Knowing that your knitting hobby could bring happiness to someone else is motivating. Do you know who can benefit from your stitching work? Join us today in a discussion with professional knitter, Nancy Queen, who shares some ideas for charity knitting. Enjoy the show!

 

Margaret Manning:

My guest today is going to bring us inspiration. Her name is Nancy Queen, and she is the owner of online shop and knitting community nobleknits.com. Nancy is passionate about sharing her knitting experience with women around the world. I’m so glad to have you here today, Nancy.

Nancy Queen:

Hi, Margaret, thanks so much. It’s great to be here with you today, on Sixty and Me.

Margaret:

Today I’ve got my little knitting things ready. I’ve put on one of my scarf creations, too.

Nancy:

It’s beautiful.

Margaret:

Thank you. I’m a total beginner, and what you see is my idea of fancy knitting. There’s something I wanted to mention before we get too far along. In addition to your shop, nobleknits.com, you have also dedicated time to write two books.

I know they’re fabulous books, and I want to provide more information for people who might be interested in getting started. The titles are, The Chicks with Sticks’ Guide to Knitting and The Chicks with Sticks’ Guide to Crochet.

Nancy:

Yes, great titles.

Margaret:

Do check out Nancy’s website because there are tons of resources there. Nancy, in other videos we’ve talked about the ways knitting can help with anxiety and stress, and also how beginners can get started. Today, I would love for you to share with us about knitting for charity. Tell us about some of the options that women have if they’re interested in that kind of thing.

Nancy:

Not only does knitting for charity help others, but it helps you as well. There’s a great sense of accomplishment that comes from knitting for others and giving back to your community or a greater cause. So, it is rewarding.

I was recently talking to a friend who has a little knitting club. She shared that their knitting club has the policy of alternating projects – every other project is knit for charity. When you put it in your daily knitting routine, you become mindful of knitting for others.

There are so many resources for people who want to knit for charity. On my website, we have collected about 20 different knitting charities. One’s called The Mother Bear Project, where you knit little stuffed animal bears for children. Another one is Project Linus where you knit baby blankets.

There are quite a few charities that knit for the troops, as well. They knit helmet warmers, socks, etc. There is a long list of people who could really benefit from your knitting.

Margaret:

Whenever I tweet an article on knitting, I always copy @knitforpeace and @knitforaids. These groups are very active on social media as they depend on it to help them make people aware of their cause. They do a great job.

I’m sure there is probably a whole list of places that could use knitted goods. I can think of hospices and community retirement homes, where there are people who need socks or mittens, for example. My favorite mittens, which I wear all the time, I got at a fair somewhere.

Things like that are so easy to knit, but you can put them on in the daytime if your hands are cold. This is such a great gift.

Nancy:

Yes. I know we mentioned all these larger charities, but there are so many charities that you could knit for. When they say charity begins at home, it’s true. Look locally, contact a local hospital, a church, a cancer center, a shelter.

There are so many places that would benefit from your knitting. There are people that are cold on the streets, and for them a warm hat, or a pair of mittens, would do wonders. You can knit for any of those places and feel the reward of it.

A lot of times, it’s just a phone call away. Ask them what they need; if they have any stipulations for the materials we should use – wool or easy-care acrylic?

Margaret:

Acrylic can be washed easily.

Nancy:

Yes. Just find out what the charity needs, and you’ll see that it’s very rewarding to knit for others.

Margaret:

Also, no one’s going to judge your work. If the piece you create isn’t perfect, no one is going to say, “Oh, I don’t want that glove.” People are so appreciative of textile gifts. I don’t know if it’s a primitive trait, but gifting textiles is so nourishing and protective, don’t you think?

Nancy:

You are absolutely right.

Margaret:

It was this way back in the cave days, you knitted and you gave warmth.

Nancy:

Yes. Knitting and texture definitely brings you back to your center, and it also helps somebody else for a greater cause.

Margaret:

What about knitting in groups for charities? Do you do anything like that or know groups that do that?

Nancy:

I do know quite a few groups. Earlier, I mentioned this friend of mine, with whom I was talking about starting your own knitting group. She mentioned that they meet once every two weeks, and they knit together. Then, when they are sharing their projects, one project is always for themselves or who they are knitting it for, and then the other one is for charity.

Margaret:

That’s such a great idea. Also, this covers two things in one go: you get the social benefit of knitting with women you can chat with and, at the same time, you’re creating something to give to someone. It’s very cool.

A lot of older women used to love knitting when they were young, but then they got arthritis, so they can’t knit. Being able to give them something that’s homemade would be really rewarding.

Nancy:

Yes, you are absolutely right. It takes them back to a happy time in their lives; it was something that was really rewarding for them. It’s also like a hug.

Margaret:

It is a woolly hug. My mom was a great knitter, her fingers just flew, and all our little sweaters were made by her. She would knit sweaters, socks and whatever else she needed. I think there’s something about being a mom that makes it feel natural to want to do that for someone else.

Nancy:

Yes, and knitting is something that you can continue your whole life. It doesn’t have to be for a child or your child. Knit for somebody, whoever they are, and they’ll appreciate what you’re doing for them.

About knitting for charity, I also wanted to mention that another way to give back is not only to knit for others, but to teach someone else how to knit. We had a women’s shelter a few years back. At first, someone was knitting all these afghans for them, and then she went in and taught all the women how to knit.

This way they’ve learned a new skill that they are going to have for the rest of their lives. They will be able to pass it on to their children and grandchildren, too. What’s important to note is that you don’t have to be an advanced knitter to teach someone how to cast on, knit every row and bind off.

Margaret:

Easy for you to say. I love the shawl that you are wearing today.

Nancy:

Oh thank you. This is a free pattern on our website. It’s a one skein shawl, and I’ve used a tweed yarn so the colors change as you knit. This is all knit stitch, it’s not an advanced project at all.

Margaret:

Is that a sparkle that I’m seeing or is it just a different color?

Nancy:

No, there is a white fleck in it. It’s almost like a tweed, but the tweed is a white fleck.

 

Margaret:

You were saying earlier that in each of the videos we do today you will wear a different knitted product. The patterns are available on your website, right?

Nancy:

Yes, every single one of the patterns of the garments that I’ve worn today is a free pattern on our blog.

Margaret:

Okay, that’s super. I think that we’ve covered today’s topic really well, and I hope it inspired people to knit and share their work with others.

How do you think others could benefit from your knitting? Can you think of any local charities or organizations that may need your amateurish (or advanced) knitted garments? Please join the conversation below.

Let's Have a Conversation!