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)!!

Bigger Than Just Us

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Robyn here!

This week has felt hard. No matter what your politics, it's easy to see how people around us are suffering, scared, and feel shaken lately. For many of us (Heather and I included), there is a feeling of dread at what is to come in the next few months and years. And with this dread, a feeling of urgency.

Lucky for us (and you!), we are knitters. We may not be the ones making policy, but we are the ones with two sticks and some string, and we can make a tangible difference!

Life has been hard these last fewmonths (the last year, really) for me, personally. Our little family has been going through a lot, and so I've hunkered down, pulled people close, and stepped back from so much ... this space included.

But now. Now I look at my son. At my daughter, with early intervention needs. At our potential loss of healthcare benefits (pre-existing conditions make that sort of thing scary). At all that the coming winter brings. And even though what I see for us is scary, I know that what others are facing is so much worse.

The weather in Nebraska has turned. It is cold, and there are people sleeping on the streets. People around the world are fleeing their homes, finding temporary shelter (maybe ...) in refugee camps. Afraid for their lives, their safety, their children. Thousands live on reservations in America, with substandard conditions. Babies are being born in hospitals around the globe into families with next to nothing. Parents are snuggling preemies in hospitals, scared out of their wits, unsure of what to do now.

The list goes on. A friend's son is going through chemo. A student's parents both just lost their jobs. There is a huge influx of homeless vets coming into our local VA outreach center.

It is overwhelming. It is breathtaking. And yet.

And yet.

We have some sticks, and we have some string. We can perform small miracles with these simple items, friends. We can weave love and hope and warmth together, and remind people that the world still has some good in it. We can be the light-bearers, the peace-bringers, the amplifiers of joy and strength in times of struggle and despair.

We Make. We Give. And We Repeat.

April: The Preemie Project

Hello! I'm Kayla Pins of Pins's Needles and this month I'm here to guest post about one of my favorite charities, The Preemie Project.

WHY THE PREEMIE PROJECT?

The Preemie Project seeks to provide comfort and support to critically ill infants and their families in Newborn Intensive Care Units in Iowa. They are well known for their adorable hats they donate to NICUs. I love contributing to their annual events from the CyHawk challenge (outfitting Iowa babies for our big college rivalry football game) to Boo in the NICU (sweet little Halloween-themed hats).

Another important but harder to talk about program of TPP is to bring solace to families who are grieving a loss. Through their bereavement program they provide gowns, sleepers, blankets, hats, booties, miscarriage blankets, and memento bracelets to Iowa hospitals.

WHY BEREAVEMENT LAYETTES?

I had the good fortune to meet Linda, leader of The Preemie Project, last fall at a knit in for Click for Babies. While we clicked away on our purple hats I shared with Linda about my charity marathon project and asked how I could best support her organization. My heart ached as she told me about their bereavement program.

I kept busy through the winter with various woolly cold-weather projects, but April is the perfect month to turn my attention to ongoing bereavement needs of TPP.  Linda says she can never have enough sleepers and loves this pattern by Marcia Williams. The pattern is very simple and includes the wide variety of sizes needed as well as hats and booties. The fine gauge and soft yarn used makes it the perfect project as the weather warms up.

THE KNIT-ALONG DETAILS

For this month's knit along we'll be focusing on the Bereavement Program of The Preemie Project. You may choose to make sets of sleepers, hats, and booties, or just focus on one item. You'll be surprised how many tiny booties can come from your scrap yarn!

Sleepers are needed in all sizes and can be in very pale colors including pink, blue, and green. Yellow can be tricky, so be sure to make it very pale. It is important to knit these in solid colors with no stripes or loud colors, as they will be given to families on a very somber occasion. You may make hats and booties to match the sleepers, but white is best when making hats and booties alone because it matches so well.

The yarn must be a fine sport or DK gauge and very soft acrylic because of the baby's very delicate skin. The pattern suggests Bernat Softee Baby. I like to use I Love This Yarn Sport. The Preemie Project has an excellent yarn guide for more suggestions.

Finished donations can be sent to:
The Preemie Project
2607 Flagstone Court
Coralville, IA 52241

There will be knit-along progress all month on Instagram (@makegiverepeat)! Tag your finished projects #makegiverepeat and you may be featured on the feed!

You can also follow The Preemie Project on Ravelry!


This is a guest post, brought to you by a valued member of our MGR community. If you have an idea for one of our monthly craft-alongs, please e-mail us and let us know! We wouldn't be able to keep this whole project up without you, and we want to be sure we're crafting for the charities you're passionate about!

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

Steven Be's Charity Knitting Drive!

Do you live in the Minneapolis area?! Do you love Steven Be?! If so, this event is for YOU!

Wednesday November 11, from 11am until 7pm, Steven Be is kicking off their charitable knitting season with an all-day drive to benefit Minneapolis' Hats For The Homeless - an organization that provides hats for Minneapolis folks in need.

To add to the fun, the shop will be providing all the coffee and tea you need to keep you crafting, as well as free yarn and needles thanks to sponsors Universal Yarn and Clover Needles! There will be three charity hat patterns available to help get you started, and you can stay and knit as long as you like!

For those of us, like me, who are super jealous we don't live closer, the event details say folks can drop off hats, so I'm taking that as a subtle hint that they'll take hats in the mail as well! Here's the address, if you feel like sending a bit of charity hat love to them!
 

Steven Be
3448 Chicago Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55407

You can find the event details on the Facebook Event Page, so if you're local and plan to attend be sure to let them know there!