Sunday, December 23, 2012

Knitting for Charity

If you read the last post, you can probably understand my desire to help those who have fallen on hard times.  I started a group on Raverly committed to making at least on hat for charity in 2013 (click here).

As I've talked to people about making hats for charity, I've received a lot of interesting feedback.  "That's what I do with all my crappy yarn," I was told by one woman.  Why would you do that?!   "Can we start early?" Yes, of course!  Please do.  "Do we have to donate to a specific charity?" No, any charity that accepts hats is great!  "Is there a specific pattern we need to use?" No!  Use any pattern you like.  All of this feedback made me really happy (ok, all but the first one) because it was clear that people wanted to participate "following the rules." 

Since it's almost 2013, I thought it would be a good idea to provide some links to some terrific hat patterns.  Since it's a charity thing, I'm showing free patterns, but if you have hat patterns in books or magazines that you want to knit, have at it.  And if there are some free patterns you want me to feature that I missed, let me know!

Basic Striped Hat
The Basic Striped Hat by Shiri Designs at left is very easy, and great-looking.  You can make all the stripes the same color, as shown, or use up odds and ends of yarns in the same weight.  It's shown in the adult size (it comes in adult, child, and baby), and in an acrylic yarn.  Remember you may want to attach a label indicating the size and material of your hat so that it will fit the recipient, and avoid any allergic reactions.

Alpaca Earflap Hat

The Alpaca Earflap Hat by OzYarn is a classic style chullo hat.  It was originally knit in a yarn that is now discontinued, but it can be replaced with any 12 wpi sport weight yarn.  Try Frog Tree Yarns Alpaca Sport Weight.  It's a fun knit, and can be made in as many colors as you're moved to use.  Different textured yarns might make an interesting look, too.  Maybe boucle in place of one of the colors, tape yarn for another, and a simple 5 ply for the the third...  It's an adult size, and made in alpaca it's very  cozy!
Baby Jester Hat

Wooly Wormhead brings us the wonderful Baby Jester Hat.  I love this hat so much!   I've seen it in person on a few occasions, including two different versions of it at Rhinebeck this year.  It's very quick to knit in worsted on US 7s, and it has very easy shaping.   The recommended yarn is 50/50 wool and silk, but unfortunately the exact yarn is discontinued.  Remember, you can use any yarn with the same wpi (in this case 9) and get the right gauge and effect.  Try Crystal Palace Yarns Mendocino. 

Hesper Tam

Last but not least, enjoy the Hesper Tam by Wendy Poush.  The mohair in the yarn is what gives it the wonderful halo.  The pattern itself reminds me of church windows, and other beautiful Gothic things.  This would also look lovely in angora, or brushed cotton.   I'm thinking this could make a lovely chemo cap, too.  And wouldn't it be striking in a rich navy blue?

If you need more ideas for hats, check, the website of your favorite yarn manufacturer or distributor, or, of course, Ravelry.  There are several free pattern links on my Ravelry Charity Hats group.  I can't wait to see what you make in the next year! 

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