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Knit Like a Boss: Knitting for Good

Last week, we talked about being completely selfish and not knitting for anyone. This week, let’s take a different approach and talk about charity.

In a way, giving my knit goods to charity is a little bit selfish. I get a lot of satisfaction out of the process of knitting, so I’ll make things just to try out a certain pattern, and sometimes I have little interest in the finished product. I’m also a relatively fast and prolific knitter.

This all adds up to tons of handmade items I don’t really wear. If I kept everything I made, I could probably go an entire winter without wearing the same hat more than once. It’s an interesting concept, but it isn’t really fair. There are people out there who need warm things, and I have an abundance of them, so who am I to keep them all? It’s kind of a win-win. People in need get items that can help them, and I feel both good about myself and clear out space in my room.

Since I make a lot of hats, I’ve mostly looked into chemo cap charities. I sent a bunch to Head Huggers a few months ago, and they are being distributed to hospitals and cancer centers. There are groups that donate all different items, though. You can make mittens, hats, blankets, socks, or even toys and have them distributed to sick children, the homeless, and members of the military.

There’s a long list of charities (caveat: I haven’t worked with them all so I am not personally vouching for any of them) over at the Charity Knitting group on Ravelry.

Another cause that I donated to, and that I’m sad to say doesn’t need them anymore, was Occupy Wall Street. Back when the occupiers were still camped out in lower Manhattan, I took a bunch of hats over to them for when the weather turned cold, plus joined up with a Facebook page called Knitters for the 99%. I am going to tell myself that the hats all found homes before the NYPD threw all of their stuff in a dumpster.

So, Persephoneers, do you make things for charity? If you have any groups you like working with, leave a comment.

By [E] Liza

PhD student. Knitter. Brooklynite. Long-distance dog mom. Reluctant cat lady. Majestic unicorn whose hair changes color with the wind.

4 replies on “Knit Like a Boss: Knitting for Good”

I’m an art teacher and in the past when my schedule has allowed it I had a knitting club open to 4th and 5th graders, they can come in during their recess and learn to knit once or twice a week. Anyway my one rule is that if they join I will supply all the stuff for knitting but they have to donate on thing they make (usually scarf) to the homeless shelter. This works really well because it reinforces our schools caring for the community message and it is usually right around Xmas time when the kids are really getting the hang of knitting and have successfully made more than one thing.

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