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!!

 

The Sliver Knit-Along On Instagram

Have you been knitting Sliver hats on repeat? Heather, Jen and I have ... man, is that pattern addictive! Above are some of the hats Jen whipped up earlier in the month, and below are some of the images from Instagram!

Remember, use the hashtag #makegiverepeat to tag any items you make for charity drives from this space, and use the tag #mgrweekendkal for the Sliver knit-along all month long! I've got a few more Christmas presents to get off the needles (I know, I've got less than 48 hours. I don't want to talk about it.) and then I'll be back to making Sliver in a variety of sizes for the rest of the month!

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!

Sliver Knit-Along: Choosing Your Yarn

All this week, we'll be knitting Sliver together - are you as excited as I am!?!? You'll want to have your needles ready to go, and don't forget about the coupon code Jen offered up to us, so you can grab the pattern for free!

Sliver calls for Wool And The Gang's Crazy Sexy Wool, which is a super soft and squishy super bulky wool that I want to rub on my face whenever I come near it. If you've got some in your stash, or your local yarn shop sells WATG, I say use this yarn. I always love using the yarn the pattern calls for as much as I can, because every yarn knits up a bit differently, and the pattern was written with this specific yarn in mind.

THAT SAID.

We all have different budgets, and different stashes. We all live in different types of cities and towns, with different access to yarn options. So if you aren't going to use Wool And The Gang for your Sliver hats (which is TOTALLY FINE), here's a few options for you to consider!

Always a fun choice for super bulky patterns, Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick N Quick is a staple in many knitter's stashes. You can find this yarn at almost any big box craft store (Michael's, Jo Ann, Hobby Lobby, etc), it is washable, and it wears incredibly well.

For those who don't want to use wool - allergies, you want the hat to be fully washer/dryer safe, etc - Red Heart Grande is another great suggestion. Also available in big box craft stores, you can be sure you can donate your hats to hospitals and homeless shelters when you use 100% acrylic like this!

Something to remember when choosing your super bulky yarn is that all super bulky yarns behave a bit differently. For whatever reason, there's a HUGE variety when it comes to this yarn weight - I've found yarns that call for size 11 or 13 needles that call themselves super bulky, sitting right next to super bulky yarns that call for size 17 needles!

You'll want to keep in mind you want a yarn that calls for size 13 or 15 needles, so your hat won't end up super tightly knit and stiff. You want your Sliver to have a little bit of drape to it, and the yarns listed above all have made some great looking Slivers!

So grab your yarn, and cast on! We'll be chatting one of the more fun features of this hat pattern on Wednesday - the dropped stitches!!!