Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Knitting & Crocheting in the News: Charity (and a CONTEST!)

In the last couple of days I've come across a couple of interesting -- and inspiring -- fibre-related stories on the interwebs...

Hip Hens

Volunteers across the U.K. have knitted up more than 1,500 jumpers for the Little Hen Rescue Centre in Norwich, England. That's right, sweaters for chickens. Now, Piggy's not generally in favour of non-human animals in knitwear -- mini-brained people shelling out big bucks on designer outfits for their mini dogs to be wheeled around in baby strollers really turn me off -- but I'm all for these chic chicks.

The charity buys battery hens who've outlived their peak fertility -- saving them from the slaughterhouse -- and finds them new homes. First, though, they need to get healthy, and grow back a full set of feathers. The sweaters -- which are more like bibs, and allow for the flapping of wings -- help keep the hens warm, which in turn helps promote feather-regrowth.

Check out a video about the charity and the sweaters here, and the pattern for a "Basic Chux Tux" here.

"Milk Bag Lady": Crochet for a Cause

A 69-year-old woman in Dunnville, Ontario is using strips of plastic milk bags to make sleeping mats and therapy teddy bears for people in developing countries.

Dianne Scott, who calls herself the "Milk Bag Lady", started the project in 2006, and now co-ordinates more than 70 teams of crocheters who transform the bags -- the outer bags that hold three pouches of milk inside -- into water- and pest-resistant mats and bears. She runs the still-nameless effort from her home, and works with other non-profits to distribute them to countries around the world.

Read more about it here.

Naughty Piggy

I'll admit right now that I've never done any charity knitting. And I'm starting to feel a wee bit guilty about it. I think it's about time I look for an organization to do a little knitting for. And it probably would be a little knitting -- let's be honest, my output is pretty small to begin with. But every little bit helps, right?

I'm also going to make a rather embarrassing confession: a few months ago, in a comment on the Harlot's blog, I committed to donate to Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders, as part of her amazing Knitters Without Borders campaign. I haven't done it. I could give you a litany of excuses, but really...they're all pretty much crap. Yes, I've not had the best few months, money-wise, but I could have spared a few bucks.

So I'm writing a cheque today. It won't be a huge one, by any means. But again, every little bit helps. I'll have a photo of it up here tomorrow. :-)

CONTEST!

How about you? Have you done any charity knitting or crocheting? How much time do you spend on it? How did you choose which organization to help out? Or do you contribute independent of an organized charity? Or are you like me, and haven't yet used your needles and hooks on a charitable project?

Leave me a comment below this post by the end of next week -- that's Friday, March 27th -- and I'll use one of those random number thingamajigs to select a winner, who will receive something nice from my stash AND a $25 donation to the (registered) charity of the winner's choice -- in her/his name, of course.

32 comments:

  1. Not that I ever win anything, but, I just wanted to say I started Knitting for a group home several years ago. It started small, but I keep at it. The boys at the group home are so appreciative of it, and I enjoy taking the items down, wrapped on Christmas Eve.
    I even encourage those in my knitting group to do so too.

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  2. I haven't made anything yet, but when I can, I plan on knitting some stuff for the Ships Project http://www.theshipsproject.com/ which is a group that knits for US troops.

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  3. I knit chemo caps out of leftover yarns, for cancer patients. We collect them at my LYS and they are taken to a local hospital for anyone losing their hair to choose from.

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  4. Not only am I a Noro whoro but I'm a contest whoro! I've knit for Dulaan, the Salvation Army, and the local homeless shelter at the end of my street. Weirdest thing ever? Saw one of my hats on a homeless crack addict on the train one day. Surreal!

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  5. Doh! Forgot to say, I LOVE YOU! The little battery chickens in the sweater vests made me feel all warm and squishy inside. :) Thank you.

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  6. i have every intention of knitting for charities... one day. pathetic, huh?

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  7. I, like you, have not been able todo much charity knitting. (Just between us, my family has me making so much for them, I may never be done!) My LYS, however just had a yarn swap, and all the leftovers were donated to local seniors who only charity knit. does that count?

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  8. Right about the time the charity knitting starts is when I realize how far behind I am with my Christmas knitting!

    But I'm just waiting for my wollmeise to arrive and then I'm going to do a charity raffle on my blog to support my husband's bicycling fundraiser for the ride to survive! (Kelowna to Vancouver in one day, they're crazy.)

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  9. I have knitted and crocheted for many charities. Hats, Scarf's, Squares for blankets and actual blankets too. Some of the Charities I donate to often are
    Close Knit Hugs, Victory Junction Gang.

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  10. I have been knitting for charity for 16 years. Lots of toys, clothes on commission, occasionally a prosthetic breast. The main charity I knit for is Rosie in Stitches the trading arm for Friends of the Rosie Hospital Chairty No 1036092. This is the local maternity hospital at Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge, England. We sell the items we make and buy medical equipment that the NHS does not. Last year we sadly bought feotal coffins but gladly bought elevating bedside cots and breast pumps. I am also their webmaster for selling knitted items on the internet. Check us out at http://www.rosieinstitches.org.uk

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  11. I'm ashamed to admit that, for how much knitting I do, I rarely donate my items to charity! If donating to homelessness charities, I find that it's cheaper and quicker and just as effective to buy cold-weather items, though I have donated a few hats and scarves to a local shelter.

    One charity I recently knit for, and plan to again, is Warm Woolies. They provide wool items to children in orphanages in Eastern Europe. It's very hard to buy items that warm, so knitting them is the only way to go!

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  12. Egads, no I haven't done any charity knitting. I have donated yarn - does that count? (I do go out to Mark's Work Wearhouse and buy sweaters and socks for the shelters to hand out at Christmas time.) I'm a PRE-PROCESS knitter, (thank you for defining that for me). Charities would have to wait a long time for my handknit donated article. If I spent less time on the Pre Processing stage I would actually finish some of those WIP.

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  13. hi - my favourite charity project is knitting hats to be given out in Christmas hampers by the sally ann in our nearby largest town of Owen Sound, ON. The lys collects the hats on behalf of the sally ann. Seems to be the perfect win-win-win-win (and on and on) arrangement: you pop into the yarn store to drop off your donation projects, get tempted by the yarny goodness and succumb to another skein or two, the yarn store gets your business, the sally ann adds to the christmas hampers, some kiddies get cute hats, you get that warm feeling of having helped out...and treated yourself to more yarn!

    gcor@bmts.com

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  14. I don't do any charity knitting because it takes me too long to finish things, but I too am teaching knitting to a local woman's shelter as a way to give back. I like being able to give back a skill that can turn into so much more! Love your thoughtful contest!!

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  15. For the past few years I've been making teeny-tiny preemie hats, booties, and blankets for my local NICU. Occasionally I've done charity work through various organizations, but I really prefer the wonderful grass-roots feel of hand-delivering my hand-made items! :)

    Thanks for offering such a fun contest & those awesome inspirational news articles!

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  16. Hi, Great idea - Charity to NSDAC St. Joseph Chapter. Yarn for me or to knit for a different charity. Knitted for SFS and ? (berets for soldiers) and Veterans Home in Cameron MO (afghans and wheelchair/walker bags. Need to think about others as well. I recently was exposed to some homeless. They carried all their belongings. they and their acquaintances could really use hats.

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  17. I do quite a bit of knitting for our local hospital NICU. My grandsons were born at 24 weeks a year ago and did not survive. I knit for the hospital and the local Pregnancy Helpline.

    Grandmaof6

    grandmabooter@yahoo.com

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  18. I do a decent amount of charity knitting. Mostly preemie hats. Thanks for this thoughtful gesture.

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  19. I knit bears for the Mother Bear Project. My LYS has a get together twice a month where we all work on bears. I've made 9 of them in the last year.

    I also knit a lot of Snuggles - beds for animals in shelters - for the Animal Humane Society. I work on these a lot when I am reading blogs and putzing on the computer. I've made 43 in the last 11 months.

    I wish I had time to do more.

    Katmcab (on Ravelry)

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  20. Hi... I knit baby item for Stitches from the Heart and think that this awareness is great... nothing like letting people know how they can help.

    Thanks

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  21. I knit prayer shawls for the ACS Hope Lodge in Grand Rapids, MI, Warm Up America Squares, and baby blankets and hats for the NICU at Spectrum Health (where my son was). If I won I would like it to go to the ACS. I love the Yarn Harlot too.

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  22. Another yarn harlot lover here! I have been doing a lot of charity knitting since November. Most of mine is for warm woolies and that is where I would like my donation to go if I were to win. I have also done some knitting for afghans for afghans and the snuggles project.

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  23. I've been charity knitting almost since I first learned how to knit. I knew that I had all the hats and scarves I needed so why not give them away?

    The charity I knit for is Warm Woolies. They send items to orphanages in Russia and Eastern Europe and to Native American Indian reservations. I saw the article about them in a Lion Brand newsletter and immediately knew this was the charity for me: I have always wanted to help children in orphanages (especially after growing up hearing about the horrible conditions in Romania) and my family has Native American ancestry so this would be a way to get in touch with my roots. I feel like this charity found me, not the other way around.

    I spend pretty much all my time knitting for charity. I might have a few projects for myself or some early Christmas presents for friends but this year I'm trying to knit a sweater a month for charity. So far, so good!

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  24. Yay you!

    I've done stuff for Afghans for Afghans, Warm Hands Innu Knits, and a local group called StreetKnit - partly because I've fobbed off as many socks on my family as I can, and I need somewhere for the surplus to go (I almost always have a pair on the needles), but I also like the idea of helping to keep other people warm.

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  25. I've been knitting hats for newborns for my local hospital this past year. I started by knitting slippers for sailors in 2001. I took a break, but started with hats last year when my first grandson was born. I've donated 5 dozen hats so far, and will have 2 dozen more by the end of April.

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  26. I have two knitting patterns I sell and give the money to a charity that is posted when you buy. I feels good to do good.

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  27. Our charity knitting group meets once a week. We have members ranging in age from 8 yrs old - 80+. We have made knitted/crocheted prayer shawls, baby blankets, hats for newborns, dishcloths and pot holders for food pantries. We rely solely on donated yarns, and are pleased to accept any yarn donation.

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  28. I've done a lot of charity knitting - putting together blankets for homeless/at-risk population in Vancouver. Also hats for the Dulaan Project.

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  29. I haven't knit anything for charity, but I did donate some yarn to the Red Scarf Project two years ago. I just never seem to see a charity that speaks to me that requires knitting. Someday maybe I'll do something for an animal shelter.

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  30. I'm working on PICC covers for the Finding Jenn Project, which provides PICC covers and port pillows for patients with Cystic Fibrosis. It's not a registered charity, but I split my money between MSF, Heifer Int'l, Planned Parenthood, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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  31. I have donated yarn to charities but have never knit for one. I always have good intentions but fail to follow up. So I give money instead. Maybe someday I will stop being so very lazy.

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  32. Hello,

    I haven't knitted for charity but I am thinking of teaching, guess that would count!

    Bhavna

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