Sunday, September 13, 2009

Online Charity Knitting’s Knit a Square to Give Your Share online charity knitting group:

We regularly knit and crochet items that we send to Loving Hands Charity Knitters and Preemies UK and we respond to various appeals and fundraisers that our members come across.

These are the regular items we make:

Preemie baby hats – basic hats as well as special ‘vent’ hats, which incorporate a flap which the intensive care nurses can lift for scanning without disturbing the baby.

Preemie baby cardigans, jumpers, body warmers, sleeping bags, mittens, booties, gowns, bonnets, vests, bibs, and blankets. In fact, anything that will help make a little premature baby start its life in comfort.

Sadly, there is also a need for items for the little souls who don’t survive. For these, we make burial buntings, angel pockets and wraps, and little cribs. We all find that knitting or crocheting our first burial bunting is very sad, but it helps to remind ourselves that these items bring great comfort to the bereaved parents, who can say ‘good bye’ to their precious son or daughter, knowing that they are embraced in something hand-made with love and care.

Many of our items are sent overseas, courtesy of, a wonderful group with hundreds of members. They distribute items that are sent to themfrom all over the UK and beyond. An important thing to remember for items that go overseas is that, in many cultures, white is seen as a symbol of death, so we usually make such items in colours only. However, white is fine for charities in the UK, and Preemies UK is more than happy to take items in all colours, including white.

We also knit for animal rescue groups and charities so dog coats and pet blankets are more than welcome. These are ideal for using up yarns that are not soft enough for babies.

Loving Hands Charity Knitters also regularly announce new appeals – they take all sorts of items, not just those for babies. For instance, they need items for the elderly as well as for babies, toys for children who have been caught up in accidents and other tragic circumstances, hand-made sanitary protection for women in the third world who, almost unbelievably, have no access to such essentials, and even knitted boobs – these are very popular and always in demand for midwives, who use them to teach breast-feeding skills to new mothers. A quick look at the Loving Hands website will provide all the information needed to start knitting.

Preemies UK welcome all preemie and burial items, as well as knitted boobs. They regularly put out a list of the current most-needed items, and also have a lovely selection of knitting and crochet patterns.

Sainsbury’s supermarket run an annual appeal, in conjunction with Innocent Smoothies, the drinks people, in which they ask for tiny knitted or crocheted hats. These are placed on every bottle of Innocent Smoothie that is sold in Sainsbury’s from the beginning of November, and Sainsbury’s donates .35p to Age Concern and Help the Aged for every ‘hatted’ bottle. This year, they have also asked for knitted ‘veg pot warmers’; for each one of these, .44p is donated to charity. See for full details, including patterns and the address for sending completed items.

Links to many patterns can be found by visiting the websites mentioned.

The first post on the Knit a Square to Give Your Share forum thread is full of information about what we do. There, you will find links to hundreds of patterns, tutorials, and all the details about where to send completed items.

The next page is our update page. The names of all our contributors are listed alongside the items they have made so far.

Without all these wonderful people, the Knit a Square to Give Your Share group would not be the great success that it is. They donate both their time and materials to help those in need, and work tirelessly. The number of items they produce is breath-taking. We are well into our second year and must have made thousands and thousands of items, and we are still as strong as ever.

Items are updated weekly (hopefully, depending on time – you know how it is!). Our members post their weekly totals in their individual posts on the forum thread and I collect the numbers and add them to the list. I keep running out of space on the forum to post the update, so this blog will hopefully give me more space.

I will be posting our latest update soon!

Trying really hard to understand blog-land!

Well, I've been doing some (a little) housework, but seem to have spent most of my time either out in the sun or on here, trying to get to grips with blogging. Husband is still taking apart the attic, the noise is ear-splitting, and the dust is settling nicely. Nice...not!

Outside, all is calm and peaceful. The sun is blazing away at a comfortable 26 or so degrees and there's a lovely breeze. This is France at its best - not too hot!

The sun is shining!

The sun is shining and I'm sat here at my PC with the horrendous noise of my husband ripping floorboards up just above my head.