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The Charity Knitting Challenge

I’ve written before about how much I love making New Year’s Resolutions. Not the kind you forget on the second day of the year, but the kind that you can look through and tick off gleefully all year. You’ve probably heard that about a third of people will have broken their New Year’s Resolutions by the end of January, but you’ve also heard that it takes 30 days to pick up a new habit (like writing every day). That’s why 30 (or 31) day challenges are my favourites. You don’t have a horrifyingly long time frame to contemplate, and a “challenge” is far more exciting than a “resolution”. So, with that said…

Your Mission

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to knit 30 (or more) items for your charity of choice in the month of January (if January’s no good for you, feel free to choose whichever month you like). My inspiration for this challenge was Donna, who wrote to tell me about her amazing charity knitting:

“My New Year’s resolution, every year since 2003, has been to make an average of at least one item for charity each day. Every year I have beat that goal. For many of those years, I have made over 1000 items. That goal has been beaten while dealing with fibromyalgia. One year I had shoulder surgery and this year, I did it after dislocating and fracturing my shoulder last December.

Who have I made these items for and what have I made? NICUs (booties, hats, afghans, sweaters), infant loss programs (burial outfits, afghans), hospice (magnets, ornaments), nursing homes (lapghans, scarves, hats), the military (hats), animal shelters (cat toys – from otherwise unusable yarn like stained yarn). I think those are the main groups.”

AMAZING, or what?

I’m going to be recording my progress on Ravelry by tagging relevant projects “charityknittingchallenge”. If you’re taking on the challenge, please let me know in the comments where you will be recording yours, so we can all inspire & encourage each other!

Also, as a small incentive, if you complete the challenge with me in January, I will send you a copy of the KnitLove collection so that you can wrap up and label your charity handknits! :)

Grab a Button

<a href=""><img src="charityknittingchallenge-sm.png"/></a>

Find a Few Patterns You Like

Because of their size, baby items (especially preemie and newborn) are the easiest to complete in a day, and they will probably make up most of my challenge knitting, but there are other charities out there (as Donna mentions) that also require small, quickly-knitted items. Here’s the search I used to find some free baby patterns on Ravelry, but in case you don’t want to spend hours trawling through patterns, here’s a list of some that I thought looked useful. Feel free to suggest more in the comments!


  1. Simple Newborn Hat with a touch of lace
  2. Frantic Mama Knitted Soaker Pattern
  3. Baby Rollin’ Beret
  4. Mini-Reversible Duck to Bunny
  5. Baby Mittens
  6. Bonnet and booties – Hat
  7. Newborn Norwegian Sweet Mitts
  8. Little Seedling Soaker
  9. WW Cardigan Vest
  10. Stretchy Ribbed Newborn Hat – In the Round
  11. Baby Hearts
  12. Baby Cable Cap
  13. Lark Rise
  14. Confection Baby Shrug
  15. Simple Shrug with a Twist


  1. Presto Chango
  2. Snug
  3. Swirled Ski Cap
  4. Hooded Baby Wrap
  5. top down garter stitch yoke vest (short rows version)
  6. Twiggy

I think knitting one pattern several times would be a good strategy, since it takes time to acquaint yourself with a pattern, figure out what yarns and needles will work with it, etc.

I know many of you have spent December knitting holiday gifts, and have been looking forward to January as a “selfish knitting” month, but I hope you join me in this challenge. Feeling like we’re contributing something good to the world around us is a basic human need, and one we easily forget when setting resolutions, which is why I think getting accustomed to giving every day is a wonderful habit to acquire. Also, it’s a great opportunity to use up some of those holiday leftovers! ;)

30th December, 2011  // Inspiration // tags: , , .


  1. Denise d'Entremont says:

    Where would we send these?

  2. Nurchasanah says:

    hi, i’m from indonesia, i would like to join this chalenge. :) wish me luck :)

  3. Sugel says:

    To help me focus and keep on knitting, I joined the Year End Wrap Up KAL . I’m also hoping to cast on and finish a pair of Glorious Mitts by Karen Adams, but I don’t think that’s going to happen, but you never know.

  4. Im from Ontario Canada, how can i join the challenge?

  5. Ruth Ann says:

    This is a great challenge. I have tried to make a practice of alternating personal knitting with charity knitting. If you knit chemo caps you can take them to local cancer centers – easy as pie.

  6. Maggie says:

    There’s no way I’d be able to make 30 charity items in 1 month (I have pain in my hands if I knit too often), but I do make blanket squares for Knit A Square, and I think that would be perfect for your challenge. An 8×8″ square takes only a few hours, and if you get bored of plain old garter stitch square there’s all sorts of free patterns available. :)

  7. Stitch says:

    I love making items for charity – mostly baby blankets and clothes for the Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Recently, a children’s home opened about 20 miles from my house and I plan to make clothes and toys for these children in transition.

    Like Donna, I have fibromyalgia. Because of the chronic pain, I can only knit a few rows in a sitting. Last summer, I developed cubital tunnel syndrome (pinched nerve in the elbows) which has prevented me from doing any type of needlework (can you say stir crazy?!?)

    I encourage all of you who can to take this challenge. PM me on Ravelry if you need places to send your FOs. I know of lots of worthy charities in the U.S. and overseas.

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