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Category Archives: Charity Knitting

When I decided to learn to knit in January of 2016, I was interested in making easy, practical items for several charities.  One of them was Knit Your Bit for the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.  All of the information is here:

http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/knit-your-bit/how-to-participate.html

In addition to information, there are patterns on this site to use to both knit and crochet scarves.  I knew from my daughter’s experiences from past years that red, white and blue scarves were very popular and that is what I’ve been making.

Recently, though, on the Knit Your Bit Facebook page, I found a pattern for a scarf that has the colors and designs of a National Defense Service Medal.  This medal is a decoration presented to recognize all military members who have served in active duty during a declared “national emergency”.  It is an easy garter stitch striped scarf and interesting with the addition of bright yellow.

To find this pattern, go to the Knit Your Bits Facebook page and search for National Defense Service Stripe Scarf to get the free pattern for a scarf 6 inches wide x 71 inches long, knitted in worsted yarn with size 9 or 10 needles.  Nice item to donate to the museum’s program or to give to your favorite veteran.

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This is another pattern from designer Marianna Mel on Ravelry.com.  The pattern was written to fit a baby of around 3 months, but I used #7 needles and Premier acrylic yarn (color – Cake) to make a dress to fit a baby 6-9 months old.

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The dress buttons in the back.

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The skirt in the pattern is a simple, pretty lace, but I wanted to try out a pleated look using a knit 5/purl 2 garter stitch.

meadow-dress-hat-4My older daughter crocheted the small flowers for the dress and hat.

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The hat is a basic pattern done in the knit 5/purl 2 design.

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This is a good pattern for an advanced beginner and turns out so cute.  It should do well going into the spring months for the South Dakota Pine Ridge baby who receives it.

See Ravelry.com for information on the Lakota group, The Children of Pine Ridge.

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I enjoy making baby and toddler clothes for the Lakota/Sioux Children of Pine Ridge in South Dakota.  A group called the  Sacred Shawl Society collects items through Ravelry.com for young mothers and their children who come to a shelter to escape abuse at home.  They can use all kinds of warm knitted items for both mothers and babies.

http://www.ravelry.com/groups/for-the-children-of-pine-ridge

Marianne Mel on Ravelry.com has so many free patterns for baby sets that are relatively easy for an advanced beginner and turn out beautifully even with limited experience.  This little set is in a newborn size using size #6 needles and DK (baby yarn/sports weight) in variegated pastels.  I had a chance to use three vintage buttons (always happy when I can find 3 to match in my huge tin of old buttons).
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The cap is a basic design sized for a newborn.

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My youngest daughter’s 35-year-old rag doll is just the right size to model the sweater, although her head is way too big for the hat.

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Here is the link to the free pattern:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fleur-baby-cardigan-jacket
 

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My favorite designer is an English lady who offers pages of free patterns, mostly for babies and small children.  She also has some items for teenagers and adults along with a few patterns that are for sale.  She can be found on ravelry.com under the name Marianna Mel.  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#query=marianna%20mel

This little vest is called Baby’s Ribbed Vest Top.  For a 9-months size the pattern calls for DK yarn (baby yarn/sport weight) and #6 needles.  I wanted to make a larger size and used #7 needles with #4 worsted yarn to make a size to fit a 3 to 4-year-old child.

It’s very sturdy and warm, good for the cold North Dakota climate where the Pine Ridge Lakota/Sioux children live.  Information on this charity is also on ravelry.com under the tab “groups”.

While I was knitting the sweater, I thought it should have some yellow elephant buttons, maybe because of the grey yarn.  Now, what are the chances that I could go to JoAnn’s and find reasonably-priced yellow elephant buttons?  But I did and I think they are perfect for this little vest which would be nice for either a boy or girl.

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I also made a matching hat, using Marianna Mel’s Ribster Baby Hat pattern except I used some stockinette stitching along with the ribbing.

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There were enough yellow elephants to put one on top of the hat, too.
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I enjoyed making this set.  All of Marianna’s patterns I’ve used so far have been suitable for an advanced beginner with very happy results.

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There are so many free patterns available online and one of my favorite sources is Marianna’s Lazy Daisy Days.  A lovely lady in England provides a large file of free patterns, most of them for babies and pre-schoolers, but also has an occasional pattern like this Warm Tweedy Neckwarmer in sizes for child, teenager and woman.  This is a very easy pattern that turns out especially pretty.  It’s basically a long rectangle that is folded back on itself and held together by buttons only or, in my case, some stitching along two edges.  There are no buttonholes in the design – the neckwarmer just slips over the head.

Instructions are clear and accurate and I would rate it a “beginner” pattern.  It’s also a nice way to use some pretty buttons.

This past week, I made this one for an adult using double strand worsted yarn and a size 8 needle…

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…and this one for a child, using single strand worsted and a size 8 needle to do a garter stitch.

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https://mariannaslazydaisydays.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/warm-tweedy-neckwarmer.html

I’ve previously made these neckwarmers for the Pine Ridge Lakota children’s group:

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I like to think that these are providing some warmth for the children in the bitter cold of South Dakota.

http://www.ravelry.com/groups/for-the-children-of-pine-ridge

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On December 6th, our family celebrates St.Nicholas with the exchange of small gifts, candy and homemade cookies.  This year, my two daughters will receive dorm boots/slippers instead of stockings.  I found a wonderful pattern on Needle Beetle called Aunt Alm’s Dorm Boots.

http://www.needlebeetle.com/free/aadb.html

Instructions are given for various sizes and I started out making children’s slippers for the Pine Ridge Lakota children in South Dakota.  Their Sacred Shawl project which helps young mothers and children in abusive situations, particularly asked for warm slippers for their very cold winters.

http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/for-the-children-of-pine-ridge/3293728/1026-1050#1050

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I consider them suitable knitting for an advanced beginner and made two more sets for my daughters.  I made these with Lion Brand Wool-Ease (80% acrylic, 20% wool) which makes them easy to wash and dry.  I tried one on to be sure they were close to the size I wanted.

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The ssk stitch (slip, slip, knit) forms the “V” shape on the front of the sock, which I like a lot.  See the YouTube link below for a tutorial on this stitch.  The pattern is written for double-pointed needles but I work better with circular needles and I found the pattern easy to adapt and the slippers easy to knit.

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Several of my blogging friends have kindly asked if I am OK since my blog posts have been few and far between this year.  I’m happy to report that I’m doing pretty well but moving very slowly and not getting too much done.  I have spinal stenosis issues which have forced me to give up quilting (except for very small items) and experimental cooking (which I’ve always loved) but I’m doing fine for an octogenarian, I think.

One thing I’ve been able to do comfortably is to continue my newfound hobby of knitting.  About 95% of the knitting is for charities and one of my newer ones is the Pine Ridge Children’s group in South Dakota.  I found them through Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/groups/for-the-children-of-pine-ridge  They need and appreciate everything that is warm and comforting which gives me an opportunity to make a variety of clothing.  I especially enjoy knitting for babies and preschoolers.  These are some of the items I finished in the past couple of weeks which will soon be on their way to a home for mothers and children who have escaped abusive situations.

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This vest is the largest size piece of clothing I’ve made so far – will fit a boy age 6-7.

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This poncho is for a little girl about 4 or 5 and I hope she likes the doggy buttons.

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I have some more projects ready to launder and, of course, a couple of things “on the needles”.  I’m grateful that I can be doing something useful that I enjoy.

 

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