Charity Knitting:10 Ways Of Helping The Poor, Sick & Vulnerable

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.

10 Ways of helping the poor, sick and vulnerable via charity knitting this winter.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:

  1. Hampshire Hospitals10 Ways of helping the poor, sick and vulnerable via charity knitting this winter. 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.
  2. Naomi House and Jack’s Place accept donations to their shops to be sold to raise money for their local work.
  3. Bliss (A Charity For Babies That Are Born Premature Or Sick) have knitting patterns suitable for premature babies. They do ask that you contact your local hospital directly to give your donation. If you don’t feel able to contact your local hospital Preemies UK will distribute your makes if you send them to them.
  4. Knitted Knockers UK recruit volunteers who knit cotton prosthesis for women who have single or double mastectomies. You have to apply for this one!
  5. 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.
  6. 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!).
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Finally UK Hand Knitting have a brilliant list of charities that need knitted items and links to what they need.

10 Ways of helping the poor, sick and vulnerable via charity knitting this winter.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 Crafter, sail thou forth, to craft and travel

Travel Crafting Header

(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!)

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…

Travel Crafting-2 Travel Crafting-3 Travel Crafting-4 Travel Crafting-5 Travel Crafting-6

Linking up this week to “Handmade Monday” and the “Do Not Fear” Linky Party.

 

The Right Kind of Busy

This week has been REALLY busy, but what I think of the right kind of busy. It was Boffin’s birthday on Monday (which was a Bank Holiday in the UK) and we held a Tea Party for all our friends.  The weekend was spent frantically cleaning the house and making lovely treats for us all to enjoy.

Ed Birthday-6

Our friends were amazing, they pitched in and made scones, brownies, cucumber sandwiches, you name it.  They also lent us crockery, cake stands and tea urns, all the things we didn’t have and I think that is is what made it such a great afternoon. Everyone chatted, feasted and chilled, exactly what we were hoping for.

I have to say that Pinterest was worth it’s weight in gold as I found many ideas for scrummy treats there, including Mini Simnel Cakes;

Ed Birthday-1

Fondant “seals” for ordinary cupcakes (didn’t quite turn out exactly as I hoped!);

Ed Birthday-2

We even had Jelly!

Ed Birthday-12

It was a wonderful spread

Ed Birthday-10

However the rest of the week was a struggle, trying to fit five days work into four days and generally chasing my own tail meant that my crafting activities were sadly curtailed.

I did manage to finish this off though.  It still needs blocking but I think I will wear it a lot in the winter.

Sweater-1

It was a Rowan pattern from the book “Easy Winter Knits” although I have to confess that I used Paton’s “Fab Big” instead of Rowan yarn as it is a little too expensive for me!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful week and I am planning on getting my fingers sticky this week 😉

 

Pattern Review: Cool Knitted Campervan Cushion…

A while ago I spotted this cool knitted campervan cushion pattern on Pinterest, Unusually for me I ordered the PDF pattern online the same evening and also the yarn!

This teal and white knitted campervan cushion comes from a PDF download pattern that I review in this blog post.

Much to my liking the pattern was knitted in Serenity Super Chunky yarn (I like my knitting to grow quickly) and one longish car journey later I had my front. The pattern was really easy to follow, even though I am not that experienced with charts and the knitting part was great.

I have never done Swiss Darning before and had to turn to my knitting “bible” book and learn. It was tricky to get the coverage right with it and I’m not completely happy with the results.

I have never tried Swiss darning before. Not entirely happy with my first attempt!

I have to look up some tricks and tips on how to get the stitches to cover the knitting better. I would be very grateful if anyone had any tips!

Back Stitch and Chain Stitch Form the VW Symbol

 

The back stitch and the chain stitch for the VW symbol on the knitted campervan cushion were both straight forward but getting the proportions of the symbol were difficult. The pattern provided a template but I couldn’t work out how to use a template with knitting and so sewed it by eye. I’m not unhappy with the results though.

The rear lights were a bit of a brainwave. I found a mixed colour yarn that faded from red to orange and back again. So I just cut the bits out of it that were the appropriate colour and used them for the Swiss darning. Bargain!

Finding a variegated red and orange yarn and using different parts of it to sew in the two colours of the tail lights was a bit of a brainwave!

To be quite honest I did not fancy the fuss of sewing a zip into a knitted item (as recommended in the pattern) so I cheated and opted to sew contrasting buttons at regular intervals along the bottom edge.

Finding and installing a zip was a bit of a nightmare so I cheated and sewed contrasting red buttons along the bottom to close the cushion.

The pattern specified a normal 40 cm (16 inch) cushion pad but I read a post once that suggested you put a slightly larger pad in for a lovely “plump” cushion.  Anyway I bought a 45 cm (18 inch) pad and punched the top corners in a bit in order to fit the slightly shaped cushion.

This simple to follow and cute knitted campervan cushion pattern was really enjoyable to make. The pattern and yarn were both reasonably priced and no fancy equipment was required that I had to spend money on. My only slightly dodgy moments were the Swiss darning – I wish I had practised on an old jumper or something first.

I already have a commission to make another one so it can’t be that bad!

The final cushion is heard wearing and cute. I will definitely be making more.

It’s Panto Time – Oh no it isn’t!

Well, it’s village panto time again and that means that I am on duty as set designer and chief artist.  It also it means that Boffin (long suffering husband) is learning lines and number one daughter seems to be doing dance routines in her sleep!

Anyway, Boffin is a ship’s captain in this year’s Dick Whittington and no gnarly old sea dog is complete without a Parrot.  I really didn’t fancy sewing one so the hunt was on for a knitting pattern.  Finally found one in Kath Dalmeny’s “World of Knitted Toys” book (second hand through Amazon marketplace for £0.01 plus p&p, genius!).

Anyway finally finished the darn thing and pretty pleased with the result!  Hope to post some action shots of the stunt parrot later!

Pin It on Pinterest