Knitting for Charity: Organizations that Help the Less Fortunate

Knitting for CharityKnitting for charity is a great way that many knitters have found to give back with their time. Some knitters love to create items for themselves or their families, which is rewarding in its own way. However, there are some knitters with the urge to go above and beyond with their stitching and have begun knitting for charity. These knitters have found organizations that support causes close to their hearts and have chosen to help out in a substantial way. No matter what your skill level is, knitting for charity can be a great way to help others in need with your craft. The first step is deciding whom you want to help.

Why Choose Knitting for Charity

While it is fun and rewarding to use your knitting as a way to create clothing and accessories for yourself, your friends, and your family, it is even more rewarding to know that your stitches have helped an individual in need. That need can be emotional, physical, or financial, but either way, by knitting for charity, you have helped someone that needed it greatly.

Depending on the organization you choose, you could donate items to a great number of people in need, including:

• Patients undergoing chemo treatments and suffering hair loss.
• Siblings of a new baby that need to feel special again.
• Soldiers deployed to the Middle East.
• Patients recovering in hospitals from long illnesses.
• Babies born too soon.
• Children and families in third-world countries.
• Veterans disabled in combat.
• Senior citizens in homes or hospitals.
• Families suffering the loss of a loved one.

There are many reasons to donate your knit goods to charity. You could be warming the head or the heart of a great number of people, whether they just suffered a great loss or are battling an illness or injury. There are even charities that donate goods to the homeless people in each city so that they have hats, mittens, and scarves during the winter. There are organizations for just about every cause you might want to support, so the next step is choosing where to send your goods.

Choose Knitting for Charity

Organizations for Different Charities

No matter who you want to help, you can find an organization to send your knit goods to. Some great organizations that are always looking for hand made donations include:
• Afghans for Afghans: sends hand-knit and hand-crocheted blankets and garments to the people of Afghanistan.
• Chemo Caps: sends caps made from knitters all over to patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments and suffering hair loss.
• Cubs for Kids: creating gifts for less fortunate children to cherish forever.
• Forever Warm: provides parents of stillborn babies a blanket for photos and burials, or to keep as a keepsake to remember their child.
• Hats for Homeless: collects hats, scarves, and gloves throughout the year to donate to the homeless in New York.
• Heartmade Blessings: sends hand-crafted items to people suffering loss or tragedy to remind them that people care.
• Knit with Love: provides scarves, caps, and other knitting clothing for people in need.
• Knit4charities: donates knit and crochet goods to homeless people, shelters, hospitals, animal shelters, old folks homes, cancer patients, and anyone else who needs it.
• Knots-of-Love: donating hand-knit and hand-crocheted hats to those battling cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.
• Project Linus: distributes handmade blankets to children in need everywhere.
• Socks for Soldiers: sends gifts of love to deployed soldiers.
• Warm Up America: creates blankets for those in need.

There are many more organizations to choose from if you do not find the organization that suits you in this list. Many communities have their own organizations that send hand made items to those in need. You can also choose to send your items directly to those in need by donating to hospitals, homes, or soldiers that you know personally.

By knitting for charities, you can share a piece of warmth with those in need. Whether you want to knit for the homeless, the ill, the suffering, or the lonely, there are countless ways to knit for charities around the world. By donating to those in need, you can use your knitting for a better cause, while still saving time to knit for yourself and your friends in the process. Knitting for charity doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take a lot of caring.

Understand the Art of Graffiti Knitting

Graffiti KnittingSince it’s invention eight years ago, graffiti knitting has had many different names. Whether you call it yarn bombing, yarn storming, guerilla knitting, or graffiti knitting, the idea is the same. All of these names describe the art of using something handmade from yarn to create street art, similar to graffiti on walls. However, the difference is, yarn storming is a softer, more cheerful type of graffiti intended to make passers-by smile and remember a simpler time. These graffiti artists, known as yarn bombers, want to bring a personal, friendly touch to industrial and urban surroundings. What began as a few granny squares turned into cozies for street signs has now branched out into something amazing and diverse that has spread worldwide.

Types of Yarn Bombing

Yarn bombing can be done in several different ways. It can be knit, crocheted, or even created on a loom. It can be as simple as knitting a cozy for a telephone pole or as elaborate as crocheting a huge spider web full of victims to attach inside a tunnel. That is the beauty of graffiti knitting, that it is completely individualized, and there is really no way to do it wrong.

Yarn cozies are the most popular and original form of yarn bomb. The idea is attributed to Magda Sayeg because of the doorknob cozy she created to put on the door of her local boutique on a slow day. Passers-by were so excited and interested that it spurred her to make yarn cozies for other things outdoors, starting with a stop sign near her shop and expanding from there. Today, she is so popular as a yarn bombing artist that she has even been commissioned for such projects as creating cozies for the exposed duct-work in’s Brooklyn offices, as well as car “sweaters” that have appeared in many commercials in the last few years.

Another popular form of graffiti knitting is the art of creating stitched stories. These artists use amigurumi, which are stuffed animals and dolls made from knit or crochet, to create stories or landscapes. Some examples of this are the popular giant squid that has been seen on many statues, a spider web full of bugs and fairies and other such creatures, a group of “wild” animals crossing a bridge, a Cheshire cat in a tree, and other similar ideas. These landscape type yarn bombs are usually organized through groups of knitters who all contribute to the larger picture. You can find many examples of this if you look at their blogs, where they document each excursion with photos and videos.


Purpose of Graffiti Knitting

There are many speculations about the purpose of graffiti knitting. Some people feel that this must be some sort of feminist protest. Others believe that there is some sort of hidden message behind these fuzzy squares of yarn. In reality, though, there are no burning bras or picket lines full of protesters carrying posters. As far as anyone can tell, these yarn bombers haven’t made any sort of united message public. Instead, if you search the blogs of various yarn bombing groups, you’ll find the same message over and over. It’s fun! There is an exciting rush to be had by doing something that is technically illegal, even if they almost never get in serious trouble. Most of these artists create their yarn bombs as a way to have fun and loose themselves in a fun hobby. Some do this because they love knitting but feel that they simply can’t knit another sweater. Instead, they turn to something fun and exciting that can be done in a night and make an impact on society at the same time.

While there may be a little bit of a political message behind this yarn-bombing fad, the majority of it is purely an artistic escape for those doing it and nothing more. Whatever the real reason behind this growing art form, it has certainly spurred a larger change in the world. Crafts that were once considered completely outdated are coming back with a vengeance since the beginning of yarn bombing. The younger crowd is now getting into things like canning, gardening, raising chickens, sewing, quilting, crocheting, and knitting, which all used to be considered “grandma crafts.” All of these crafts are now cool and growing in popularity since knitting resurfaced in the form of graffiti knitting.