Three reasons to Commit To Knit for charity this June

June is Commit to Knit month, when we ask you to commit to knit or crochet at least one item for charity.

So why should you get involved?

  1. Stashbusting
    A lot of the patterns in the special charity knitting supplement we have put together with the lovely folk at Simply Knitting (look out for it in your newsagent in the next few days) and the ones on the charity section of our website use small amounts of yarn. Why not make some space in your yarn cupboard by rustling up a few twiddlemuffs, blanket squares or preemie hats.

    Commit to knit month

  2. Knowing that what you make will be really appreciated
    We receive lots of feedback from charity projects we support, thanking knitters for their time and skill. If you have run out of people to knit for, why not make something that will really help someone?
  3. Meet like-minded makers
    We will be putting together a list of libraries, knitting groups and shops that will be hosting Commit To Knit events and sessions, where you can join other knitters and crocheters to simply make together or work on a joint project. Keep an eye on the Commit to Knit area of our website.

 

Top tips for knitting in public and on the move

This Saturday is Worldwide Knit in Public Day (WWKIP) and as part of Commit to Knit month we’ve been encouraging to take your charity projects and join in events.

But for some knitters and crocheters taking our projects out and about isn’t just for WWKIP day. For some of us our knitting goes pretty much everywhere. These are the people who take the attitude that if “I’ve somewhere park my behind and my hands are free, I’ll get my knitting out” to quote one public knitter.

And I must admit, I‘m one of this type of knitter. I’ve crocheted as a passenger in a car and knitted everywhere from ski lifts to backstage at an Olympic event to on the set of a Marvel movie. It’s great to fill those odd moments with nothing much else happening with a couple of rows – public transport is particularly good for this.

But if you are not a public knitter, you might feel a little nervous about taking your needles out in a café or on a train for the first time, so here are a few tips for enjoyable KIPing.

The Project

There are some projects that don’t lend themselves easily to KIPing (or CIPing) – the 500 stitches of an almost finished lace shawl, the body of an aran sweater or the edging of a granny square blanket for example.

You want a project that will fit easily into your bag. You don’t want to be carrying an extra bag or rucksack simply for your knitting. So socks, hats, a scarf you can roll up or baby clothes are good options.

Simpler projects are also good if you are a new KIPer. Choose something that you can easily pick up and put down in the middle of a row – you will be interrupted, run out of lunch hour or suddenly notice you are arriving at your station and have to stop and shove your project in your back. In fact public knitting is good for training you to keep track of your project and to “read your knitting” so  that you can tell exactly where you stopped (we’ll have a post on reading your knitting very soon).

You also should think about your needles. A lot of KIPers are fans of circular needles even when working in rows for two reasons. Firstly, a project on a circular needles is easier pack in your bag. Also manoeuvring straight needles on a commuter train isn’t that easy. Here public crocheters definitely have the advantage.

As for yarn, the main trick here is to predict how much knitting you are likely to do and pack extra yarn if necessary. Unless we are talking about a very long train or plane journey, having one more skein is generally sufficient. There’s no need to carry you stash about.

KIP kit: Centre pull balls in yarn cosies reduce the chance of your yarn staying on the train when you reach the platform. DPNs and circular needles take up less space and make up bags and similar are great for small projects

KIP kit: Centre pull balls in yarn cosies reduce the chance of your yarn staying on the train when you reach the platform. DPNs and circular needles take up less space and make up bags and similar are great for small projects

The people

Apart from your project choice the other major factor in public crafting is other people.

Be prepared for:

  • People staring or becoming mesmerised by your stitches. Don’t be alarmed, just think that you are making their day more entertaining as well as enjoying yourself
  • People chatting. Other people who knit or who want to knit will often want to talk about their experiences and what you are making. Again think of this positively – these people have overcome that traditional British reserve to start a conversation with a complete stranger.
  • Odd questions. Any KIPer worth their salt will have a collection of unusual and funny questions they’ve been asked about what they’re doing, these are great for sharing with other knitters. Plus you can play KIP bingo ticking off the man who says “is that for me” or “do me one in blue”, the person who says “is it for a baby” extra points if you are making the back of man’s jumper at the time or the one who tells you “you could sell that”.

There is a lot of enjoyment to be had knitting and crocheting in public so why not give it a go this Saturday. You can find our map of Commit to Knit events here.

Join or organise a Commit to Knit event

There is still time to join in or even organise your own Commit to Knit month event.

We have suggested that knitting groups could hold charity knitting events on Worldwide Knit in Public Day, 18 June. This could be by linking up with your local library or arranging to knit at a picnic, in a café or in any other public space. One of our team will be on a ferry that day so she plans to knit an item from our charity pattern collection and have spare yarn and needles if anyone else wants to join in.

Commit to Knit month

Why not talk your charity knitting on an outing and share your love of yarn crafts with others

More than 90 libraries from across the country have offered to host Commit to Knit events. You can find the one closest to you and a list of the knitting groups already planning activities here.

If there isn’t anything happening near you, why not organise you own charity knitting in public event. It doesn’t have to be anything very formal, you just need the following:

  • Some knitting friends to meet up with
  • A venue – café, library, pub, park. Remember if you go for an outdoor event, have a back-up plan.
  • A willingness to talk about knitting and crochet to anyone who is interested
  • Be welcoming to new (to you) knitters
  • Your yarn and needles.

Once you’ve decided on your plan please use this link to let us know what you are doing and if it is on Saturday 18 June list your event on the WWKIPDay website as well. You can find more ideas here.

If you don’t think you can manage a special Commit to Knit event why not persuade your knitting group to give a regular session to charity knitting. We’ve heard of one group that are planning to make Twiddlemuffs for dementia sufferers and then have a finishing session at their regular meeting where they’ll share buttons, beads and trimmings.

Click here to find out more about this year's Commit to Knit patterns including the Twiddlemuff

Click here to find out more about this year’s Commit to Knit patterns including the Twiddlemuff

Whatever you decide, don’t forget to let us know how you plan to Commit to Knit this month.

Why we like to knit for charity

It is Commit to Knit month  and we’re asking you to sign-up to knit or crochet an item for charity during June.

We’ve come up with a list of charities that could benefit from your knitting and put together a collection of patterns for those organisations. The patterns are available in a booklet issued with the June issues of Simply Knitting, The Knitter and Simply Crochet magazines, and will be published on our website during the month.

 

Commit to Knit Month

Some of our Commit to Knit patterns – Egg cosies for Oxfam, Preemie Hat for Bonnie Babies and Tulips for AYME Mums.

Commit to Knit month was inspired by the 1,000s of you who knit for charity every year, but we’re sure that some of you are wondering if it is for you – so making a single charity item is a way to try it out.

To inspire you we’ve been asking some of our followers to tell us about their charity knitting and found so much variety in what they do. Charity knits come in all shapes and sizes. It could be something traditional like a blanket of squares or a hat for a preemie baby but equally it could be prizes for a tombola, a crocheted prosthetic breast or a knitted flower to raise awareness of a cause. Charity knits might be donated or sold – or they might be something you make from a pattern sold for charity. As knitters and crocheters, you do all of these things, proving once again the variety in the yarnie community.

And why do people knit for charity?

When you look at what people have to say about their charity knits, the underlying reason is that we love knitting and we can use something we love to help others. So it is a win-win. Plus we can think about the object we create being loved by someone who will really value a warm garment or a comforting blanket. Or of someone benefiting from a charity that has raised money through our stitches.

So whether you’ve knitted for charity or not in the past, please join in this great tradition and share the love this June.

commit to knit

Are you ready to Commit to Knit?

June is Commit to Knit month 2016, when we ask you to pledge to knit an item (or more than one) for charity.

The month follows on from our first Commit to Knit campaign last year when hundreds of knitters and crocheters signed up to make items for a number of charities with yarn based projects. This year we have decided run the campaign in June to coincide with Worldwide Knit in Public day on Saturday 18 June, and we hope that some of you will organise charity-knitting events through your knitting groups on the day.

This year we are focusing on eight charities and have worked with our member yarn companies to put together a set of patterns – one for each of the charities The charities are we are supporting are Knit For Peace, Project Linus, Knit A Square, Oxfam, RSPCA, Mission To Seafarers, Bonnie Babies and  AYME Mums.

We have teamed up with Immediate Media, publisher of Simply Knitting, Simply Crochet and The Knitter, to create a Commit to Knit pattern booklet which will be given away with copies of those magazines over the next few weeks.

The patterns will also be made available of the UK Hand Knitting website over the period of the campaign. Three of the patterns are already on the site for you to make a start – click here to see our egg cosy, crochet tulip and preemie hat patterns.

How to Commit

If you want to knit or crochet something for charity during June please sign up to the campaign here. And if your knitting group would like to pick a charity to knit for during the campaign or would like to organise a charity knitting in public event, you can join the campaign here.

There will be suggestions and advice on organising an event in future weeks and we’ll be running prizes draws for individuals and groups who sign up during June.

commit to knit

Look out for the Commit to Knit booklet with Simply Knitting, Simply Crochet and The Knitter magazines