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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: , , .


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ruskin baby hat

I squealed with delight this morning on finding a download link from WoollyWormhead for her Bambeanies ebook! A while back when she was looking for name suggestions for the patterns, I nominated a few of my favourite Jabberwocky words, and I was lucky enough that she chose one of them. And now I get to squeal once a week as the patterns land in my inbox! Hmm, I wonder which one is Beamish? :)

Well, I was so excited that I cast on for a Ruskin right away, using some leftover yarn from my first Parasol Shawlette. There’s a very special baby girl who is to make her début in September, and hopefully she’ll enjoy wearing it.

ruskin baby hat

The pattern is very quick & easy, but I did learn something new. I tried out WoollyWormhead’s Alternate Cable Cast On for ribbing for the first time. It’s a clever variation on the usual cable cast-on, and very easy to remember, so I shall certainly be using it in the future.

The name reminds me of a vague little daydream I’ve had for a few years, to be in a band called “Buskin’ Ruskin”. I wonder whether the man himself would approve? ;)

12th July, 2011  // Inspiration // tags: , .

A Knitted InVESTment

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I found out via the Berroco Design Blog that a group of Ravelers are celebrating Vest-uary, by knitting a vest (or slipover for us Brits) during February. Punning is obligatory. I am working on the baby version of the Houses Slipover, but the temptation is great to knit another slipover for myself. They are very versatile and I wear mine constantly.

baby vest

In between knitting, I have also been working on starting my latest adventure, the Laylock Press, a private electronic press, charged forthwith with publishing Laylock knitting patterns. The aim is to give the PDF-design side of the Laylock patterns the attention it deserves, while providing an outlet for publishing various other pieces I have in mind. I will be posting postulations about pattern layout over there, so I hope you will take time to visit & subscribe.

7th February, 2009  // Houselock, Knitwear Design, Laylock // tags: , , , , .
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