Showing posts with label charity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label charity. Show all posts

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pillow Cases (the tube method)

My SIL gave me the idea of making pillowcases for charity.  This thought then led me to the idea of sewing a few extra for Christmas gifts as well. They will make especially unique gifts for my five CASA (court appointed special advocate) kids.  Each child has something special about them that I can find a fabric theme to match with their pursuits (music, sports, tv characters, etc.).  There are many great fabrics geared to kids.  Here is something I found with the Dr. Seuss theme from Etsy:

If you give it some thought, there will be many people that will come to mind who might appreciate something made by you especially for them.  And who can't use a new pillowcase, especially if it makes them smile?

A very easy tutorial on sewing three color coordinating fabric cases can be found here on YouTube, sponsored by Missouri Quilt Company.  I watched the video several times, took notes, and started thinking about fabric choices that were on hand.  A quick trip to the fabric store, and I came up with more coordinating fabrics.

Then the fabric pieces above were cut.  But wait!  There was more fabric on hand that needed coordinating fabric edges.   And I needed some Mickey Mouse fabric, too, for a special little boy going through some hard times.

Another trip to Hobby Lobby, and behold!  Twelve pillowcases were on the way to being sewn.

YouTube and Missouri Quilt explains it all, and it is not difficult if you have average sewing skills.  Here are several pillowcase ready to be seamed that are on my machine shelf this morning, ready for finishing.

And here are a few already finished:

Thanks, Charlotte, for this neat gift idea.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pennies Per Hour of Pleasure for Doctors Without Borders

OK, I was sucked in.  Again.  This time it was a knitting group from Ravelry that caught me:
p/hop (although it sounds like a rapper’s name) means pennies per hour of pleasure. It is a fundraiser for the international medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Fontieres (Doctors Without Borders). Lovely designers from all over the place have pledged to donate patterns to MSF, which you can download in return for a donation! Once you have your newly knitted/crocheted scarf/socks/sweater in hand, we ask you to donate an amount that corresponds to the amount of pleasure you got from making it… I think I’ve made this sound more complicated than it is! Hopefully you know what I mean…
p/hopping has grown from the original name and is what happens when someone offers and item and (hopefully) someone else decides they want it.  Visit to see our patterns, catch up on news and share some virtual cake and a cup of tea.
Here is a picture of the pair of fingerless gloves I'm making, with my wages going to Doctors Without Borders in the US:

Designer Jane Lithgow says about the Cranford Mitts:
As the title suggests, the inspiration for this pattern came from the BBC adaptation of Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. Jane says, ‘This gentle drama, both humorous and touching took us into the lives of gentlewomen of certain age living in reduced circumstances. I noticed that many of their costumes included delicate mitts which they wore to ensure warm fingers in their draughty houses. I have adapted this idea to create some warm but delicately lacy mitts to take the edge off chilly spring mornings."
Further information about Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders:
MSF is an independent humanitariam medical aid organisation, committed to providing medical aid wherever it is needed, regardless of race, religion, politics or gender.  We currently work in over 60 countries helping victims of war, natural disasters, disease epidemics and those who simply have no access to even basic healthcare.  For more info, please visit

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Mother Bear Project for Children who are Victims of HIV/AIDS

Several years ago, Betty Christianson, author of Knitting for Peace: Making the World Better One Stitch at a Time (2006) introduced the Mother Bear Project.  The project has thus far gathered over 47,700 hand made bears for African children who are the victims of HIV/AIDS.

Why send bears to children in Africa when we could perform a similar act of charity here at home?  One of the major reasons is the high prevalency of HIV/AIDS in Africa which devastates many thousands of babies and children there.

Not only have children lost their parents to the disease, but they are sometimes victims of rape by an HIV infected adult.  Some say this horrendous act of rape on girls is a myth; nonetheless, according to this site sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
"A lot of it has to do with the myth that a man will be cured of AIDS by having sex with a virgin, and how much more virginal can you get than a baby?" Hatfield asked. Rather than decreasing with AIDS education, the myth has taken hold in South Africa, which already has the world's highest incidence of rape. Police statistics reveal that 21,000 cases of child rape or assault were reported last year. Most of the crimes were committed by male relatives of the victims.
Three days before the 9-month-old was attacked last week, a 3-year-old was raped, allegedly by her grandfather. In the same week, a 14-month-old was assaulted by two uncles. With one South African in nine living with HIV/AIDS, such attacks are often a death sentence for the victims, said Glenys van Halter of South Africa Stop Child Abuse. She said that while the AIDS myth is driving the rapes, unemployment, poverty and alcoholism are also factors.

Hatfield said that in South Africa, whose constitution is billed as one of the world's most liberal, progressive laws are often at odds with reality. "South Africa has a history of violence, we communicate through violence, and it will be a long time before we move away from that," she said.
Here is where the Mother Bear Project comes in.  Children in Africa who have been orphaned due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic or who are ill with the disease often have nothing of their own.  A hand made crocheted or knitted bear, including a red heart sewn to its chest, is a small thing that each of us can make and give to one of these ill and/or orphaned children.
The Mother Bear Project is dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of a hand-knit or crocheted bear.  The simple gift of a hand-knit bear with a tag signed by the knitter has touched children with the message that they are unconditionally loved. (from Mother Bear)
Directions for making a.Mother Bear can be accessed here free of charge. Use up leftover yarns and contribute a bear!

From Ravelry, Dr. Gemma of CogKNITive, one of my favorite podcasters who combines knitting with psychology, says:
:**Send completed bears with $3.00** to cover cost of postage for shipping to Africa to:
Mother Bear Project
P.O. Box 62188
Minneapolis, MN 55426
Volunteers will sew a red felt heart onto your bear's chest. If you did not buy a tag from them, volunteers will also fill out one for you, with your name or anyone's name you suggest on it, to be attached to your bear.

**These bears are meant to be personal, so each child will know the name of a person who loves them and is thinking of them!**

The above is the front page of the December, 2009 issue of Mother Bear.  Note that volunteer Diana Psota (CA) was intereviewed last month.  She has knitted over 100 bears since 2005 and donated them to the Mother Bear project.

Think about making one and sending it. For about the price of a cup of take-out gourmet coffee, and a bit of your time, it is a personally satisfying uplift sans caffeine.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Knitted Knockers

October is almost here. Did you remember that October is "Breast Cancer Awareness Month"? That means: GET YOUR annual MAMMOGRAM, Ladies!

I previously wrote about making knitted knockers in this post Boob Inserts. And now I've come up with a new and improved version on the insert.

But wait, first you might need some background on Knitted Knockers, The Program:
...word soon spread among mastectomy patients and their caregivers, leading most recently to a news story on our knitted knockers effort that was picked up by CNN. As a result, we have been flooded with requests for knitted knockers from survivors, information on where to obtain the pattern, and advice on how to start a knitted knockers group. 
To better help the knitting volunteers and survivors find each other, and hopefully inspire more knitted knockers groups, we have attempted to organize information on the program in one location. While this portion of our website will be a work-in-progress, we hope that you find it helpful and will keep us posted on your knitted knockers!
(photo courtesy of The Knitting Experience)

Benefit for Breastless Women says
My sister knits like there's no tomorrow. Really - she can knit sitting, standing, walking, lounging, and maybe even sleeping. She sent me this story about a gal who is a breast cancer survivor, and owns a yarn shop, The Knitting Experience. Chesley, the shop's owner, was recently featured on TV for her knitting Boob-A-Thon. Her shop gathered up knitters from all around who were willing to knit boobs in front of TV cameras, to raise awareness for breast cancer, and to create knitted breast prostheses for charity. I'm starting to think seriously about knitting again. Anyone want to join me? The original Beryl Tsang pattern can be found online, and many other variations are on Ravelry. If you can't get interested in knitting knockers, perhaps you'd rather create other items, to be donated to Knitting for Knockers, an online shop that sells handmade items and in turn, "donates the total purchase price of each item sold (minus Etsy and/or Paypal fees) to Breast Cancer Action." British women have also been knitting breasts, to teach new mothers how to breastfeed. Their pattern calls for wool, but I'd skip that, for a breast prosthesis!
Another and different pattern can be found at Arpelia's Blog.

The "new and improved" model that I fiddled with uses only one side of the knitted circle. Fill the cup with fiberfill and sew a fabric circle onto the filled cup with a running stitch, using cotton fabric for the backing. This saves time because only one side of the insert is knitted, and it makes for a more comfortable fit on a reconstructed breast.

Here is my final product.

It works for me!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Preemie Booties: Knitting for Charity

Charity Knitting: Preemie Booties

The pattern for these easily knit booties can be found at Silja's Booties.

I finished two pairs of these within a week while visiting family in Texas. The pattern is very easy, and the cotton yarn is elasticized, making for a comfy fit for babies.

These booties will be sent to the Denver Children's Hospital.

For more information about knitting for charity, and all the projects which solicit donations, there is an excellent website at Community Knitting for Charity. About thirty different organizations are listed there that welcome contributions. The website states that over 10,000 knitters are part of this effort.

As a part of the Yahoo groups, Socks for Soldiers, gives all information necessary for knitting socks for our troops.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cancer Support, Knit Dolls

These little knitted dolls are uplifting give-aways for women who are undergoing treatment for cancer. Cleverly hidden inside their tube legs are pipe cleaners which give them flexibility to sit on their own. Notice that the arms can be crossed in the manner of the ribbon associated with fighting for a specific cause.

Actually, I have knitted these up in several colors for patients undergoing treatment for various types of cancer.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has linked 22 different colors to different cancers. For instance, bladder cancer is associated with the color of yellow, while pancreatic cancer is associated with the color light purple. For more information, see ACS Colors.

The pattern for these dolls is given in an excellent book entitled The Natural Knitter. Barbara Albright is the author (2007), and I purchased the book from Amazon.

These little dolls are fun to make, and the women who receive them seem to be genuinely delighted when given one. If you would like directions for these knitted dolls, leave me a comment and I will furnish step-by-step directions for making them.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Knitting for Charity

Tired of simply knitting scarves and hats, giving them to unappreciative friends, and yet you still have that craving to knit more WhatzIts?

Knitting for charity might be just the ticket for you. The Lion Brand Yarn Co. has a detailed listing of charities that would be most appreciative of your crocheted or knitted items. They can be found here.

Lion Brand Yarns also offers free patterns. And a gadzillion more free patterns are available here at KnittingforCharity.

Interweave Knits has a long list of charities just waiting for your beneficence. The listing, and more, can be found at Knit to Give.

Most requested items according to Nellie the Knittin’ Nut are:

Number seven: PET ITEMS!Believe it or not, pet items are among the most requested knitting charities. Animal shelters always need warm blankets to dull the cold chill of cement floors. Many other animal charities happily accept animal sweaters and booties. You can even hand-knit kitty toys and the like. Stuff them with catnip and make an animal's day!

Number six: SOCKS! It's no big surprise: people all around the world need warm, thick socks to keep them warm. Soldiers, orphans, and families worldwide find themselves in need of socks. Orphanages are probably the number one requester, striving to provide warm socks for all of their special little children -- especially in underprivileged (sic)and developing nations where cold becomes a problem, countries like Russia, Ukraine, and Mongolia.

Number five: MITTENS! Coming in next on our list of the most requested knitting items: mittens! You could almost take that blurb about socks and read it word for word in this category. Mittens provide warmth for little fingers just like socks provide warmth for little toes. Orphanages,homeless families, and many other people benefit from warm hand-knit mittens.

Number four: AFGHAN SQUARES There are an astounding number of charities that assemble afghans and blankets from your premade squares. This is the perfect idea for people without much time, or those who can't commit to a large project. You can whip up a few squares and send them off to become gifts of warmth!

Number three: AFGHANS and BLANKETS! If you have a bit more time on your hand, you might want to assemble an entire blanket or afghan. These most requested knitting items spread warmth and comfort all around the world.

Number two: PREEMIE AND BABY ITEMS! There are so many tiny children in need. You can help them by making blankets, burial clothing, jumpers, gowns, and any other number of items mothers might desperately need. There are so many charities out there targeting preemies and infants that your donation is sure to find a welcome home!

Number one: HATS! Hats come in as our most requested knitting item. There are two reasons charities need hats: for warmth and comfort. Most commonly, this means either knitting a hat for a homeless or very poor family, or creating a chemo hat to warm and comfort cancer patients.

And there you have it! Whatever you love to knit, you're sure to find a category among the most requested knitting items that's right for you.

Please leave a comment and I will send you a link to a darling pair of preemie booties you can whip up quickly. I received the free pattern from a woman in Denmark (I think!) which I can pass along to you.

These booties will be my first project to knit with a group of women who get together and knit for charity twice a month in Grand Junction.

It would be fun to share fiber talents, so think about signing up to knit or crochet for a worthy cause.