What to Crochet for Charity

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.

Subscribe to Interweave Crochet today and start your own collection of quick innovative projects, perfect for charitable giving.

P.S. What is your favorite charity?


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