Knitting service projects are a perfect way to put your knitting hobby to use for the greater good. If you knit a lot, chances are that eventually you will start building a pile of projects you finished but just don’t know what to do with. Knitting projects for charity can keep your knitting needles busy while giving your projects a greater sense of purpose. There are many organizations that accept handmade projects to be distributed to people—and animals—in need.
Chemo Caps: Chemo Caps is a program that honors the memory of those lost to cancer through handknit caps given to people undergoing chemotherapy. The caps help keep people comfortable while in the clinic, as chemotherapy can cause chills. Chemo caps are best knit out of soft, washable, and breathable yarn such as merino wool. Try this free quick and easy cap pattern to get started. Once you’ve completed your cap(s), you can donate the hats to a local cancer treatment center.
Prayer Shawl Ministry : Through the Prayer Shawl Ministry, knitting groups create shawls that are given to women who are in need of extra love and support. For example, shawls may be given to recently widowed or divorced women or donated to women’s shelters. While the organization operates nationally, it is another knitting service that promotes donating your projects locally, fostering community relationships. The Free Blue Skies Shawl Pattern would make a beautiful prayer shawl for your group.
Snuggles Project: To give animals in shelters some extra love, you can donate blankets through the Snuggles Project. The charity suggests knitting a 14″ x 14″ blankt for cats and small animals, a 24″ x 24″ blanket for cats and small to medium dogs, and a 36″ x 36″ blanket for medium to large dogs. Once you’ve completed your blanket with machine washable yarn, you can visit the Snuggles Project website to find a local animal shelter that accepts the handmade snuggles.
Warm Up America: To participate in Warm Up America, volunteers can knit or crochet a 7” x 9” rectangle (or many) and mail it to the organization headquarters. The collected rectangles are seamed together to create blankets that feature a unique patchwork of pieces, showing the diversity of people giving their time and love to the project. Once finished, the blankets are redistributed to organizations in-need, including homeless shelters and women’s shelters.
Mother Bear Project: The Mother Bear Project sends teddy bears to children affected by HIV/AIDS in the developing world. The organization has several patterns available for knitting the bears with, so knitters of different skill-levels can participate. You can even knit a Teddy Bear Sweater to go with your bear.
Charity knitting projects are fun for knitting groups or friends to complete together. You can dictate your level of commitment, whether you want to donate one knitted item or many, so charity knitting is also a good way for already over-scheduled people to give back. You can also create your own knitting service project, by knitting gifts to donate or sell to raise money.