glove Set. She is putting a contemporary twist on old knitting classics using fabulous yarns you can buy online.
Can you knit?
I was taught to knit when I was about 6 by my grandma who was an efficient, practical knitter. I can remember her teaching me to knit baby clothes, tea cosies, jumpers and cardigans. In her era everyone learnt to knit but I wondered how many people can knit nowadays. So I asked my Facebook Group if they can knit and the results show that there is roughly a ‘fifty-fifty split. Several admitted to creations with rather more buttonholes than the pattern required. I think that was a polite way of saying they’d dropped more than a few stitches!
I then turned my attention to searching for whether there are any charities and fundraising knitting challenges. Currently, I’m in the middle of crocheting 12 little polar bear badges to be given to the participants of the Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day 2017. A whole gang of mad people will be launching themselves into an outdoor swimming with the aim of fundraising. Learn more about this event here: http://stalbansbusinesses.co.uk/2016/10/19/start-year-splash-fellow-sabbers-polar-bear-plunge/
But what about knitting for charity? The list below gives you ten charities based in the UK looking for knits. Most of the projects are pretty straightforward with easy-to-follow instructions. Why don’t you give one a go?
Top 10 ideas for Knitting for Charity
1. Age UK’s – The Big Knit
Age UK have teamed up with drinks manufacturer, Innocent Smoothies for another year of The Big Knit. This year they are aiming to put 2 million miniature hats on their smoothie bottles. The sale of each bottle with a tiny hat will raise 25p to help older people during the cold weather. Follow their progress on Twitter using the hashtag #bigknit.
More information can be found here: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/events-and-challenges/the-big-knit/
2. Blankets for the Homeless
Run by Jayne Roper, 195 blankets have been put together so far this year from knitted squares. the best way to get involved is to visit and like their Facebook page which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/blanketsforthehomelesspeople You can either knit 6″ x 6″ or 12″ by 12″ squares and her aim this year is to make 200 blankets.
3. The Mission to Seafarers
The Mission to Seafarers‘ chaplains pass on gifts of hand knitted scarves, hats gloves and balaclavas to seafarers who are sent out on contracts to oceans where they have no idea of the conditions they may face. In freezing temperatures a stock of warm clothes is needed to help them face plunging temperatures and wet conditions where extra woollies are greatly needed.
You can have a look at some of their suggested knitting patterns here: https://www.missiontoseafarers.org/knitting2 or you can design your own!
4. Hand in Hand for Syria
Hand in Hand for Syria is a charity working alongside partners including aid agencies implementing projects acrss Syria. Their teams take emergency aid directly to those living under threat. they save lives and relieve suffering and help people to stay in Syria as opposed to fleeing abroad. The charity provides food and clothing, water and sanitation, and medical aid in a country with a limited health service.
As the Syrian crisis runs into yet another winter there is still a great need for clothing and blankets. Find out more about what knits are needed most by visitng the Hand in Hand for Syria website. http://visitingdinhandforsyria.org.uk/knit-for-syria/
I have been in touch with the charity via Facebook and can guarantee they need your help.
5. Knit for Peace
Knit for Peace is an initiative of the Charities Advisory Trust and the original aim was to create knitting communities in both war-torn Rwanda bringing opposing tribes together in a positive way and in Delhi, India where Hindus and Muslims came together to knit clothes for street children and orphans. If you would like to knit in company there are around 30 groups in and around London and the south-east.
You can find out more on their website www.knitforpeace.org.uk or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/knitforpeaceuk/
6. UK Hand Knitting
UK Hand Knitting wants to bring a little Christmas spirit to care homes and lunch clubs, by decorating them with festive bunting. If you’re able to take part you can use any spare yarn to make a mini Christmas stocking or sock. You’ll find two free knitting patterns from UK Hand Knitting, and a crochet pattern from Raveler RhonddaM, on the UK Hand Knitting website.
The deadline for stockings is 9th December 2016, and UK Hand Knitting will make them up into the bunting.
7. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home – Knitting Club
For those of you who live in London and have a love of cats, Battersea has set up a monthly knitting club. https://www.battersea.org.uk/support-us/events/knitting-kittens-club where you can knit cat toys and blankets in the company of other cat-people!
8. Crisis at Christmas
Crisis is running some craft workshops over the Christmas period. If you are confident in sharing your knitting skills there are opportunities in centres all over the UK.
9. Sands – Stillbirth and neonatal death charity
Sands offers emotional support and information to anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth. They create Always Loved, Never Forgotten Memory Boxes each of which includes a special handmade white blanket. These boxes bring comfort to families at such a difficult time. Click on the link to discover how you can help: www.uk-sands.org/get-involved/other-ways-to-help
10. St Mungo’s
St Mungo’s is a charity which focuses on homelessness by offering emergency services running health initiatives and providing skills and employment services. Every year they run Woolly Hat Day. The next one is on Friday 27th January. You can find out more about the charity on Twitter, @StMungos, and on Facebook or by looking on their website.
These are just 10 of the many charities you can help with a little bit of knitting wool and the clickety-clack of the needles. Best of luck.
If you know of any other organisations looking for knitters, please add them in the comments below this post and share it on your social media.
Get involved and share pictures of your knits in the Facebook Group