Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Good Works

In our last blog post we talked yarn diets. One of the tips we gave was to knit or crochet for charity projects. But where do you start trying to find a worthy, useful or even essential project to take part in? Every time we open a knitting magazine there seems to be a new charity to make things for. Sometimes it helps them raise funds, at other times the items will be used by people that benefit from the charity directly. This could include premature babies, blankets for pets, or even coats for penguins! We wanted to introduce you to some of our favourite annual or on-going charity projects that we love to be able to take part in.

innocent’s Big Knit
innocent drinks have been doing their Big Knit for more than 10 years. Knitters and crocheters all around the UK create tiny little hats, which decorate innocent smoothies in stores nationwide. This year over 860,000 hats have been produced and will begin to appear in February. Each hat represents a 10p donation made by innocent and their retail partners to Age UK. The money goes to directly benefit older people who can't afford to heat their homes.

Medecins Sans Frontières is a charity that you will often hear of on the news in disaster zones or areas of conflict, treating and helping anyone that needs medical attention. P/hop was set up to help raise much-needed funds for this incredible organisation and have reached their latest target of £47,500. The idea is that you download one of their free patterns, knitted or crocheted, enjoy it and then make a donation to reflect how much you have enjoyed it - pennies per hour of pleasure or p/hop!

This is a charity that raises funds for premature and sick babies.  These poor little tots are often too small for the smallest clothes and so volunteers are asked to knit, crochet or sew from special patterns for these precious babes.  Bliss has a number of patterns available here

No longer just for dogs, Battersea looks after a number of cats looking for homes as well, as you may have seen on Paul O’Grady’s For The Love of Dogs on the TV. Blankets for animals going to new homes are always very welcome. By giving the blankets to the animal a few days before they leave, it develops a scent that they are familiar with, making rehoming a lot less stressful for them. If you feel that you are too far away from Battersea in London, maybe you could contact your local RSPCA or Blue Cross to find out if they were looking for blankets.
You can find free blanket patterns here

Burundi Bears

Who doesn't love cute, hand-knitted bears? Burundi Bears are being used to raise funds for FacilitAid around the world! FacilitAid are passionate about education in Africa and are currently focusing on building and equipping schools in the central African country of Burundi. The charity encourages you to make an event out of knitting and exchanging bears for donations of £1 or more. You can find the pattern and more information on Ravelry. 

You may not be familiar with the  Sailors' Society but they provide valuable help and support to seafarers that find themselves in difficulty in ports around the UK. It may be a small token but a warm hat is not only welcome for practical reasons but also as a sign of friendship extended to sailors at a time of need. For a seafarer who has been away from home for months on end, a hat is a simple but priceless and much needed gift.  It tells them that they have not been forgotten and that someone cares about them.  
This year Woolly Hat Week takes place from 8th to 15th February 2015 so there is still time for you and your friends to get involved.

If you want to find out about more charity projects the UKHandknitting Association website is a great resource. 

Whoever you knit or crochet for we know your efforts will be very gratefully received.