Charity Knitting · Knitting · Knitting Needles · Projects · yarn

If You Want Happy Feet, Wear Handknit Socks

I finished my first pair of socks last week. And now I can’t stop thinking about them. That little pair of rather plain, workaday tube socks (beginner pattern from a library class) made out of Patons Kroy Grey Marl and the tiniest Knitter’s Pride circulars I’ve ever seen, has become a turning point in my knitting life.

They’re part of the reason I haven’t posted to BellaKnitta in almost a month (plus a huge freelance editing job that kept me busy). It was a simple enough pattern: Knit 8 rows of K2, P2 rib, then knit in whatever pattern desired or in stockinette to the toe, then decrease on double pointed needles. (Not even a heel to deal with – yet – that’s the next class.)

Starting the socks
Starting the socks

I had very rarely used dpns, maybe once, so getting my hands and fingers positioned correctly to not be poked every few stitches took some time. But what a sense of mastery after I’d done it. I quickly finished the second sock, and wore them with the pants I had knitted them to match.

They were soft, so soft, and cushiony; Dr. Scholl’s® has nothing on them. I walked around work that day on luxurious gray cottony clouds. It was the first time I had ever worn handknit socks and it was heavenly. I can’t remember wearing much else that felt as good as wearing those handmade socks.

They were also made out of love, as we know all knitting is, and in the days since I’ve come to realize perhaps that’s why they feel so good. Feet have many nerve endings and if you believe in reflexology, nerves in the foot connect with every major organ and region of the body. When you wear a handmade sock you’re sending that love all over you, and when you give a pair to someone, they feel the love you’ve knitted, too.

Because there are no accidents in this world, while I was having my sock-knitting experience I received a bulletin from my house of worship asking for donations of new packaged men’s underwear for its Midnight Run participation for the month of March. Midnight Run is an organization that gives supplies during the evening to the homeless in the metropolitan New York area. I asked if I could donate new handknit socks, packaged up, and the answer was an enthusiastic yes. I told the other knitters in my prayer shawl ministry and I think a few of us are planning on doing it now.

Finished sock
Finished sock

I’d like to think that when the men wear our handknit socks they’ll feel some of the love we’ve knitted in. I’d like to think it will give them a feeling that someone loves them in a harsh world — but if all the socks do is keep their feet warm and dry and happy, that will be enough.

Sock-Knitting for Charity Groups

Wool-Aid and Ravelry Wool-aid Group

Hearts for Warmth and Ravelry Hearts for Warmth Group

Ravelry For the Children of Pine Ridge Group – Knitting for the Ogala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota

Walking with Orphans and Ravelry Walking with Orphans Group

 

Charity Knitting · Giveaways · Knitting · Projects

Super Scarf Contest to Benefit Warm Up America!

Photo by Flickr/MissMessie
Photo by Flickr/MissMessie

Just read about a fabulous contest/giveaway to benefit U.S. women in shelters — I may have to enter this one myself! Design a knit or crochet Super Scarf, and Knit Simple magazine and Warm Up America! will choose two winners from five finalists in each category (knit and crochet). Finalists’ patterns will be available as a free download, while the two winners will win a prize package. Contest ends March 31, 2017.

Get all the details on the Knit Simple website, and good luck!

Charity Knitting · Knitting · Projects

The Red Scarf Project

A number of years ago I came upon a website for The Red Scarf Project, in which red scarves are knitted for orphaned young adults in college and distributed by Foster Care to Success. At 18 years old young people are released from the foster care system, often with no family and very little money. The red scarves are a token of caring, as well as one less practical item they won’t have to spend money on. And — so fitting — they are given on Valentine’s Day.

Foster Care for Success logo

It touched my heart. How would I have felt entering this scary new adult world with no parents to guide me? So I began to knit red scarves. They ranged from the very simple stockinette to the more intricate basketweave to cabled knits with fringe. They’re required to be machine-washable, so it was a great way to use up regular acrylic sale yarn — and there’s always plenty of red to be had of that!

If you’d like to do this, there’s a short window of opportunity to send scarves; they’re only accepted between September 1 and December 15. You need to follow specific instructions for knitting and finishing. There’s an emergency fund as well, so you can send monetary donations if you want to. Foster Care to Success encourages donations of personal care items and school supplies as well, and welcomes organizations to get involved with multiple donations.

I wish I had a photo of one of the scarves I knitted, but they’ve all been sent away! So here’s an example from Foster Care to Success using a palindrome reversible scarf pattern from Come to Silver.

If you knit a scarf for this project, please drop me a note and a photo and I’ll post it. Happy knitting!