I love to knit, particularly with knitting needles. I enjoy the process of the knitting far more than the finished project. For this reason, most of what I knit, I end up giving away to someone as a gift.
This month was no exception. I just completed knitting a shawl from a pattern book entitled, “FriendShip Shawls,” by Debbie Macomber. The pattern I made was entitled, “A Hug to Keep,” and was designed by Cathy Hardy. What a simple but pretty shawl this turned out to be! Using bulky weight yarn and size 10 needles, the pattern is of a triangular shawl where the knitting begins at the bottom tip, and the shaping is achieved by adding on stitches using the knit cast on method in a stair-step pattern.
I gave the shawl to my sister when she visited me this weekend. It is sure to keep her warm this winter. She lives 400 miles away, so the shawl is my hug for her till we can see one another again.
Here at Krafters Korner we hold classes teaching blind crafters ways to create many different types of crafts. In some of our classes we learn techniques to make these crafts more marketable. Below is a note from one of our students describing some of what she learned in a recent class.
I took the Jelly Bean Jar Class. I learned that you should always embellish your jar lid, by doing so you can earn more money if selling the item. We also learned a technique where you take some item and use it to cover the top of the jar. An example would be if filling the jar with dog bones, take a dog bone or several mini dog bones and glue them to the top but don’t forget to seal the item with Modge Podge or some sealant.
Sources for Affordable yarn
Yarn crafters who make projects to donate to charity are always looking for good sources for affordable yarns to use.
Some ideas for free or inexpensive yarns:
- Community organizations such as the Girl Scouts may be a good source of free yarn. Yarns are donated to these groups, and can often times be more than the organization can use. To find a local Girl Scout council in your area go to: https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/join/council-finder.html
- Websites like https://www.freecycle.org/search are sources of free items people are wanting to give away.
- Goodwill and other consignment shops have inexpensive clothing. Sweaters made of wool can be found in these shops for very little cost. Unraveling the sweater and reusing the yarn in the project of your choice is another way to get inexpensive yarn.
What sources can you suggest for acquiring free and inexpensive yarns to use in charity projects?
Here at Krafters Korner we love creating handcrafted items from a baby blanket to a safety pin beaded ship with lots of other exciting creations in between. We just celebrated our 10th year in 2018 as a division of the National Federation of the Blind. Let’s take a moment to meet our incredible founder and president Joyce Kane.
Joyce is a native new Englander with the Yankee “can do” spirit. She resides in Stratford, CT in a beautiful three-story colonial home. She currently lives with her son J.C. Her 100-years-young mom lives next door. Joyce and her late husband John were married for 42 years. John was always a huge support to Joyce with her crafting adventures. At an NFB convention in Orlando John told me that his philosophy was that a happy wife made for a happy life. Check out the Kane Brewer Fund on our website to learn more about John and how his legacy assists others to reach their crafting dreams. Joyce and John were blessed with three children and five grandchildren. grandchildren.
Throughout the years, Joyce has always stayed active in promoting her crafting passion. These activities ranged from owning a yarn shop to teaching community education classes in all types of crafts.
She has also been very active in the Girl Scouts. Teaching girls of all age’s new crafts.
Joyce lost her vision 12 years ago from diabetic complications. Sure, she initially missed seeing this or that…but she soon learned through trial and error. As a totally blind person she effortlessly began knitting, crocheting, quilting, beading and several other crafts again. Joyce does not slow down with learning new crafting techniques. We can all learn from her willingness to try new experiences. Currently Joyce has begun her own embroidery business she is calling it “Color My World”. She will make custom items from t-shirts, bags to table runners and many other items in between. She uses a computerized embroidery machine that she just started to learn a year ago. Her creations are gorgeous.
Joyce searched for a group of likeminded blind people to share tips and tricks of the crafting world with. After she did not find such a group…she set out to begin her own group.
The Krafters Korner currently has over 50 members and we average around 40 classes a year. Joyce has provided renewed joy and excitement to many. Not just in her geographical area, but virtually all over the world. Joyce gathered a group of people to help create the foundations of this division. They saw the importance of teaching in a format that will not be hindered by the miles that may separate us. This has been accomplished in unbelievable ways. Stop by our website and check out our classes www.krafterskorner.org.
I have been personally so encouraged through my friendship with Joyce, and I know others feel the same. Thanks for your passion Joyce and for creating Krafters Korner!
I am having a great time knitting hats for charity. My local yarn store collects them and when they have plenty, they give them to an agency in the next town that serves homeless families.
A friend of mine bought a big bag of yarn from Michael’s, several colors, to use in a party game, and he gave me all the leftovers, which was quite a lot. All the colors go together so I can mix them however I like.
I’m enjoying trying different patterns and seeing how they come out. So far, I am using rib patterns, because they are stretchy, so the hat could fit a variety of people’s heads. They also create warm, cozy hats. I’m making my hats with 2 different colors, one main and one for some stripes, to jazz them up a bit.
The hats are pretty small, so they’re very easy to throw in a bag and work on during a meeting or whatever. Plus, they don’t take long to make. I’m a slow knitter, and I’m making a hat a week. The yarn store owner tells me another person is undergoing cancer treatment and bashing out hats while she waits around for doctors.
It’s fun, trying different things on something quick that doesn’t require a lot of thinking, once it gets going, and then turns into something attractive and useful, without adding to my already extensive hat collection.
I’m lucky that my local yarn store is coordinating this project. but I know other Krafters Korner members are knitting or crocheting for charity through their church or local hospital, and a Google search for “knitting for charity” also turns up quite a few possibilities.