Knitting Hats for Charity

There are so many people in need. The homeless, premature babies, and those going through cancer treatments need hats to help keep them warm. As knitters, we have a unique opportunity to help people in need with our craft.

I'm particularly interested in knitting hats that teens will like. It's hard enough to be a teenager, but when you're homeless or sick, you really need some support. Teens tend to be very fashion-conscious, and they want to look good, no matter their circumstances.

Our eBook Easy Knitted Hats features fifteen hat designs, and I've chosen three that I think will appeal to teens.

Hear No Evil by Katie Himmelberg Pinch Hat by Cecily Clowik MacDonald Roll-Brim Hat by Grace Akhrem
Earflap hats are the in thing, and teens
will love this striped version.
It'll help them ward off the cold if they're forced to be outside in wintertime.
Teen girls will fall in love with this pretty, feminine hat. It's worked back and forth in garter stitch and then seamed. The seaming yarn is pulled tight to gather the fabric. Stripes are all the range with teenagers, and so are slouchy hats. This topper is a quick knit and you can use up scraps from your stash while you're at it.

Two of these hats are knit in the round and striped. When knitting stripes in the round, you should know how to control the jogs that occur when switching colors. Here's how to avoid the jog:

The Jogless Jog

Knitting color stripes in the round can result in jogs at the "seam line where each new round begins. This occurs because the first stitch in the row above a color change is actually the last stitch of the previous row of color, so it looks like you didn't change colors soon enough.(This happens because when you're knitting in the round you're actually knitting a spiral, not a circle.) In Meg Swansen's Knitting (Interweave, 1999) Meg offers and ingenious technique for eliminating these jogs when working solid-color stripes of two or more rounds.

Work the first stripe (let's call that color A) for the desired number of rounds, change colors (color B) and knit one round.

Work the first stitch of the second round with color B as follows: Pick up the right side of the stitch in the row below the stitch on the needle (it will be color A, put it on the left needle and knit it together with the firs stitch on the needle. You will have worked the first stitch of the round twice, but because you work into the stitch below the one on the needle the second time, you have only worked it for one round and it appears as if it were worked just once.

The jog between the two colors disappears and the beginning of the round for color changes only is shifted one stitch to the left. Note: Do not change the position of markers required for the placement of any shaping decreases of increases (such as ones used for waist shaping).

Continue working as many rounds as you want with color B. To change to another color, simply repeat the process, working the first stitch of the round a second time by picking up the stitch in the row below the stitch on the needle, thereby shifting the beginning of the round one more stitch to the left for color changes.

I knit for a teen charity here in Spokane, but I'm sure there are some wonderful charities out there for all of you hat knitters. Please leave a comment and share your favorite hat charity.

And be sure to download Easy Knitted Hats while it's on sale!


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