The most impressive characteristic I have
observed in crocheters is their charitable nature. There is always an
in-progress project in their craft basket for a sick neighbor, a relative that
needs a little lift, a friend, or a charitable organization.
|Candy Cloche by Linda Permann
Crocheting for charity seemed to me, at
first, an overwhelming endeavor. There were so many charities, so many possible
projects to make. I was happy to know I wasn't the only one who felt this way.
Betsy Greer talks about how she felt the same overwhelming feelings.
Hats Off to Craftivism
I thought about all the items I could craft
and who could use them. I was struck by just how long both lists became. There
is always going to be someone shivering who needs a sweater or a hat, a child
who wants a blanket, an ill person wishing for the beauty and comfort of a
shawl. The need is endless. What initially seemed daunting and overwhelming
became instead a bevy of opportunities to help through the power of craft.
Crocheting an item
for donation brings up several questions. What kind of yarn do I use? Do I make
something lacy or rugged? Should I use bright pink for its cheer, or tan, which
goes with everything?
|Galen's Manly Hat and Scarf by Anne Lecrivain
Begin by consulting the guidelines of the
individual hospital, charity, home, or organization. Some are specific about
using nonwool, washable items, others need wool only, and some just welcome a
handmade donation, period. Then you need to decide whether to buy new yarn or
use something from your stash. This question may be primarily about personal
economics, as everyone has different price points.
Yes, charitable crochet is great for using up
odd bits from your stash. But there is also a case to be made for making
something lovely and expensive. Just because it's going to be worn by a
stranger instead of a friend or relative, should it be less special? Think of
the recipient as a friend you may never meet.
Consider, too, who will receive the item. A
newborn baby? Perhaps something washable will ease a new mother's mind. Someone
homeless? A more rugged, densely crocheted wool will keep in the heat better.
— Hats Off to Craftivism by Betsy Greer (Interweave Crochet Fall 2009)
|Diana's Blossom Scarf by Andrea Sanchez
I still have a list of more charities to
crochet for than I will ever find time, but I no longer feel overwhelmed.
Instead I leaf through each new issue of Interweave Crochet with excitement, adding
hats, scarves, shawls, and afghans to my list of projects to make and donate. I
will never be able to make them all, but each finished project makes a
difference, and that's what matters.
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Crochet today and start your own collection of quick innovative
projects, perfect for charitable giving.
P.S. What is your favorite charity?