Peaceful Knitting

As you all know, my big goal for my entire life this year is to be more reasonable in the expectations I set for myself.
I’ve made a real effort to stay true to this one — so far so good — but what’s interesting is that I’ve found myself doing things and considering things I wouldn’t have before this.
I was organizing my stash yesterday and came across lots of remnants and discarded balls from projects and ideas that didn’t work out. At first I considered grouping them and selling them off — just to get the house a little cleaner. But then I realized how well it all fit in with a decision I recently made — to knit more for charity.
Kelly (my sister-in-law) gave me Knitting for Peace for Christmas. I thumbed through it and found this hat that I adore. I decided I would make it for Alex.
ETA: I did not make this hat. It’s a pic from the book.


It has several cute and small projects in it (and some bigger ones too). I looked at it several times around the holidays and decided I would make a few things out of it for charity. They’re small and quick so why not.

I don’t wear hats, so I’m always jealous of you hat knitters. I just look horrible in hats. So while I was at the bookstore I also bought Itty Bitty Hats.
So. Freakin. Cute.


As I looked through Itty Bitty Hats I decided that many of them would be appropriate to give to charity too — either sized down for preemies, or to shelters in the larger baby and toddler sizes. Here are some of my favorites from both of these books.
note: Knitting for Peace has many non-hat projects. My selection is biased based on my hat-craze at the moment.

itty bitty
itty bitty
knitting for peace
knitting for peace
knitting for peace
itty bitty
itty bitty
knitting for peace
itty bitty

Truth be told, I haven’t ever knit for charity. I always told myself I was too busy to take time out to knit for charity, and so I chose to donate money instead. While it’s nice to donate money, I’ve realized it’s even better — soul-renewing — to donate your time, and to knit love and comfort and peace into what you’re making.
Here’s a brief excerpt from Knitting for Peace (regarding the Shawl Ministry Prayer Shawl):
Because making a prayer — or peace — shawl is meant to be a spiritual practice, founders and shawl designers Victoria Galo and Janet Bristow encourage you to offer a blessing, prayer, or wish before you begin knitting, dedicating the work of your hands and your intentions for the receiver. You might also light a candle, play soft music, or even meditate.
That paragraph really touched me, and it’s what finally did me in. I’ve already put some yarn aside that I found in my stash for a prayer shawl. It’s a softly-colored wool and mohair blend that will work perfectly.
There are lots of charity knitting programs out there. Here are a few just to get you started:

There are dozens of not-for-profits that are near where we live — homeless shelters, women’s shelters, hospitals, and programs run by local religious organizations. Find something that speaks to you, that touches your heart, and set aside a little bit of time each week. Not only will you be helping someone much less fortunate, but you’ll be as fulfilled and renewed as the one who receives your gift.

25 thoughts on “Peaceful Knitting

  1. [I haven’t knit for charity either.] But I love your idea, and Alex’s hat. Baby hats are so cute–almost makes me want to toss the birth control. Almost. And, even then, not really :-).

  2. Part of my release of stash-guilt has to do with the fact that I do regularly knit for charity with the oddballs and scraps. It makes me feel slightly virtuous in the face of such an indulgent pasttime.

  3. aw, those itty bitty hats are just the cutest. i must get that book!
    good for you knitting for charity! i wish that i had more time this year to do that.

  4. Keep knitting. Your idea of the prayer shawl is so sweet.
    My mum knits loads for Red Cross. She has a wee pattern book she follows and she loves the idea that her knitwork goes to good use. Thankfully, she still finds time to knit/crochet a bit for home as well. :)
    My own experiments often find their way to the charity shop. Not because there’s anything wrong with them, but because I don’t like giving experiments as gifts. Silly, I know!

  5. Ah yes, the ever-ending – well, maybe I should get rid of some of my stash. It’s good to see that you are going to knit it, though!
    Itty bitty is adorable…

  6. The bears for Mother Bear Project are a lot of fun. I’ve done two and plan on doing more soon. They don’t take much yarn so it’s great for using up scraps and oddballs.

  7. That’s a great hat! I like to knit for people close to home (like homeless shelters) and for people far away – I think the mixture is good: keeping it local AND remembering that we are part of a global community, not just a local one.

  8. I love those books- that Itty Bitty one is so great, I love the gauges because they’re so flexible.
    I hear you about charity knitting- I’ve only done it once, through a yarn shop, which worked best for me. I keep meaning to, and never getting around to it, and with an external deadline, it really helped give me the push that I needed.

  9. Good for you! I’ve been using up stash to knit hats for charity, too. And then I bought some on super sale to knit more hats for charity! It’s nice to get those warm, knit goods out there.

  10. Lovely post. Knitting for charity truly is soul-renewing.
    The hats are so adorable; you’re going to have a great time knitting those. 😀

  11. This is a very sweet post. Made me feel all gooey inside.
    I am planning on making two preemie hats this week. A friend’s brother and sister-in-law had twins last week- two months early. I think they are less than 3 lbs each. Tiny little things need tiny soft hats.
    In my experience with my nieces and nephew, the hats that most hospitals have for babies are in acrylic yarn. It’s fun to do something with merino or something very soft for a baby.

  12. I love making something, realizing it is not for me.. and continuing to knit it to give to charity. Or a friend who I know will love it more. I’ve been a big collector for Dulaan in the area, with the fiberists adn the PK folks helping that box to go out once a year. I hope you and squirrella come by one knit for fiber nite. I would love to have you over.

  13. I am hoping to do a good bit of charity knitting. My current goal is to make a dozen premie caps before Easter. I started on Friday and have two completed. I had better get busy.

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