Send Cheer: A Cancer Support Knitting + Crochet Drive

Send Cheer

Hello, Heather here. Cancer is something that unfortunately touches all of us in one way or another. For the last four and a half years my mom has been fighting metastatic breast cancer and sadly this year she got news that it spread to her lung and liver.

My mom's body is tired but she is a fighter. Yesterday she began her third round of chemotherapy and the doctors expect that she'll lose her hair again. 

All this news right in the middle of the holiday season got me thinking that my mom is not alone in getting a diagnosis this time of year. There are many, many people dealing with cancer.

How can we as knitters and crocheters help people in this type of situation? A patient's health and treatment plan is between them and their doctors which can often make the rest of us feel helpless, but we're not. We can provide cheer and encouragement through our hand-craft. A hat or shawl may be just the thing to brighten a person's day!

That's why I'm asking you to join me in making a hat, shawl or lap blanket as token of support to a cancer patient this holiday season. We will be supporting the John and Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest in Allentown, PA. Donations sent to Make Give Repeat will be sent on to their facility and given to the patients there as they come in each day for treatments. If you have a cancer center near you or even a patient that you would like to support, please do so!

What to make:

As the owner of Ewe Ewe Yarns I am making all of the hat, shawl and blanket patterns 50% off through the end of December 2016. Use code: SENDCHEER on eweewe.com or Ravelry to download the pattern of your choice to use for this charity drive. You can also browse our free patterns!

Some Hat Patterns:

Clockwise From Top Left: Criss Cross Cable Hat (Ravelry | Ewe Ewe), Pinapple Expressions (Ravelry | Ewe Ewe), Ripple Effect (Ravelry | Ewe Ewe), Sand & Sea Hat (Ravelry | Ewe Ewe)

Some Shawl Patterns:

Clockwise From Top Left: Groove Cruise (Ravelry | Ewe Ewe), Mint Julep (Ravelry | Ewe Ewe), Radiant Wrap (Ravelry | Ewe Ewe), Saturday Stripes (Ravelry | Ewe Ewe)

What yarn to use:

Easy care yarns are always best when donating knitted garments. NobleKnits.com is generously offering 15% OFF these easy-care yarns through 12/31/16 plus they have free shipping in the US! Use code: SENDCHEER.

Sock + Sport weight yarns: Wisdom Allegro Wool Free Sock Yarn; Ewe Ewe Yarns Ewe So Sporty superwash.

Worsted weight yarns: Aalta Core wool/acrylic; Plymouth Baby Beenz acrylic, Coffee Beenz wool/acrylic, Jelli Beenz wool/acrylic; Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted merino superwash.

Bulky weight yarn: Ewe Ewe Baa Baa Bulky merino superwash.

Visit NobleKnits.com and use code: SENDCHEER.

How to donate:

Download and print this hang tag and attach one to each garment you plan to send. Be sure to fill out your name and email address (in case the recipient would like to send a thank you!) along with circling the garment care instructions and fiber content.

Download the Send Cheer hang tag PDF file >

Where to send: 

Make Give Repeat -- Robyn Devine, Omaha. Robyn just moved, and is in the process of setting up a new PO BOX - she will share the address for sending knitted and crochet items on Tuesday (or Wednesday)!!

March: Gallatin Shawls For Pine Ridge Reservation

March has started already, but seeing as I've just finished knitting the Gallatin Scarf and already want to cast on another one, it seems like the perfect knit-along for the month!

WHY THE GALLATIN SCARF?

The Gallatin Scarf, designed by Kris Basta, is perfect for charity makers for many reasons. First, it's free - which we all know is ideal when knitting items you're going to give away!

But more than that, this scarf is perfect for almost every type of charity knitter! Knit with worsted weight yarn on US size 10.5 needles (6.5mm), this is a quick knit that uses less than 200 yards of yarnfrom start to finish.

My favorite part of the Gallatin Scarf? You can make it with just about any fiber yarn you choose! I made my first one (pictured above) in acrylic, but you can make this scarf in wool, and even cotton!

WHY THE PINE RIDGE RESERVATION?

The Pine Ridge Reservation, located in South Dakota, is one of the poorest places in America. With a 90% unemployment rate, people die incredibly young, and live their short lives in crazy terrible conditions. It makes me sad and angry that people live like this anywhere, but that it happens so close to home is especially hard to fathom.

There's a group on Ravelry that constantly donates items for the people living on the reservation, and they request items of all types, sizes, and for a variety of needs. Items can be made from ANY FIBER YOU CHOOSE, so long as you tag your items when you send them!

THE KNIT-ALONG DETAILS

This month, we'll be focusing our efforts on the on-going women's shelter project for the reservation. In an area of extreme poverty and addiction, the women in the shelter have seenmore than I can imagine. By making a scarf in your choice of fibers, you are reminding these ladies that they are seen, they have value, they are loved.

Please knit your scarves with stash yarn, in any fiber you choose. Remember to tag them (we've got a MGR specific tag you can use if you want!) so folks know what they're made of, and then check with the Ravelry group for the shipping address!

And don't forget to follow along all month on Instagram (@makegiverepeat) as we make shawls to send! If you tag yours #makegiverepeat, they might even get featured on our feed!

The Year Of The Refugee

Robyn here.

For most of 2015, Heather and I have brought you charities and patterns, ways to combine them and help people close to you, and those across the world. It has been extremely amazing to watch this community grow as we've opened our hearts to those around us, and to the idea that we can use our needles and hooks for good.

Today is the first day of a new year, and with that newness comes a new focus for this space. As Heather and I have talked over the last few weeks and months, we've come again and again to the idea that, as much as it's great to have a huge database of charities and patterns at our disposal, what most knitters have been asking for is one simple direction.

Knit this, give it here.

In the face of so much need, all over the world, it can feel overwhelming to try to knit something and give it away. Where do you give the items once they've been knit? What is truly most needed? What pattern should I use on repeat, and with what yarn?

These are the questions we are asked most often, and so in 2016 we will begin to help you answer them. We will be focusing our knitting efforts on refugees, people with no homes. This may mean people in your neighborhood who are homeless, and this may also mean Syrian refugees.

Each month we'll be sharing about a specific need, and giving you a specific way to meet that need. In this way, we can focus as a community on meeting immediate needs in tangible ways, making the most difference with our knitting needles and crochet hooks. I'll be heading back here later tonight to share January's focus - it's a fun one, and for a hat knitter like me, a bit out of my comfort zone in all the best of ways!

Will you join us? We'd love for you to share your knitting projects across social media with the tag #makegiverepeat. This way we can band together as a community and put visuals to the work we are doing. We knitters are mighty, and we are kind, but so often we go unnoticed because we do not shout from the rooftops. It's time to start shouting, friends! We're here, and we're going to change the world, one knit and purl at a time!!

 

December Featured Charity: Nest Maine

Is winter finally in full force where you live? Here in Omaha we've been getting snow on and off for the last few days, and it's been a good reminder that there are folks all over the US who will struggle to stay warm this winter.

With that in mind, our December charity focus is Nest: Maine. Nest is a charitable group started by Jen Lee back in 2008 as a way to help keep folks in the Ft. Kent area warm. Each year she's collected items from her PO Box and distributed them to shelters and clinics in the area, helping her neighbors survive the brutal Maine winters!

Nest collects all sorts of handmade items, but most needed are hats and mittens in sizes from babies through adults. They also need stroller blankets this year!

Nest prefers that items be made from 100% wool for maximum warmth, although stroller blankets can be made from acrylic and blends.

Along with their blog, Nest has a rather amazing Ravelry group, chatting regularly and challenging each other, as well as sharing photos of finished items and pattern recommendations.

Finished items can be mailed to:

Jean Lee
NestMaine
P.O. Box 6011
Falmouth, Maine, 04105

November Featured Charity: Knots Of Love

Welcome November! This month, we are excited to focus our charity crafting efforts on the amazing organization Knots Of Love. This amazing California-based organization collects chemo caps, and has donated 271,000+ hats as of 10/30/15!!

This month, we'd love to help them collect as many hats as possible, as the weather is turning colder and people with no (or little) hair will be feeling the chill even more so.

There are a few specific guidelines to follow when making a hat for Knots Of Love -

• Must be new.
• Thinner, seamless, non-lumpy caps are good for sleeping and increased comfort.
• No see-through caps. (Patients don’t like to see their bald heads through the caps.)
• Yarn must be fragrance-free, smoke-free and pet hair-free.
• Must be washable.
• Must be made with yarns from our guidelines/approved yarn list.

You can find their full approved yarn list here, but for ease, here are a few tried and true yarns they approve of: Bernat Satin, Bernat Satin Sport, Caron Simply Soft, Deborah Norville Everyday Worsted, Loops & Threads Charisma Baby, Red Heart Sweet Baby or Red Heart Soft (DO NOT USE Red Heart Super Saver), Berroco Weekend.

When you've got your hats ready to send, please visit their HOW TO DONATE page to get the PDF donation form the request you include in every package.

Mail your caps to:

Knots of Love
2973 Harbor Blvd. #822
Costa Mesa, CA92626

Hats For Operation Night Watch

Operation Nightwatch is a men’s homeless shelter in Seattle. Due to the large amount of
homelessness, they must turn people away nightly because all area shelters are full. They
have an overnight shelter capacity of 70 men.

Requesting:

men’s hats in dark colors only, gloves, disposable razors, socks, toothbrushes, combs, small tissue packets, rain ponchos, chapsticks, and wrapped candy.

Mailing Address:

OPERATION NIGHTWATCH
C/O RICK REYNOLDS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
302 14TH AVE. SOUTH
SEATTLE, WA 98144

Emily's Hats For Hope Initiative

Emily Kubin has been making a difference in the world, one hat at a time.

In December 2011, Emily, who was just 17, realized she could help the homeless & working poor in her community of Morristown, NJ, by knitting winter hats for them. On December 27, 2011, Emily’s Hats For Hope Initiative (EHFHI) was born.

Please join Emily as she continues to make a difference in the world.

Guidelines For Making Items To Donate

Please review the following guidelines before making and sending your donations to Emily's Hats for Hope Initiative or any of our global spinoffs.

Our general guidelines are as follows: We would prefer that you use washable yarn when making items to donate to us. We would also like to ask that you please finish off the ends of all the hats, afghans, scarves, etc by tying or weaving in all of the ends so that they cannot be seen. 

If you are using a loom to make hats please be sure to ALWAYS double strand the yarn so that it is not too thin. If you are using chunky yarn then you probably do not need to double strand. Please also add a brim to the loomed hat to keep the recipient's forehead warm.

When making baby hats they must fit an average size newborn or larger. Often we receive hats that are just too small. It is very important that you do NOT attach anything to hats for babies or children that could become a choking hazard such as buttons, bows, beads, snaps, pompoms or anything that is not permanently secured. We want to make sure that the hats we send out are safe for small children and babies. Therefore, we will remove all pompoms, buttons, bows, beads, etc for any hat that is for a child/baby 3 years and younger. 
 

All hats must have secure knots tied where the hat changes color and where the hat ends. If you live in a home with a smoker or with pets we do suggest that you please wash the items prior to mailing them.

Child, teen and adult size hats need to be warm. Many of our recipients are homeless and live in cold regions of the country where there is snow and freezing rain. If you can easily stick a pencil or your pinky between the stitches, the hat isn't going to keep someone warm in the cold winter months. 

Scarves must be at least 4" wide and 48" long. Please do not use eyelash or feathery yarn. Warmth should always win out over fashion.

Please make sure mittens and slippers are warm and please tie the pairs together so they do not get separated during transport.

Please do not use yarn that contains any angora or mohair. People have very serious allergies to this type of yarn.

You can send winter hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, yarn (NO ANGORA OR MOHAIR PLEASE), blankets, and afghans.

Mailing Address:

Emily’s Hats For Hope Initiative
P.O. Box 2374
Morristown, NJ 07962-2374