06 November 2012

"Thanks Mom! Many people are freezing right now as the temperatures fall. They're burning furniture in the streets in Rockway. Charities are saying donations in the form of money are most needed but knit hats will also keep everyone a bit warmer until they can receive some help and shelter."

Those are the words from my daughter, Allyson, (she's the model for Cottonwood at the subway entrance across the street from her apartment) as she replied to my Facebook post, calling my knitting friends to help make warm hats, mittens, scarves, etc. for the people who are still suffering in the aftermath of Sandy. I hadn't heard about burning the furniture, but last night while watching the news I thought that if I were there I'd probably start pulling out any wood to burn for fuel and warmth.

So, pull out your yarn and knitting needles. We want to get items to that region quickly, so I would think that simply knit warm accessories would be the best. I am adding links for free patterns, and just all-around great patterns.

Ann Budd's book, The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns the one that has mittens, sweaters, hats, and gloves pictured on the cover is a great source since she has many designs in many sizes and gauges.

Hats - Any color, any size. Machine washable is helpful, but 100% wool is warmest. Label whether or not it can be machine dried. Hats with cuffs around the ears would be useful as they can be pulled low around the ears. Rolled brim hats are cute, but may be uncomfortable to wear while sleeping.

The Nonsuch Knits pattern "Hat With Heart" is linked on the right-hand side of this blog under Free patterns. You will be directed to Ravelry where it may be downloaded for free.

Troll Toe Hat by Ant B Knits is a cute pattern for a child's hat (newborn and up) knit from the top down, so you will learn some of the basics for toe-up socks. Fun. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/troll-toe-hat

Gentleman Hat by Marjorie Dussaud is a very sharp looking hat for men, women, and children. Three sizes are offered in DK weight yarn, with changes for different gauges. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/gentleman-hat

Scarves/Cowls - These are always great for keeping your neck warm. A wide scarf that can be crossed over the chest will serve a dual purpose. Cowls, ditto. Close-fitting cowls or long ones that can be doubled would be fine. Again, label the fiber content.

Bark is a quick-knit free scarf pattern to the right under Free Patterns, again. It could easily be made into a cowl by joining the cast on and bind off edges.

Darkside Cowl by Sarah Fama. I just completed this cowl. It is very quick to knit and can be easily altered for any size. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/darkside-cowl

Chunky Charity Scarf by Kathy Christensen will be a quick knit in many different yarn combinations. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chunky-charity-scarf

Mittens/Gloves - All sizes again. Mittens are faster to knit than gloves and they have the added benefit of keeping fingers together and warmer. If they have work to do, though, gloves will aid in dexterity. Once again, label the fiber content.

Basic Mittens by Molly Matters http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/basic-mittens-11

Glittens Revisited by Jillian Necky. This seems to be a great convertible/flip-top mitten pattern using worsted weight yarn. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/glittens-revisited

Child's Simple Striped Mittens - a Sivia Harding pattern based on an Elizabeth Zimmerman classic. Sure to be a winner! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/childs-simple-striped-mittens

So there are a few pattern links to get you started. All of these patterns were located on Ravelry and are offered free by the designers, (There were over 3200 free mitten patterns!) so go take a look for yourself for many, many more patterns.

Allyson also mentioned that monetary donations are always needed. When asked, she said that The American Red Cross or New York Cares would be terrific donation sites.

I can collect any items in the Omaha area. If you live elsewhere, I have contact names that I can forward to you. Just let me know.

Thanks to all-
Lynn Anne