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)!!

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

October Featured Charity - Knitting For Syrian Refugees

By now, most of us have been shocked, horrified, and felt paralyzed by the enormity of the Syrian refugee crisis. There are at least 4 million Syrians living outside of their home country as refugees, having fled to a wide variety of Middle Eastern and European countries. Every day we are given more information about the refugee crisis, and the numbers seem overwhelming.

More than 16 million Syrians are in need of assistance, both within and outside of Syria.

One in five Syrians is a refugee.

More than half of these refugees is under the age of 18.

Thousands of Syrians flee each day, many only leaving after seeing their neighbors, schools, or their own homes bombed.

EVERY HOUR, A BABY IS BORN TO A REFUGEE FLEEING THE CIVIL WAR IN SYRIA.

(Facts from UNHCR and Mercy Corps)

These statistics bring me to tears. If I'm honest, most often I feel helpless in the face of this much suffering. Whenever I feel helpless, I pick up my knitting needles, and make hat after hat until I can't see straight. There is comfort for me, found in the repetition of knit and purl stitches, slowly making items I can box up and send to people in the midst of great need.

Throughout history, knitters around the world have banded together in times of crisis, and their efforts have historically made a difference. This current crisis is no different, as knitters around the globe are taking to their needles to make everything they can for the civilians being displaced by war, creating the worst refugee crisis since World War 2.

So how can you help? Start knitting! For the month of October, we'll be focusing our knitting efforts here at MAKE | GIVE | REPEAT on knitting for Syrian refugees, sending our finished items to Hats And More for War-Torn Syria.  You can knit literally anything, and it will be used and loved almost certainly.

Items of need include hats, sweaters, blankets, socks, and baby items of all kinds. 100% wool items are preferred, because warmth is a priority, and acrylic can be a fire risk for folks living without electricity and in close proximity to open flames, as many refugees do. Remember to tag your items for fiber content and size, so the folks who sort all the donated items know where to send them!

If you are someone who sews, you can also make reusable menstrual pads, which are also in SERIOUS NEED.

For now, you can check out our October Featured Charity Pinterest board, where both Heather and I will be adding ideas throughout the month. We will also be sharing a featured charity and yarn tomorrow, so be on the lookout for that!

US Mailing Address:

Salaam Cultural Museum
℅ Rita
3806 Whitman Ave N
Seattle. WA 98103

UK Mailing Address:

Birmingham Storage Point
Hand in Hand for Syria
Fortwill Car Centre
426-430 Garris on Green
Bordesley Green
B9 4NS

Click For Babies Hat Pattern Ideas For Boys

One of my favorite parts of knitting and crocheting hats for babies is just how fast they go from yarn to finished hat! Tiny little hats, no matter how complicated a pattern you think you've chosen, will work their way off your needles in almost no time at all!

For the Click For Babies campaign, one of the concerns is making a purple hat that's "boy friendly". Many American parents assume purple is a "girl color", so making hats that have at least 50% purple on them, but still look manly enough for baby boys can feel challenging!

We've been saving baby hat patterns to Pinterest for the last few weeks as we find ones that would be perfect to use for little boys for the Click For Babies campaign - below are just a few of the ones we love and can't wait to try out!

This simple baby hat is made from cotton, but you can substitute in just about any yarn. For this campaign, make the main color purple, and then stripe in either pink or blue, and you've got a hat perfect for a boy or girl!

I love the Golden Pear hat! The perfect way to use up smaller scraps of yarn, you can use several different colors of purple for the Click Campaign, and add in a "masculine" color like grey, navy, or hunter green to ensure you've got some boy-friendly hats to donate!

This fun Striped Baby Hat feels like the perfect way to add in a bunch of fun colors to a hat, with little technical knitting skill needed! This hat is knit side to side, not in the round, and with no decreases the only stitches you need to know are Knit and Purl! Make the main body of this hat dark purple, and stripe in some grey, orange, and bright blue to give this hat a few boy touches!

There's a bunch more "boy-friendly" hat patterns on our Click For Babies Pinterest board, so definitely head there and take a peek if you're stuck for boy hats.