I meant to talk about it last month, but since a friend of mine already blogged about it, I think I felt a bit like it didn’t matter. We ended up getting a lot of local news coverage (CBS, Seattle Spectator, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, etc.). It was heartwarming (and body warming) fun!
In retrospect, I think there are thoughts I can share. For example, beyond charity, reasons why you may wish to consider it.
Fellowship: I loved participating with others in my group. We are not a guild, just a bunch of gals that meet up at a brewery. A common cause to be a force for good made us even more cohesive.
Stashbusting: As I’ve said elsewhere in this blog, I have so. much. yarn. Why not use it for a good cause?
Swatching: You have to be careful here since a hat in the round may not match a flat swatch (the curse of purling). But if you are planning an in-the-round project, as I was, it’s a great test. Or knit a scarf in the new pattern/technique you are trying to perfect.
Joy: It made me happy to think someone in need would be wearing items I made. I love the notion that I may have made a difference. It’s true that woolen socks, hats and scarves only addresses a tiny piece of the challenges facing the unhoused. But there is joy in making whatever contribution you can to those in need.
Important things to consider:
If you do do this, it is important that the items be good quality. Before this opportunity came up, I’d been stockpiling hats to sell at my LYS. And eventually, I’ll do that. The upshot is they were “sellable” quality items. This means that donating them, alongside the men and women in my knitting group, is a meaningful gesture.
It’s also important that the items be washable. For this reason, I used superwash wool or acrylic for all of the donated items.
How to get started:
Our donation was organized by a member in order to keep it local, but I’ve also found great joy in knitting and mailing off red premie hats. And after we got coverage, other groups reached out to us to make suggestions and recommendations. Good acts beget more good acts—a virtuous circle.
Ravelry also has several charity knitting groups. Unfortunately, many of these have gone a bit fallow. So, start a new one and let me know, so I can join!
My knitting group (Yes, we really are called Capitol Hill Knitters of Doom) is always looking for more ideas, so if you have any, please share them in the responses and I’ll pass them along.