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)!!

Holiday Make-Along: Preemie And Baby Hats

Most of us can agree that babies are all precious and amazing, and come into the world with no baggage but that which we place on them.

So let's love on some babies this holiday season! There's a lot of charities that accept baby hats - you can donate to most local hospitals, so long as your yarn is acrylic. You can also donate to Salaam Cultural Museum, which will take the hats to the hundreds of babies being born in refugee camps every month.

Before I start bombarding you with charity options over the next few weeks, let's talk patterns, though!

Pictured above are some free knit favorites ... plus one sewing pattern!

TOP ROW:
Quick Knit Chevron Baby Hat, by Kayla Pins
Hello Preemie! Hat, by Heather Walpole
Rainbow Baby Hat, from Little Red Window

BOTTOM ROW:
DIY Baby Hat Sewing Pattern, from Coral & Co.
Simple Newborn Beanie, by Casey Braden
Tegan Baby Hat, from Love Knitting

What other patterns do you love using when you knit for babies? Share hat patterns for sure, but I'd love to hear about other patterns you love to use!

Sliver Knit-Along: Working The Dropped Stitches

One of my favorite parts of the Sliver hat is the dropped stitch section - it seems super difficult, but it's actually super easy to do! If you've never worked dropped stitches before, don't be afraid of them ... Jen, the pattern writer, made a quick tutorial for us to help get through those rows!

01. Place marker for dropped stitch (which will occur right after the marker.)

02 + 03. Bring yarn from the back to the front of your work, between the needles. (Yarn forward.)

04 + 05 + 06. Holding the yarn in the front, knit one stitch as you regularly would.

07. The yarn forward will create an extra stitch that will sit next to your marker.

08. Knit around in stockinette stitch for 10 (10, 12, 12, 14) rounds, knitting the yarn forward stitch as normal and slipping the marker each time. When you’ve finished these rounds, it’s time to drop the yarn forward stitch after your marker.

09. Remove that stitch from your needles.

10 + 11 + 12. Pull the stitch, dropping all the other stitches below. This will create the ‘run’ in the fabric. The dropped stitches will stop on the row where you made the yarn forward. Continue knitting the hat from there!

Thanks for the tutorial Jen .... I can't wait to work my dropped stitches!

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

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!

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