Yarn today General Pages

Charity Squares

Knitting or crocheting squares for charity blankets is so useful in all sorts of different ways. Here are a few ways that I can think of straight away:

  • Using up leftover yarn
  • Something to do between projects
  • Getting together with other knitters/crocheters
  • Produces really warm item
  • Giving something which would have been wasted otherwise

I’ve just looked up a few charities which are looking for people to produce squares

Sunshine International Blankets of Love  provides blankets for the elderly throughout the UK

Knit a Square provides blankets for AIDS orphans in South Africa

Christian Hope sends containers of goods to Africa and Eastern Europe

I’d love to have your input on this. Do you know of any other charities in the UK looking for knitted, crocheted or woven squares. If you have a link please make sure that the website is still in existence.

Here is an article giving tips if you wish to produce squares. It has been written for a US audience but the tips are still relevant in the UK.

6 Tips for Knitting or Crocheting Squares for Charity Blankets

By Judy Obee

At some point in your knitting or crocheting life, you may feel inspired to create some blocks for charities such as Warm Up America or Blankets For Canada, which donate blankets or afghans to the needy. You probably have some extra time – and a huge stash of leftover yarn, without enough of any one color or type to make a desired project for yourself.

You might be wondering what these charities expect of you, and how much freedom you have in creating these squares.

Fortunately, the charities mentioned above have websites that provide patterns and other information. There are links to these websites at the end of this article.

This article provides some tips and guidelines.

Tip 1: Make the block the specified size. The size depends on the charitable organization: Warm Up America wants 7×9″ blocks, while Blankets For Canada wants 8×8″ blocks. Yes, this means that you might have to redo the first one a few times, working on more or fewer stitches, until you get the width correct (length, of course, is easier to manage). But imagine the frustration of the person who gets to sew together blocks of varying sizes! (Note: I am an organizer for the joining parties – my first step is to sort all of the blocks into piles of a similar size. Then, hopefully, I have enough of each size with which to make a complete blanket.)

Tip 2: A simple stitch pattern is usually better than a fancy stitch pattern. The biggest problem with fancy stitch patterns is number of stitches required to make the desired width. For example, if it takes 35 stitches in one stitch, it may take 30 or 40 stitches to make the block in another stitch. This makes it difficult for a novice joiner to seam such blocks end to end.

Tip 2a: For knitters: Garter stitch, with knitted edge stitches (not slipped) is nicest for joining and finishing. Stocking stitch has too much curl, so it really has to be placed in the middle of the blanket. The reason for having knitted edge stitches is because the bumps on the edge provide a convenient place to insert the needle for seaming. And Garter stitch creates a thicker – and warmer – fabric than Stocking Stitch.

Tip 2b: For crocheters: Avoid single crochet – the curl makes it difficult to lie flat. Double crochet blocks work well. Lacy stitches don’t provide the desired warmth in these blankets. Granny squares (or equivalent variations) work well, too, if the charity wants square blocks (like Blankets for Canada). In fact, working from the center out is really convenient for the crocheter, because you stop as soon as you have reached the required size – no gauge checking required! If you are working rows instead of rounds, a nice feature is to finish the block with a round of single crochet, to finish the sides nicely – just make sure that the stitches match the size of the block, with no pulling or ruffling.

Tip 3: Use easy-to-launder yarn. The recipients of these blankets may not be able to recognize or appreciate yarns that require special laundry attention.

Tip 4: Use medium-weight yarn. This is the most common yarn. If you create blocks made of bulky or fine yarn, the organizer will probably have to wait until others provide similar blocks before making the blanket. Of course, if that is what is in your stash, the go ahead – but it would be nice if you then provided a lot of blocks in that weight of yarn.

Tip 5: Leave long yarn tails at the beginning and end – a few inches longer than the longest side of the block. The person joining blocks may not have yarn in a matching color. And the sponsoring store may not either, because colors go in and out of style.

Tip 6: If you have some leftover yarn, say a few yards or so, wind it loosely into a small ball, and include it with your donation. If the organizer needs to make someone else’s blocks just a bit bigger, your leftovers can help to make the difference – and match your blocks at the same time.

Conclusion

If you follow the tips and guidelines above, your donations to a charity blanket will be appreciated immensely – much more than the donations from those who ignore the tips!

And the charities thank you for your contributions to help those less fortunate.

For more information on charity blankets, check out these websites:

Warm Up America

Blankets For Canada

If you have difficulty reading the patterns at the charity websites, there are two websites that will help you learn how to read knitting or crochet patterns.

The first website offers a free e-course on how to Read Knitting Patterns.

The second website offers information on how to Read Crochet Patterns.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Judy_Obee

Comments are closed.