How knitters and crocheters can help the Grenfell Tower fire survivors

The Grenfell Tower fire in west London last week has been dominating a lot of people’s thoughts and we know that knitters have been asking if there is anything they can do to help the Grenfell survivors.

We have checked with some of the charities involved in collecting and distributing the initial donations to the families left homeless by the disaster and they tell us that immediate needs have been met.

However, they also say that there will be more long term needs for these families as they are housed and start to rebuild their homes. They will need things that they won’t be thinking about right now – blankets to personalise kids’ bedrooms when they get them again, bobble hats for those same kids going to school next winter and warm socks for elderly people, for example.

Colourful crocheted or knitted blankets could add personality and comfort to a rehoused child’s room

There is plenty that knitters and crocheters can do.

So we were very pleased to see our friends at Knit for Peace announce that they will be a collection point for knitted items for Grenfell survivors. Click on the link here to find out where to send your items and how else you might be able to help.

Hopefully, some of you can use your talents to help the Grenfell families. This story serves as a good reminder that charity knits are needed all year round not just in the an immediate time of crisis, or in Commit To Knit month.


Why knit in public

This Saturday, 10 June 2017, is World Wide Knit in Public Day. Pretty much as it says on the tin, this is when knitters of all abilities, styles and nationalities take their needles and yarn out and about.

For some people this means going to an organised Knit in Public Day event. A number of these around the UK have been organised as part of Commit To Knit (C2K) month so will be focusing on charity knitting in public – you can find details of 70 C2K events here.

Other people might just get together with friends in a café or have a special local knitting group outing.

And some people will do pretty much what they do anyway, that is knit everywhere – on park benches, on public transport, in waiting rooms and hospital wards, and anywhere else they might have an opportunity.

world wide knit in public

If you haven’t knitted in public before, why not give it a go this Saturday? It is a great way to reduce your stress in waiting rooms or lose yourself on a crowded train. You just need a small project that you can pull out of a bag (or even a pocket in the case of a crochet square for example) when you have the opportunity.

And it may not be just you that benefits. When you knit in public, you will notice people who seem to relax by watching your needles. Other people will chat or ask you what you are making. This can range from the chirpy “Will you do me a hat, love” to people asking where they can learn or who really want to tell you about the lovely sweaters their Nan made. Whatever the conversation, a little friendly chat can’t be a bad thing.

Finally, you might meet a fellow knitter. Knitters round the world seem to be happy to greet another person with their yarn out. So you never know, you could make a new friend this Saturday.

Click here for the full worldwide list of events.

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.


It’s National Knitting Week – get involved

Today marks the start of National Knitting Week, 5-11 October 2015. Although at UK Hand Knitting every week is about encouraging people to knit and crochet and share the love of everything yarnie, National Knitting Week is a time when we encourage other knitters, crocheters and yarn retailers to get on board and make a noise about yarn crafts too.

Central to National Knitting Week this year is Commit to Knit our campaign to get 1,000 knitters and crocheters to sign up to make at least one item for charity this autumn, but signing up  is not the only way for you to support knitting week.

You could support one of our Commit to Knit charities, the Mission to Seafarers  by knitting a hat this Friday of the Campaign for Wool Woolly Hat Day.

nationalknitting week

You could go to a knitting group for the first time. These are a great way to meet new people, learn new techniques or to just have an excuse to knit without interruption for a while. If you don’t know of a local knitting group email so we can check our lists to help. Once our new website is up there will be a searchable database of knitting groups.

If you are already part of a knitting group use this week to invite learners or to plan a learn to knit event for the run up to Christmas.

If you don’t want to be part of an organised event why not knit on the bus or in a public place and chat to the people who ask you about your knitting.

Or wear your best hand knits all week.

We just ask that you are loud and proud about your knitting this week.

Commit to Knit – Time to Volunteer

Recently we asked you to nominate your favourite charity that takes knitted or crocheted items and we were amazed by the response.  We were inundated with nominations and we have now contacted all the charities and voluntary organisations just to make sure they want to take part.

The list for 2015 is now complete and it’s time for you and your friends to Commit to Knit.

It really couldn’t be easier.  Just follow this link, choose a charity and get knitting. By doing so you will help the charity by providing items for their campaigns and raising awareness of what they do.

But before you do we have put together a little bit of information with a link to each organisation so you can find out exactly what items they are looking for.

Knit for Peace  is an initiative of the Charities Advisory Trust. It grew out of projects developed in Rwanda and India, which brought together women of traditionally hostile communities to knit clothes for street children and orphans.

Knit a Square is looking for 20cm squares to help keep AIDS orphans in South Africa warm.

Needles & Hooks, Angels & Preemies  make items for premature and angel  babies as well as the homeless, cancer patients, dementia patients and children with brain injuries across the UK.  Join their Facebook group to find out what they need most at the moment.

National Animal Welfare Trust are always looking for blankets and squares for their local centres.

Knitted Knockers  was set up to relieve the needs of women who have had a mastectomy or lumpectomy by the provision of a knitted or crocheted prosthesis. They will be looking for new volunteers after 11th September.

Following the success of Woolly Hat Day  2015, St Mungo’s will soon be launching their campaign for 2016.

p/hop  is a knitting fundraiser for MSF. Simply choose your pattern, enjoy your knitting, make a donation. Turn your joy of knitting into vaccines, midwives, malaria treatments.

Woolly Hugs  hopes that through it’s work, babies, children and their families will feel love, support, comfort and a physical reassurance through their blankets. They currently have ongoing projects for the Brompton Hospital in London and The Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.

Woolies for the World is a small community of volunteers looking for all kinds of knitted items that are distributed all over the world.

Mission to Seafarers  cares for seafarers from around the world who need warm clothing. They need balaclavas, scarves, gloves and hats in any colours.

Twiddlemuffs for Dementia sufferers are what the Hampshire NHS Trust are looking for. A twiddlemuff is a knitted hand muff with items such as beads, zips and ribbons attached both on the inside and outside which have been designed and developed to provide simple stimulation for restless hands and to promote increased brain stimulation in those suffering from dementia.

Sands UK  is the stillbirth and neonatal death charity who have a constant need for white baby blankets. They have patterns available if you contact them.

For more than 10 years, Age UK has been involved in The Big Knit with smoothie brand innocent.  They are looking for 800,000 little knitted hats, which will be put on bottles to raise money for the charity.

Headway is the Brain Injury Association.  They have a wide network of shops where hats and mitts are sold to raise funds.

The RSPCA rehomes thousands of animals and knitted blankets are so useful to help them settle with their new family.  Blankets should be sent to your local centre.

Tiny Treasures is a non-profit organisation who’s aim is to supply items of clothing and toys to hospitals across the UK for babies who are born prematurely, are in NICU or who have sadly passed away. Join the Facebook group for more information.

If your charity isn’t on the list and you have already nominated them it is because they aren’t able to take part this year.

Whoever you knit or crochet for, thank you so much for volunteering for this year’s Commit to Knit and don’t forget to share pictures of what you have made on our Facebook page.


Commit to Knit for charity during National Knitting Week

Do you have time to knit something for charity this Autumn?

This year UK Hand Knitting is teaming up with Knitting magazine for a special campaign to mark National Knitting Week, 5th-11th October 2015.

Because we know that knitters, and crocheters, are a generous lot, we are looking for 1,000 of you to help charities based in the UK by committing to knit one small item to help the charity raise money.

The first step is to choose the charities and this is also something you can help with. We would like your nominations for charities we should support this year.

Please tell us your suggested charity in the comments below, on our Facebook page or by tweeting us at @UKHKA . The only requirements are that the charity is UK based and that they have an existing campaign asking supporters to knit for them. Once we have completed the list of charities we’ll ask you to choose your favourite and “commit to knit” one, ten or even one hundred items for that cause – whatever you have time for.

“So many charities raise valuable funds or can make contributions to those less fortunate thanks to the army of knitters that support them,’ explains Russell Morris, chair of UK Hand Knitting. “We wanted to take the opportunity this year to celebrate their work and invite more knitters to take part.”

Volunteers will be invited to sign up from the beginning of September 2015 but please nominate your charity today.


What will you commit to knit?