Crocheting and knitting items for those in need

Posted by on May 27, 2012 at 7:33 am.

The cooler months are still a way off, but I’m already thinking of cold weather items I can donate to the various organizations I’m affiliated with.

Clothing is a nonissue. I have contacts with a local second hand shop, and so can supply those in need with clothing, toys, and sometimes electrical appliances too.

But, I must admit, I do like adding handcrafted items to the mix. 

I’ve always enjoyed creating items for those in need. In the past, the items I’ve given have mainly been sewn, like the quilts made for the Lutheran World Relief. I also make handmade cards for our soldiers too. This year is different since I’ll be adding crocheted and knitted items to that list.  How cool is that? 

Knitting Stockinette scarf 1

Stockinette scarf

In the above picture, you can see a stockinette scarf that I’m knitting. I started on it last evening, and it’s working up fairly quickly. One thing I’ve always enjoyed about knitting is I don’t have to look at my work. I “know” whether I do something wrong. Because of that, I was knitting this scarf, while watching Coraline the movie for the bazillionth time. My daughter really loves the movie.

The color I chose for the scarf is bright and cheerful, and more important it’s warm. I was torn on how to make the scarf, originally I was going to make it in garter stitch. Since that’s a bit stretchier and it since it uses more yarn, it’ll be warmer too. But, I do like stockinette scarves too, and so I decided to make my first scarf of 2012 using the stockinette stitch.

Yarns used for charity

The types of yarn I use for charity varies. If I know, it’ll be going to someone that might not have a lot of money. I usually opt for acrylics, not because I think less of them. I just don’t think it’s reasonable to think they’ll have the funds to dry clean the items I make.

What I love about acrylics is you can just toss it in the washing machine, take it out and wear it. They won’t have to worry about messing up a delicate fiber since the handmade item is acrylic. Perfect for those who might not have a lot of money. It’s also perfect for those with children, or people who can’t be bothered with special care instructions.

But back to my stockinette scarf…

Because of it’s tendency to roll, the stockinette stitch is best suited for circular items such as socks, stockings, hats, gloves. You can combat the roll in a variety of ways. In the above picture, I added a few knit stitches at the beginning and end of each pearl row. I could also have added cables, seed stitch, or a variety of other options to prevent the stockinette from rolling.

The next charity items I’ll be making are hats. I’ll do a combination of crocheted and knitted hats. I’ve always been fond of the garter stitch, and so a few of my hats will be knitted that way.

Volunteering is very important to me, and it’s something I do weekly. Not just around the holiday season, since I realize that some people face difficulties throughout the year. 

Teeni, you’ll be happy to know that I’m now comfortable with my circular knitting needles, and I’m as fast as knitting with regular needles. 


  • Felicia says:

    I admire those who can knit/crochet/quilt as I can’t do those things with my own hands!
    You know, Coraline the movie kinda freaks me out, especially when the “other” characters have button eyes on them. But it was a good movie nonetheless.
    Is knitting the same as crocheting? (of course knitting requires two hooks). Which is easier, knitting or crocheting?
    Felicia recently posted..WPT World Championship Super High Roller: John Juanda and many other big names on tonight’s final table


    Opal Reply:

    Hi @Felicia,
    Although they both use the same fibers to make finished items, crochet and knitting are different. Crochet uses one hook, and knitting uses two or more needles; depending on your project.

    It’s easier to pick up a missed stitch in crochet since you’re dealing with one stitch. With knitting, since all your work sits on one needle, it can make it a bit tricky. I always use a lifeline with knitting, so if I do make a mistake, I won’t have to rip out the entire project. I just have to rip to the lifeline. A “knitting lifeline” is simply a piece of yarn woven through stitches.

    If there’s nothing physically wrong with your hands, or muscles that you’ll use those crafts. You might be able to do them. Having a good teacher is helpful. I learned to crochet from YouTube videos. It’s important not to get discouraged if you don’t pick it up overnight.

    With crochet it took two – three weeks, before my stitches weren’t looking crazy. And this was with me spending at least an hour each time I worked with my crochet hook.

    My mind was still wired to knit, and that hindered me from “getting crochet”; in the beginning. I’m so happy that I stuck with it, because I’ve come a long way in short time. And the crocheted items I’d sketched, I can now make them.
    Opal recently posted..Crocheted leviathan band bracelet: Pattern test is done!


  • Teeni says:

    Sorry took me so long to get here. Has been a busy weekend and I’ve been out of breath. Must have been from inflating all those toys I put together for the great-nieces and nephews visit. LOL. I’m fine now though. And I knew you would take to those circular needles. I’m thinking you are going to like them better than the regular ones in the long run. I actually do too, but have to admit that I like the nostalgic look of a couple of regular needles sticking out of an old ball of yarn, LOL. On the cable scarf that I made most recently, I also had to do a few knit stitches on each end of it to keep it from rolling as well. But it is so worth it – what a difference when you don’t! 🙂


  • I think that, once you learn the basics of both, knitting is more enjoyable and maybe a bit easier too actually..I know it seems counter-intuitive, but that is my experience…also, knitting is a bit more versatile in terms of pattern, and finished products you can make…But then again, this is just my opinion..


    Opal Reply:

    Hi @tom@pond algae, I’ve seen a lot of interesting crochet patterns recently so it’s nice to see more variety with crochet, but if I had to choose between the two, I would pick knitting. I’ve knitted it for years, and I tend to like the fabric it creates a bit more. But, that’s just my opinion. 😉
    Opal recently posted..Caro Emerald – A Night Like This – North Sea Jazz 2010, Live


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