Service Project 2012: Something for Everyone–and Every Basket of Odd Skeins!

February 27, 2012

Your Service Committee is pleased to announce a new project for 2012. To follow up on the success of last year’s donations of over 600 chemo caps for the American Cancer Society, we wanted a service project that will harness the abundant creativity and varied stashes of our Guild membership. Toward that end, our campaign will focus on children and teens, and benefit two organizations: Hennepin County Medical Center, and Afghans for Afghans.

For Hennepin County Medical Center we will make soft toys to give to children in need of comfort. Your gift of a cuddly toy will make a difference to kids who are hospitalized, in the care of ambulance personnel, or guests at the Crisis Center. Here are some recommendations for making toys:

  • Use soft, machine washable yarns
  • Wash the toy with non-toxic soap before stuffing and finishing
  • Embroider eyes on the face, as sewn on safety eyes or buttons can be pulled off and become choking hazards
  • Secure seams by tying a small knot into the fabric at the end of each seam

Afghans for Afghans partners with various relief organizations to distribute warm, durable clothing to children and adolescents in Afghanistan. Donating mittens, hats, sweaters, vests and socks will help young people to survive harsh winters that typically include waves of subzero cold. Guidelines for these items are:

  • Use durable yarns with a minimum of 75% animal fiber content, such as wool, mohair, alpaca, or llama
  • Dark and bright colors are best, as recipients typically do not have frequent opportunity to wash clothing
  • Colorful patterns are welcome, but avoid incorporating symbols or representational designs
  • Densely knitted fabric without lace is best for warmth and durability

Free patterns will be available at meetings, and we will link to more on the Service Committee blog. For each item you donate, your name will be entered in a drawing for prizes at our July picnic and our December holiday party.

Links:

Hennepin County Medical Center:  http://www.hcmc.org/index.asp

Afghans for Afghans:  http://www.afghansforafghans.org/

Heading to the Finish!

November 11, 2011

We have collected a total of 358 hats as of the October Guild meeting! If we collect another 42 hats, we will reach our goal of 400 hats for our project.

The collecting will continue until the January Guild meeting. There is still time to finish any hats you may have on the needles or start a few more and get them done by the end of this year.

Our plan is to donate 100 hats to the four Hope Lodges of the American Cancer Society in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, and Duluth. It looks like we will be able to meet this goal if we can get just 21 hats donated at the next two meetings!

There will be prizes given at the January Guild meeting for the members who have donated the most hats for the second half of 2011.

Hope you can help us reach the goal by knitting a hat (or two) and bringing it to a meeting.

Well Done – Keep It Up!

May 28, 2011

Congratulations and thank you to all who have currently contributed to our Chemo Cap project: we have collected 183 hats toward our goal of 400!

Here are a couple of hats we’ve collected:

This pattern is available at headhuggers.org and is knitting pattern #25 Spiral Knit Cap (2nd Version) and uses worsted weight yarn.

We have also seen some touching examples of not only the kindness of knitters, but of helping hands from those who have been in similar situations:

Thank you for giving of your time and your talents to help those who are in need.

We still have a long way to go to reach our goal of 400, but there’s plenty of time to turn in your completed chemo caps – so keep knitting!

Correction!

February 14, 2011

Apparently I had the wrong pattern file for the chemo caps. I have changed the link in the “baby hat & booties” entry below, and have corrected the title and file for the link on the right. The hats are similar to the baby hats, but can be made in children and adult sizes. They both use Cascade Fixation, which is one of the recommended yarns for the chemo caps.

I apologize for any confusion!

Baby Hat & Booties patterns

February 9, 2011

I apologize for those looking for the patterns that Steven Berg provided to the Knitters’ Guild for our service project! In trying to get information about the project out, and the discount offer, I entirely missed putting the patterns out here on the blog. :(

The patterns use Cascade Fixation, and there are two sets: Boys Stripes and Squiggles Hat with matching booties, and Girls Ruffles and Ribbons Hat with matching booties. All patterns are on the same pdf file. Direct link is here, and also in the sidebar on the right.

The patterns are for Guild use, for the service project. Thank you, Steven and the Yarn Garage, for the free use of this pattern!

MKG 2011 Service Project – Chemo Caps

January 20, 2011

Our 2011 service project was announced Tuesday night at the Guild meeting. Biz the Clown entertained us as he talked about our project to knit chemo caps for cancer patients.

Chemo caps are important to the cancer patient – both for protection as well as allowing them to avoid unwelcome stares and feel like themselves again. Caps should cover the entire head and be as attractive as possible. Patterns specifically designed for chemo caps are preferred, as normal cap patterns often leave space at the back of the head uncovered. In addition, a close-fitting hat is usually preferred, and chemo caps tend to be slightly smaller than regular hats, as the wearer has no hair. Remember that newly bald heads tend to be very sensitive.

Guidelines for Chemo Caps:

  • Hat should completely cover head. Avoid lacy designs as the baldness shows through, and they can be drafty.
  • Hat should be seamless. Avoid “lumpy” patterns.
  • NO wool content. Wool can be harmful to some cancer patients.
  • Softer yarns (like cotton) are more comfortable. Elann.com Esprit, Cascade Fixation, Caron Simply Soft, and Lion Brand Microspun are typical of recommended yarns. Machine wash & dry are a plus. “Baby” yarns are also a good choice.
  • Adult and children’s sizes are welcome.

We will be knitting chemo caps in honor of our Guild Secretary, Carrie Bartz, who passed away last June.

We will be featuring a few of the various chemo cap patterns that are available online. Some of these require (free) registration for the sites that host the patterns. Our first pattern is from the elann.com site, which is one that requires registration. There are a small number of printed copies available at the Guild meeting for those without internet access (provided with permission by elann.com). The pattern is the Pi Topper Chemo Cap.

The recommended yarn is 1 ball of elann.com Esprit (98.3% cotton, 1.7% elastic, 100 yards per 5–gram ball). Cascade Fixation is a good substitute, if needed. This hat was knitted/donated by Joyce Fitzgerald.

We will be collecting completed hats at every monthly Guild meeting. We will also have a collection at the Yarnover this year – an easy way to drop off your hats! There will be 2 prizes awarded for the most hats submitted, with the totals tallied in both July and December. We encourage you to challenge yourself with a goal, perhaps like Judy Berland (see story, winter Cable Gram) who knitted 65 hats for charity for her 65th birthday. The service committee has set a goal for the Guild to submit 400 hats – 100 each for the 4 cities (Duluth, Minneapolis, Rochester, and St. Paul) we’ve chosen to be recipients of our knitting this year. We are working with the American Cancer Society to donate the chemo caps. The ACS will be handing out the caps at their local offices, their sponsored Hope Lodges (Rochester & Minneapolis) and SMDC in Duluth, HCMC in Minneapolis, Mayo Clinic in Rochester and United in St. Paul.

Each month the hats will be collected and progress towards our goal of 400 hats will be noted!

You are not required to knit a specific pattern! Listed below are some links to websites that have a variety of chemo hat patterns. You may knit any pattern you choose, but please follow the guidelines listed above. If you have a favorite chemo hat pattern, or have designed one, you are encouraged to leave a comment here on the blog with the link or source of the pattern, and we will post it if possible. Please keep copyright restrictions in mind!

Check out these links for more patterns:

Bev’s Country Cottage

Headhuggers.org  (this site has kid’s patterns, too)

Elann.com

Chemocaps.com

One of our member/shop owners, Steven Berg, has graciously offered a 40% discount on Cascade Fixation or any viable chemo cap yarn for the Guild’s charity hat project. There are no limits as long as the yarn is used for this chemo cap project, and the offer is good to Guild members for the entire year. You will need to identify yourself as a Guild member when purchasing this yarn, and the offer is good at both of Steven’s locations:

StevenBe, 3448 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55407

612-259-7525   http://www.stevenbe.com

The Yarn Garage, 2980 145th St. West, Rosemount, MN 55068

651-423-2590  http://www.yarngarage.com

Any questions regarding the project should be directed to Michele Germanson, michminn AT yahoo DOT com

Last Call

December 9, 2010

We are quickly approaching the end of the year and our last Guild meeting for 2010. Our year-long service project of hats, scarves & mittens for two deserving charities is coming to a close. Please plan on attending our annual holiday party on December 21st, and bring joy (and warmth!) to others by handing in those finished items for our charity project! All items are welcome (please mark them for fiber content/washing instructions), and you do not need to make a complete set.

Here are a couple of patterns I’ve recently found – they are quick knits, too!

This is the Ella Rose’s Pixie Bonnet – a lovely, free pattern using sport weight yarn, and can be knit in 0-12 mo. or 12-24 mo. size. No fancy stitches and easy to knit while watching TV or at your knit group.

These are the Plait Cable Mittens.  Another free pattern! These work up very quickly in worsted weight yarn.

If you are unable to make it to the December meeting, please contact Michele Germanson at michminn AT yahoo DOT com to arrange delivery of your finished projects.

We’ll be announcing the 2011 charity knitting project soon – and sharing photos of the finished items collected for 2010, so stay tuned!

Service Project Details

May 22, 2010

We now have details to post for our 2010 service project, providing hats, scarves and mittens to children and adults in need:

Members and non-members can knit hats, scarves and mittens or any combination of these and donate the items at any of the monthly meetings this year. Each quarter at a meeting (March, June, October and December) the items that were knit that quarter will be shown at the meetings so people can look at/touch them and get inspired to knit more for the charities. (I hope to get photos to share on the blog, so if you miss a meeting you can still see the fabulous knits that have been donated.)

The charities this year are Parents In Community Action, Inc (PICA) which is a private, non-profit agency designated by the federal government to operate Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Hennepin County. The agency was founded in 1969 by Head Start parents. Today PICA serves nearly 2,500 children and families and offers a variety of programs and services for children and families in addition to Head Start and Early Head Start. To learn more, see their website www.picaheadstart.org

The other charity is the White Earth Reservation Community, which is near Detroit Lakes, Bemidji and Park Rapids. The reservation was established March 19, 1867 with the Mississippi Band. The White Earth Band of Ojibwa has 19,506 enrolled members. To learn more see their website www.whiteearth.com

When knitting for PICA you are knitting for kids, ages 0-5. Any type of yarn and any color are OK.

When knitting for White Earth you can knit for kids, teens or the elderly. They would like items in washable wool or wool/acrylic. They would really like warm felted mittens. It gets cold up there (recorded temps range to minus 51 and the frost can penetrate to a depth of greater than 8 feet).

Questions? Contact Michele Germanson at michminn AT yahoo DOT com.

Here’s a few more photos to inspire you:

Springy Ring Mittens

(Sorry – it’s a terrible photo.)

Spiral Mittens

Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf

I made this one with the “alternate” ending to make the ends symmetrical. This one is great for self-striping yarns.

Please remember to label your donations with fiber content and washing instructions.

I look forward to next month’s meeting (June 15) so I can see your beautiful knits! Remember that these projects are easy to take along and are good ‘summer’ knitting (no big projects in your lap)!

2010 Community Knitting Project!

May 5, 2010

Hats and Scarves and Mittens, Oh My!

Our community knitting project for 2010 is hats, mittens, and/or scarves. The recipients are still being determined, but are expected to include some of the reservations in the 5 state area.

Any size is acceptable – children and adult.

Please label all donations as to fiber content and washing instructions!

Preferred fiber is 100% superwash wool, however hand wash wool as well as acrylics and wool blends can be used and will be sorted by the recipients’ needs.

Any pattern is acceptable. We will post patterns or links to patterns here, hopefully to inspire you! We also had listings of free patterns that we distributed during our “Get Set for Winter” campaign (late 2008) – and those lists along with a few additions are posted as pdf files on the right margin.

Remember that Ravelry is another source for many free patterns – and a chance to check what fibers and colors others used for those patterns!

Our first mitten pattern suggestion is “Mittens for All” a free pattern from Coats & Clark. These can be knit plain or add stripes.

Another easy pattern that has a little more interest is Cabobble mittens. These have an afterthought thumb, cables and a few easy bobbles. Here’s a photo of the (unblocked) pair I’ve made:

I only have a few hat patterns that I’ve actually knit, and they were not free patterns – so I don’t have any photos to go with any of the hat patterns. :(  However, there appears to be quite a few easy hat patterns on our list. Perhaps you’d like to try Tychus

Scarves can be easy, on-the-go knitting. The Yarn Harlot’s One Row Handspun Scarf is easily memorized and results in a reversible, unisex scarf:

More details to come as they are determined, and we’ll highlight some of the other patterns we’ve tried!

Reminder

December 8, 2009

The last few days to knit your squares for our community knitting project are upon us. All squares must be completed and turned in at the meeting on December 15th. Come enjoy our holiday party and silent auction, and turn in your completed squares!

The project isn’t over in December — we’ll be sewing the squares together at our January meeting. Please make a note to bring your darning needle (and an extra or two if you can, for those who forget!) to the January meeting. The squares will already be pre-sorted so we’ll be ready to start sewing! (Thanks, Michele, for taking time during this busy season to sort these for us!)

Thanks for your participation in our project!


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