Knitting Community

Do you knit or crochet for charity? If you do then I'd like your feedback on which charities you love to donate your handmade items to. Or perhaps you don't give to a specific charity, but drop your goods off at a local animal shelter or hospital. I'd like to know about those things to. Why? I'm gathering information to put online so folks without much experience can read through and get ideas for what items to make and where those items would be useful.

Another question, what type of items/patterns would you like to see more of for charity crochet? Many of you know by now that I've begun working with on their crochet site. With Amy, the crochet Guide, I'm working to provide the crochet community with free, easy to follow patterns. One area we'd like to focus more effort on is patterns for charity work. I know there is a lot of need for preemie sized hats and clothing, so this is something I'm currently tackling. However, feel free to comment on preemie items if you have thoughts on materials, sizes, etc.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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Comment by cherylbwaters on June 16, 2011 at 10:13pm
Anna, it's never too late to join in the conversation.
Comment by Anna Murphy on June 16, 2011 at 2:54pm
I know this is really late, but I just found this post. Too bad it didn't also post in the CAL community. Erica, I've made a pattern for a simple fingerless mitt for angelkarhu's Mitts of Steal charity. I put on an afterthought thumb, but I'd like to get a simple pattern that has a gusseted thumb. Thanks
Comment by Martha on February 11, 2011 at 12:33am
Cheryl, I love your story about your sister and husband saving her hair in the cigar box! I didn't know you could even find cigar boxes anymore...I looked on the American Cancer Society web site and only found places to give $$$ donations. Maybe a local group would have a collection place. Or people could check with a local oncologist's office.
Comment by cherylbwaters on February 10, 2011 at 5:43pm
Well, here's my 2¢ about "chemo caps". I know that Martha is a cancer survivor and that she has lost a daughter to cancer. I lost one of my sisters to cancer last summer. When I made Kathy her hat she asked one thing of me. "Please don't call it a 'chemo cap'. Please call it a 'cure cap', because that gives the patients hope. I know that Martha now calls it a cure cap and she tells me there are lots of people beginning to do so. So let's try to change the name to Cure Cap so we can give these people and their families more hope. It's hard enough to be upbeat as it is. Let's make life a little more upbeat for them. I would love it if you told a story about how my sister celebrated losing her hair. When she was talking to our brother about going through chemo, he reminded us that our grandfather used to have a cigar box that he kept. He used to tell us that he saved it to keep his hair in. [Baldness runs ramped in the males in our family. They were all bald as a cue ball.] That way no one could ever accuse him of losing his hair. So my sweet DBIL immediately went in search of cigar box. The moment she started to lose her hair, he got out the clippers and shaved her head and placed her hair in the box. They took pictures and had margaritas to celebrate and then sent us all pictures of their little party of 2. She celebrated every moment of life from the time of her diagnosis to the day of her death.
Comment by Erica Jackofsky on February 10, 2011 at 6:34am
All good points. It could get noted that a soft merino works for chemo caps as long as you know the recipient and their reaction to animal fibers, but when making for donations it is best to avoid wools. I'm partial to KP yarns as well and I use a lot of them for my designs. I think I'm allowed to make suggestions as long as I don't push one thing so much as to seem biased.
Comment by Martha on February 10, 2011 at 6:29am

Yarn: well any soft, washable yarn is good. I'm partial to KP yarn, but I'm sure doesn't want to advertise. I avoid wool, though I know Cheryl used Merino for her sister's cap. Some people have a wool allergy so when I'm knitting for people I don't know, I just avoid wool. But for sure, avoid anything scratchy. And easy care as people getting chemo have enough worries. Pretty is always good! Men get chemo, too, so maybe a cap of K2P2 ribbing in a darker color. I hate being so sexist!! But I can't see a man grabbing for a pink hat..


I agree about organizations changing web sites, but maybe the American Cancer Society has a place to send donations. I haven't looked.

Comment by Erica Jackofsky on February 10, 2011 at 5:15am

Thanks for the comments everyone :o)

Cheryl is correct, I've mainly been exclusively a knitter for the past several years. In December of 2010 I teamed up with to work on getting them some new designs. Right now one of the projects I've been assigned over there is organizing ideas and patterns for charity work, which is why my emphasis seemed to be crochet in this blog post. It would be nice to eventually apply this to my knitting work, but I have to go one thing at a time or I'll end up exploding. :o)


What I'd like to do on is make pages for certain items and give suggestions on materials and where they can be donated. For instance, Martha suggested chemo caps. With this I could make a page title Chemo Caps (or something similar) and give some information about what type of materials to use, that you can donate them to your local hospital's cancer center, etc. Following that there would be links to all the free patterns on that would work for chemo caps. Cheryl mentioned that angelkarhu was wanting to do fingerless mitts for dialysis patients. I wouldn't have thought of that in my own pea brain, so there's another page: fingerless mitts and an idea of who to donate to followed by free patterns.


Viginia -- I've only been working with for about 2 months, so there isn't too much from me there yet. Hopefully you find something you like though.


Martha -- Chemo caps are a great idea that can work for knit or crochet. Do you have particular yarn you've used that you feel would be good to suggest to newbies? Or any cautions against certain fibers? Thinking of information that someone might forget. Also, putting the suggestion out there to donate to your local hospital's cancer center is good. We want to keep the information online relevant for as long as possible. Posting links to specific organizations can be rough because websites change, th

Comment by virginia karlsbroten on February 10, 2011 at 4:19am
This is a lovely effort. If everyone made one or two things it would be so helpful. I am going to the crochet site now at
Comment by Martha on February 9, 2011 at 11:44pm
Hi Erica- I have been knitting hats for people who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. I donate these hats to my local hospital's cancer center. I have used the KP's EasyPeasy hat often as women here in the south still want to wear their wonderful wide-brimmed straw hats in the summer, but need a close-fitting plain hat under it to protect their sensitive skin. I've been noticing this winter that women also like hats to wear without the summer straw hat. Saw a woman this week wearing a close-fitting hat that covered her whole head, but it had a wide 'turned-back' brim so it didn't look so much like a chemo/cure cap. Slouch hats are also good for this. Soft yarn is an absolute must and the whole head needs to be covered. And thanks, Cheryl, for the notice.
Comment by cherylbwaters on February 9, 2011 at 9:17pm

Actually, I think Erica is more into knitting, but has recently been doing some work with crochet. I can't crochet worth a hoot. Just enough to do some finishing work on my knitting. I'm sure Erica would appreciate your suggestions either here or in the KAL.

Erica, I forgot to attach the link for the KAL discussion. Click here.

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