‘Thoughtful Thursday’ Helpful Tips When Knitting For Charity

I think one reason we all knit for charity is because the need is literally everywhere. The need for charity knitting is as far away as the other side of the world, and it is as close as our own downtown areas and even our own neighborhoods. 
 Do you find, either occasionally or more often than not, that you would like to touch members of your own community with your charity knitting? I know I do. 
Knitting for someone else who has a greater need than yourself often helps put your problems in perspective. Many knitters enjoy knitting for charity, but if you’ve never done it before you may not know where to start. 
 I want to offer you some options to consider when you would like to donate your charity knitting projects a little closer to home. 



Stuffed toys: Make stuffed toys such as teddy bears, monkeys, and dolls, and offer them to places such as fire houses, hospitals, social service departments, and police departments. Such toys can be genuine godsends for children in traumatic situations, such as long-term illnesses, fires, and cases of abuse and neglect.


Hats and scarves: Most towns have homeless shelters, and I have yet to hear of one that will turn away a box of knitted hats and scarves. Particularly in areas where winters are extremely cold, these are a tremendous help to shelter residents. Domestic violence shelters will often take them, as well. 



Blankets: Afghans can also be donated to homeless and domestic violence shelters. Lap blankets and baby blankets can be donated to hospitals, where they may be used for babies, especially preemies, and those recovering from amputation surgery. 






Chemo caps: Hospitals of all kinds, especially those with cancer centers, will always be glad to accept donated caps for people who have lost their hair from chemotherapy. 





Premature baby clothing: Any hospital with a labor and delivery floor will likely be thrilled to accept hats, layette items, and blankets sized to fit preemies. 


Remember, before you take a trip to a local shelter, hospital, or fire/police department, be sure to call them ahead of time and ask if they will accept whatever you have to donate. Some may have guidelines; others may not be able to accept the items in question for one reason or another. Most, however, will be very glad to accept whatever you have to offer!

Another thing to keep in mind is that the need for garments or knitted items is all year round and not just in the winter time. Shelters and hospitals are often overwhelmed with donations at the holidays, but still need items throughout the year. There are nunerous international organisations who require knitted items and may have a local Office near  you or a collection point not too far away. 


Links to other ‘Thoughful Thursday’ posts you might like:

‘Lily’ Love In the Language of Yarn
Knit A Square
Military Heros
Sands Stillbirth and Neonatal Death
Cure Caps
Hugs for Homeless Animals
Loving Hands
Teddies for Tragedies
The Mending Hearts Project
Knit With Love
Keeping cancer victims warm
Lisas Stars
Bridge and Beyond
Strickpate
Oxfam
The Pink Slipper Project
Click for Babies
Upon Butterfly Wings
Recovery Buddies
Purple Stitch Project (PSP)

‘Thoughful Thursday’ Knit For Lisa’s Stars

We continue ‘Thoughtful Thursday’ with another worthy cause Lisa’s Stars.


Lisa’s Stars was set up in the Autumn of 2010 to make a difference to those who are unfortunate enough to lose a child prematurely. Their Founder is a lady who has sadly experienced this and felt something was massively missing from the aftercare of those babies and their parents. Lisa’s Stars initially started out as a way to support her local hospital, and her aim was to supply them with tiny blankets, hats and angelwraps so that any baby born too early would be kept warm and wrapped in love. It is heartbreaking that in some ares of the UK these babies are wrapped in nothing but tissue,or left naked.

Within 3 days of starting the group on facebook, Lisa’s Stars had a website, a forum to give support to families and nearly a thousand members, not to mention an army of ladies loving knitting and sewing a mountain of angel clothes. They came to realise that the support for her vision and the need for an organisation like hers extended far beyond the need for blankets and hats, and needed to reach more than just the local hospital.

The aim is to not only supply her local hospital with knitwear but to spread them to as many hospitals as they can. The dream is to create memory boxes for those babys and their families so they have their treasured babys keepsakes to keep for all time.
A baby is classed as prematüre if thay are born at less than 37 weeks gestation. 8% of births in the UK occur before 37 weeks and although NICU care has improved in the last 40years, any baby born at 24 weeks or less is sadly not seen as ‘viable’ and many do not survive, leaving some hospitals to struggle to provide clothes small enough. Every hospital is different in regards to their care for these babies and we must never forget that no baby should be left unclothed and must be shown respect no matter what gestation they are born at. While Lisa’s Stars provides items which are especially aimed to fit tiny babies born 16 to 24 weeks gestation, are happy to provide clothing for all angels no matter what gestational age they are born at.

Calling All Knitters!

This is where you can help Lisa’ Stars, not only to provide suitable clothing and blankets for these tiny sleeping angels but to also allow them to rest peacefully with the dignity they deserve and to also give their parents and families comfort in knowing their child is wrapped in love. By knitting some of the items in the list below:

Blankets

Hats
Booties
Cardigans
Angel Pockets
Burial Gowns
Buntings
Sleeping Sacks
Wraps You will find all patterns and sizing chart on the web site:http://www.lisasstars.org.uk

Measurements are used only as a guide as all babies are different and special.

Knitters are given free reign when it comes to what colour to use, but are asked to keep in mind that baies born upto 18 weeks it’s often difficult to determine what sex the babies are so its recommended that whites, creams or pastel yellows, lilacs and greens are used. Of course for babies born over 18 weeks pinks and blues are fine to use. All donations are gratefully received including knitted items / wool / ribbon / baby buttons / tiny teddies /disposable cameras and candles.

Please arrange delivery with your nearest Representative as this helps to keep postage costs to a minimum and as their representatives are there to make contact with their local hospitals and deliver items direct which enables them to provide a personal service.

You can find all the information on representatives and hospitals covered on the web site www.lsiasstars.org.uk or any enquiries to
Facebook page. http:// www.facebook.com/pages/lisas-stars/159738440713941

Donations
If you prefer to donate money which will go towards postage costs, purchasing of wool and other items, please use the donate button on the left hand menü on the web page.
All donations, however small or grandeur mean so much, as it allows the continuation of providing dignity to all babies, no matter how small as well as peace of mind to their parents through their most devastating time.
If you would prefer to send donations please send them to :
Lisa’s Stars PO Box 653, Swansea. SA1 9LL. United Kingdom
Help if you can!

‘Thoughtful Thursday’ Knitting For A good Cause


Knitting for charity is a wonderful thing. Not only does it allow you to knit more than you’d ever want to for your friends and family, you also get the good feeling that comes with helping other people. Charity knitting is a great group knitting activity. If you have a group of friends who knit (or who would like to start) a group knitting project for charity is a fun way to get everyone excited about knitting. An afghan made of simple squares is great even for beginners and will keep someone warm even if it isn’t fancy. Even if you don’t know the person who is to receive your homemade article, knowing that it is out there in the world is a great feeling. Many knitters love to share their skills by knitting for charitable organizations. Whether they’re making blankets for kids in the hospital, chemo caps, teddy bears or sweaters for kids in far away countries, there are many ways to knit for charity.
 

photo from knit a square



There are  probably organizations in your town that will need knitted goods for people undergoing  chemo therapy, newborn babies, children in protective custody, children involved in accidents, children in hospitals, veterans in VA hospitals, soldiers, homeless animals, and many others.

You can use a national organization as inspiration or even join a national group that provides charitable knitting by taking  the ideas of a larger knitting charity and focus them where you live.


Knitting for someone else who has a greater need than yourself often helps put your problems in perspective. Many knitters enjoy knitting for charity, but if you’ve never done it before you may not know where to start. You could check with your local yarn shop, your local hospital, or shelters to see if they have a need for warm items.

Here’s a list of some organisations that would benefit from your knitting or crocheting:


1. Lily- Love In the Language of Yarn https://www.facebook.com/LilyLoveInTheLanguageOfYarn
Need  Squares  to make blankets blankets for Syrian refugees in Turkey.


2. KasCare  Knit a square  http://www.knit-a-square.com and  https://www.facebook.com/Knitasquare
Need squares to make blankets for Aids orphans of South Africa also Slip-Overs, Hats, KASCuddles Jerseys, cardigans, jumpers and baby clothes.


3. Lisas Stars  http://www.lisasstars.org.uk  and
 http:// www.facebook.com/pages/lisas-stars/159738440713941 Need Blankets Hats Booties Cardigans

Angel Pockets Burial Gowns Buntings Sleeping Sacks.
4. Knit with Love  http://www.knitwithlove.org  need scarves, beanies, blankets and other knitted items.
5. RSPCA www.rspca.org.uk  need blankest for dogs.
6. Loving Hands http://www.lovinghands.org.uk/For the elderly:-Hats, Scarves, Mittens, Gloves

Lap Rugs, Blankets, Bed Socks, Jumpers,Cardigans,Bed Jackets,Hot water bottle covers.


7. Strickpate  http://strickpate.wordpress.com/ and www.facebook.com/strickpate need Socks, Gloves, Hats, Scarves, Fingerless / arm warmers, Leg warmers for childrenof all ages.

8. Bridge and Beyond http://homelessbridge.blogspot.com  need Hats, mittens, scarves, and slippers for homeless men, women, and children .






Another thing to keep in mind is that the need for garments or knitted items is all year round and not just in the winter time. Shelters and hospitals are often overwhelmed with donations at the holidays, but still need items throughout the year. There are nunerous international organisations who require knitted items and may have a local Office near  you or a collection point not too far away. 

‘Thoughful Thursday’ Lisa’s Stars

We continue ‘Thoughtful Thursday’ with another worthy cause Lisa’s Stars.


Lisa’s Stars was set up in the Autumn of 2010 to make a difference to those who are unfortunate enough to lose a child prematurely. Their Founder is a lady who has sadly experienced this and felt something was massively missing from the aftercare of those babies and their parents. Lisa’s Stars initially started out as a way to support her local hospital, and her aim was to supply them with tiny blankets, hats and angelwraps so that any baby born too early would be kept warm and wrapped in love. It is heartbreaking that in some ares of the UK these babies are wrapped in nothing but tissue,or left naked.

Within 3 days of starting the group on facebook, Lisa’s Stars had a website, a forum to give support to families and nearly a thousand members, not to mention an army of ladies loving knitting and sewing a mountain of angel clothes. They came to realise that the support for her vision and the need for an organisation like hers extended far beyond the need for blankets and hats, and needed to reach more than just the local hospital.

The aim is to not only supply her local hospital with knitwear but to spread them to as many hospitals as they can. The dream is to create memory boxes for those babys and their families so they have their treasured babys keepsakes to keep for all time.
A baby is classed as prematüre if thay are born at less than 37 weeks gestation. 8% of births in the UK occur before 37 weeks and although NICU care has improved in the last 40years, any baby born at 24 weeks or less is sadly not seen as ‘viable’ and many do not survive, leaving some hospitals to struggle to provide clothes small enough. Every hospital is different in regards to their care for these babies and we must never forget that no baby should be left unclothed and must be shown respect no matter what gestation they are born at. While Lisa’s Stars provides items which are especially aimed to fit tiny babies born 16 to 24 weeks gestation, are happy to provide clothing for all angels no matter what gestational age they are born at.

Calling All Knitters!
This is where you can help Lisa’ Stars, not only to provide suitable clothing and blankets for these tiny sleeping angels but to also allow them to rest peacefully with the dignity they deserve and to also give their parents and families comfort in knowing their child is wrapped in love. By knitting some of the items in the list below:

Blankets

Hats
Booties
Cardigans
Angel Pockets
Burial Gowns
Buntings
Sleeping Sacks
Wraps You will find all patterns and sizing chart on the web site:http://www.lisasstars.org.uk
Measurements are used only as a guide as all babies are different and special.
Knitters are given free reign when it comes to what colour to use, but are asked to keep in mind that baies born upto 18 weeks it’s often difficult to determine what sex the babies are so its recommended that whites, creams or pastel yellows, lilacs and greens are used. Of course for babies born over 18 weeks pinks and blues are fine to use. All donations are gratefully received including knitted items / wool / ribbon / baby buttons / tiny teddies /disposable cameras and candles.

Please arrange delivery with your nearest Representative as this helps to keep postage costs to a minimum and as their representatives are there to make contact with their local hospitals and deliver items direct which enables them to provide a personal service.

You can find all the information on representatives and hospitals covered on the web site www.lsiasstars.org.uk or any enquiries to
Facebook page. http:// www.facebook.com/pages/lisas-stars/159738440713941

Donations
If you prefer to donate money which will go towards postage costs, purchasing of wool and other items, please use the donate button on the left hand menü on the web page.
All donations, however small or grandeur mean so much, as it allows the continuation of providing dignity to all babies, no matter how small as well as peace of mind to their parents through their most devastating time.
If you would prefer to send donations please send them to :
Lisa’s Stars PO Box 653, Swansea. SA1 9LL. United Kingdom
Help if you can!

Knitting For A Premature Baby

A premature baby, or preemie, is born before the 37th week of pregnancy. Premature birth occurs in between 8 percent to 10 percent of all pregnancies. Because they are born too early, preemies weigh much less than full-term babies. They may have health problems because their organs did not have enough time to develop. Preemies need special medical care in a neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. They stay there until their organ systems can work on their own. Premature babies are amazing – they can grow and thrive despite huge obstacles, and catch up to full-term babies in both size and development.


When I get question from people who are looking for premature baby knitting patterns to knit for an early baby, often they don’t know what they are looking for. Usually they want to know whether the clothes  for a Baby doll are suitable to knit as garments for the tiny premature child. To help i have put a selection of preemie baby clothes together in an e booklet. Please leave you email address and i will be happy to send you a free copy.



A premature baby has very delicate skin so make sure you use baby soft yarn. Sometimes premature babies are allergic to wool, so it’s best to steer clear of using wool mix. You can use cotton and acrylic yarn. 100% Egyptian cotton is very soft, a fantastic soft yarn for delicate skin, warm when it is cold and cool when it is warm.


  Don’t put too much emphasis on trying to perfect the size of a preemie garment. There is a great variation between premature baby sizes that an item of any size should be suitable for at least one baby. As a general guide premature babies head circumference is approximately the same as their chest circumference. The average prem baby’s chest measurements are 8″-14″. However clothes of all sizes are required for preemies, so no matter how big or small your item is it will most likely fit at least one baby.
 

Plain flat half-inch buttons are best to use for fastening. Avoid nylon and metal fastenings, as they get very hot under the incubator heaters. Do not use Velcro as a fastening, it is very scratchy on the hook side and also damages knitted garments when they are laundered. Ease of dressing is vital for preemies and as a general rule it is best not to use ribbon as a fastening as ribbon can often be fussy to tie on a garment so small.

Knitting items for premature babies can be very rewarding and is definitely appreciated by the charities and the families who receive them. If you are excited by the prospect of getting your knitting needles working for charity please see ‘Knit for Lisa’s Stars’ and ‘Knitting with Loving Hands’ earlier posts on this blog.

For Free E Booklet ‘Knitting For Premmies’ please leave your email address in the box at the base of this blog. I promise to respect your privacy and will not pass your details on to anyone else.


Empty Arms, Shattered Dreams

Breaking the silence surrounding the aftermath of pregnancy loss.

This Week (9th-15th October) is pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Week.
By the end of today 34 babies will have died already this week in the UK through stillbirth alone, numerous more not included in these figures will have passed through neonatal loss, miscarriage, SIDS and other illness, that’s a lot of babies in 2 days just in the UK! 1 in 4 women are affected! Look around you, how many people do you know who’ve experienced the heartbreak?

October 15th is Worldwide Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

People whose lives have been touched by the loss of a baby during pregnancy or just after birth, will be uniting with others across the World to show their support for the Baby Loss Awareness campaign 2011. It is hoped that the Awareness campaign will give bereaved parents, their families and friends the opportunity to commemorate the brief lives and loss of their babies.
In rememberance of my grand daughter Lily Iris Gibson born sleeping July 18th 2010

I thought of you today, but that is nothing new.                   
I thought about you yesterday and days before that too.
I think of you in silence, I often speak your name.
All I have are too brief memories and a picture in a frame.
Your memory is a keepsake in which I’ll never part.
We don’t have you in our keeping but I have you in my heart.
 

I would like to invite you to take part in the global ‘Wave of Light’. I ask you to light a candle at 7pm on 15th October, and leave it burning for at least 1 hour to join me in remembering  Lily Iris,
Michael James, Andrew and all babies that have died during pregnancy, at, during or after birth.Having the world light a candle at 7pm, in theory means that a flame will burn continuously for 24 hours.



Feathers are hosting a combined rally and Wave of Light this year on the 15th October – Wave of Light Day. The point of the rally is to hand a petition into 10 Downing Street regarding the treatment of parents who lose their babies.                     

 Please have a read of the following and try to go along if you are able to make it.

                                                                                                                               We will be meeting at 6pm at Trafalgar Square then off to Downing Street for 7pm Wave of Light.

For anyone that is unable to make the event and would like their angel/angels to be included.

We will be selling lanterns so your angel will be remembered. A picture of these have now been posted on the wall. I have been informed by the powers that be we are not allowed to use an open flame. The Lanterns will cost £3.00 each inc P+P (overseas will need to check)

Your angels name and dates will be added, along with a short message from you and the date, place and time of event.

Before the event we are hoping to hand in a petition to the Prime Minister. If you wish to attend this please contact me.

We also hope to have the national news papers there so please show your support.

Lets light up Downing Street with all our angels.

Please note, if you would like to participate in lighting a candle please contact Feathers direct to make the purchase
                 http://www.facebook.com/pages/feathers/175047039199005
There are various events being held throughout the UK to find one near you see the events list at:  http://www.babyloss-awareness.org
Throuought the US:  http://www.october15th.com
A Reminder to Knitters
Sands have recently had a large numbers of orders for their Always Loved, Never Forgotten Memory Boxes, and stock of hand knitted blankets is beginning to run low. These handmade blankets form a very special part of the box provided to bereaved parents and we have been told how much comfort they bring parents at such a difficult time. For more information please see a previous post on this blog : Knitting For Sands.
                  also
Lisa’s Stars need: Blankets, Hats, Booties, Cardigans, Angel Pockets, Burial Gowns, Buntings and Sleeping Sacks. For more information please see a previous post on this blog: Knit for Lisa’s Stars