Around this time of year lots of us are thinking of those less fortunate than us. Chatting with the ladies in my knit and natter group (Yarning) the other day it became very clear that we’ve all run out of people to knit or crochet for. Our confessions amounted to the same thing. That we would LOVE to have new victims, ahem, “recipients” for our yarn-y efforts. That put me on a mission to find groups that want your charity knitting or crochet.
It turns out there are loads of charities who can really be helped by knitters or crocheters. To make things interesting I’ve tried to include a wide range of projects.
It is amazing the hugely inventive ways which charities are using yarn talent. This list is just a small taste. “Let’s Knit” magazine features a different charity each month so it’s worth checking their website regularly.
Without further ado, here are my favourites:
(All these charities are actively looking for donations at this time. If you are reading this weeks or months after the original post, December 2016, it is definitely worth clicking on the links and double checking that they are still taking donations).
My Favourite 10 Charity Knitting/Crochet Seekers:
Hampshire Hospitals are looking for people to make “Twiddlemuffs” to help people with dementia. They even have a PDF with all the information that you need to make one.
Knitted Knockers UK recruit volunteers who knit cotton prosthesis for women who have single or double mastectomies. You have to apply for this one!
The Big Issue sponsor The Big Knitathon around November each year. You can find details of how to join in by clicking on the title.
Project Linus supplies blankets to children who really need a sense of safety and security. It’s named after the character in “Peanuts” who is permanently welded to his blanket (how cute is that!).
Oxfam need a range of items, mainly to sell in order to raise funds. They are catering to the trendy festival crowd and can get up to £35 for a nicely made blanket!
Knit for Peace match donations with charities. They send out a monthly email newsletter to keep you posted on where your items are being used and have a range of pattern suggestions for a range of abilities.
Loving Hands is a similar organisation to Knit for Peace but you may choose to go with this one because it focuses on UK charities.
Finally UK Hand Knitting have a brilliant list of charities that need knitted items and links to what they need.
So, Do You Feel Inspired?
Hopefully there’s a cause in amongst this lot that tugs at your heartstrings. Who knows, some of your “downtime” over Christmas may mean a charity knitting boost for someone who really needs it.
If you know of other charities looking for knitters/crocheters (especially in Hampshire). Please do leave the details below or on my Facebook Page.
Now that my social “knit and natter” group “Yarning” has been running for a few weeks (If you love Yarn crafts come and join us, more details here) I have found myself posting links to videos in the group Facebook page so that attendees can check them out in their own time and come back to them repeatedly if they need to. Five of the videos have stood out as being useful YouTube videos for learning to crochet in particular so I have decided to corral them into this post for easy reference.
There are loads of useful YouTube videos for learning to crochet but as I am left handed I wanted to make sure that (wherever possible) there are decent left handed versions available as well.
Before we start I have to point out that most of these Tutorials are American. That means they use US crochet terms. If they are using UK crochet terms I will make it clear in the title. If you don’t know how US crochet terms translate into UK ones you can download my free guide here.
Without further ado here are my…
5 Most Useful YouTube Videos For Learning To Crochet
I like the fact that she takes you through THREE different ways to tie a slip knot and that this video will work for you whether you are left or right handed. Her explanations are really clear and don’t waffle. I have to admit that I’m a pretzel girl myself 😉
Ok, you can let out a cheer because this video is BRITISH! She starts by giving you yet another way to tie a slip knot and then de-mystifies the chain stitch. I particularly like the fact that she puts the pattern shorthand (ch) on the screen AND the UK and US terms. In this case they are no different but it’s still nice to have this reinforced.
If you are LEFT-HANDED and want to learn this most of the videos are disappointing because they are either poor quality or they are the same tutorial as that for right handed people where they have just mirrored the footage (cheats!).
The best of a bad lot is another video by the Crochet Guru. The video is really clear and easy to follow I personally just find it disappointing that it isn’t being done by a left hander!
Crochet basics: US Single crochet (UK Double Crochet) starting a foundation chain (by Bella Coco)
The single crochet stitch is one of the basic building blocks of crochet. A lot of the patterns you see are made up of different combinations of chain, single crochet, double crochet, half treble crochet and treble crochet stitches.
Disappointingly I couldn’t find a single video that I felt both explained the process of putting single crochet stitches into a foundation chain clearly AND that had decent quality video. I may have to resort to making one!
US Double Crochet Into A Foundation Chain (UK Treble Crochet) (by Crochet Guru)
Both the right and left handed versions of this video are lovely and clear. The video deals with making US double crochet stitches into a chain to give a square(ish) result.
This is the left handed version of the video
How to Crochet Magic Circles: Double Crochet (The Crochet Crowd)
This video shows you how to start any circular project (including Granny Squares) in the simplest way. I particularly rate it because he shows you how to tie a slip knot clearly and is very clear about how to finish off stray ends or “stragglers”.
It is a long video and he doesn’t feel the need to fill in any gaps of information with chatting (which I find confuses me when I am following instructions). At 11 minutes in he shows you how to turn a corner and at 19 minutes he gives a valuable “rule of thumb” for making sure that included stragglers don’t get unwound.
And the same thing for left-handers-
I hope that you find these videos all nice and easy to follow. In my opinion these were the most useful YouTube videos for learning to crochet although there are a lot of others. If you have any links to videos you think would be clearer please feel free to post them in the comments section or in our Yarning Facebook Group.
This project has been a long time in the making! It is a Granny Square crocheted seat cover for my office chair. I found the pattern for the initial Granny square online (if I can ever find the link I will update this post to share it!) and then I worked the rest out as I went along
You may have seen it feature in my post on Travel Crafting or featured fairly often on my Instagram account (usually with my cat sitting on it so that I am unable to work on it!).
It has been unpicked and re-done more times than any other project I have attempted and I have to say I am pleased with the result. I know it is not quite a perfect fit but it is comfortable, fun and happy. I am happy to call that a result.
I have loads of things on the go at the moment and nothing finished. It is getting frustrating! I was badly in need of a quick win when a work colleague admired the beautiful crocheted Remembrance Poppy that Boffin had bought me. As they had to be pre-ordered I knew of no way to get her one in time for the 11th November.
I have no previous experience of crocheting flowers and no clue where to start so I turned to the internet and found this lovely pattern. Some scraps of wool and an hour later I had made her a Poppy. I was thrilled because something was finished, she was thrilled because she had a lovely hand made Poppy to wear! She is going to make a donation to the Poppy appeal for this one.
Remembrance Poppies are not only beautiful and poignant they are an essential part of what is important in life, to remember the sacrifices that others have made so that we can enjoy our lives today.
(Firstly apologies to Walt Whitman but “Now Voyager” is one of my favourite films and in light of this famous photo of Bette Davis and her stand-in on set I thought it was appropriate!).
Photo Credit: http://vickielester.com (original photo credit unknown but happy to credit if anyone knows!)
We are away this weekend visiting family in Suffolk. I hate feeling that hours as a car passenger (or a passenger on any vehicle) are wasted but I suffer with travel sickness and so cannot read or look at a computer screen.
In this journey I have started using some leftover Sirdar “Baby Bamboo” yarn to make granny squares for a seat cover for the craft room chair. I love the bright colours and it should be a cheerful addition.
I can crochet and knit in the car provided that it doesn’t require much pattern reading or keeping track of stitches. I am very grateful for that as it means I can while away my time and still notice what is going on around me, but this journey set me thinking. What other crafts might be travel compatible?
We have a much loved camper van (named “Basil”) so I hope to travel a lot and I have started a Pinterest board to pin any and all ideas I can find for things to do whilst I’m on the move. I am happy to make this a group board so if you want to pin anything to it just get in touch!
I’ll leave you with a few images from our trip to Southwold today to stir the wanderlust in you…