PROJECTS Knit for the Homeless This Holiday

YOU MADE IT! The holidays are here, it’s that part in the reality game show where there buzzer rings and the host tells the contestants to put down their blow-dryers/air-brush/frosting-bag/makeup-brush, or other hyphenated tool. No matter what, whatever it is that you’ve created is marvellous … because it came from you. So sit back, let go of all your expectations for what may or may not come, and soak in the present.

Personally, I love the quiet of Christmas morning. In the pre-dawn I walk to my brother & sister-in-law’s home. It’s dark and quiet, a few people are out, but there isn’t usually much traffic on the road. The city at rest is a serenity I relish. I let myself into their house, which is dark except for a tree that’s lit up and showing off (it’s its day, after all). The kids are corralled upstairs, and I creep up to let them know the blessed time of liberation is upon them. The lights come on, and the show starts ….

Have a great holiday, enjoy your show, whatever it is! xox Haley

Knit for the Homeless This Holiday

It’s been a cold autumn and early winter, and the need for warm accessories for the homeless is higher this year. If you’d like to knit for the homeless you can drop your knits & crochets off at the store, or if you aren’t in our neighbourhood you can contact shelters in your community (you can also look into organizations that collect donations for refugees, or who are sending outerwear to the Ukraine).

Considerations when knitting for the homeless:

  1. The yarn MUST be machine washable. Machine washable wool, wool blends, or synthetics are best.
  2. The knit should be warm – a loose, holey tension doesn’t serve
  3. Keep it simple … fancy isn’t important
  4. Preferred accessories include hats, neck-warmers, and mittens.

To make thing easy all the patterns below recommend Berroco Vintage Chunky – it’s machine washable, warm, a little bit thicker (so it goes a bit faster and makes a knit that’s a bit warmer), and relatively affordable. You don’t have to use this particular yarn, it’s just a guideline that’s works for me.

Yarn Combining

If you want to use up your stash you can hold a few strands together. Here are some general guidelines. A project like SNAP (above) is great for using up stash yarn. :

  • 2 strands of sock-weight yarn = light worsted weight (4.5mm/US7 needles)
  • 2 strands of DK weight = worsted to arm weight (5mm/US8 to 5.5mm/US9 needles)
  • 2 strands of worsted weight = chunky weight (6mm/US10 to 6.5mm/US10.5 needles)

Neckwarmers/Gaiters/Cowls

Whatever way you want to refer to it, a neckwarmer is a great way to stay warm! It stays on your body, and there are no long ends to flop around, get wet, trail in the snow – just snuggle down into it and stay warm.

The Cowl

This pattern calls for 3 different sized needles, but for you purposes we don’t need to get fancy, one pair is fine.It also holds a couple of strands of yarn together, and we can skip that – you only need the single strand of Berroco Vintage Chunky.

Clara’s Sorbet Cowl

This pattern is good for newer knitters, especially if you’ve learned how to knit and purl, but you haven’t got the knack of doing them in the same row. If you don’t know how to knit in the round you can find a good video tutorial on our Knitting Skills Page under “Working in the Round”. If you’re still not up to working in the round, you can cast on and knit the neckwarmer on regular old single pointed needles and them seam it up the back (see “Seaming & Sewing” on the Skills Page).

Hats

Jason’s Tweed Hat

A basic watch cap is a great solution for cold weather.

Barnes

A simple 1×1 rib makes for a warm watch cap or slouchy hat – whichever way its worn works!

Northward

Don’t be intimidated by basic cables – they only look hard, they’re really very easy – check out some good videos under “Cables” on our Knitting Skills Page.

Mittens

World’s Simplest Mitts

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