Thursday, January 2, 2014

What Can We Do For Others?

In October and November, our programs have focused on what we, as fiber artists and crafter,s can do to help others. Beth Parrott led off with a great program on "Charity Knitting" with tips and handouts and loads of great information for anyone who wants to pass along some of what they make to those in need. Whether you knit, crochet, weave, or quilt Beth shared valuable, practical tips like:
  • use washable yarns, fabrics, and fibers. Recipients may not have ready assess to laundry facilities so "hand-wash only"--  no matter how lovely --  is not the best choice.
  •  Avoid lacy patterns or openwork. They too easily snag, trap dirt and are not warm or durable.
  • Take the opportunity to use "left-over" yarn and/or fabric. 
  • You don't have to make your piece a certain size to fit a specific person -- whatever size you make will fit someone -- so use the opportunity to learn something new -- a new weave structure, a new stitch, practice cables or colorwork.
  • Have Fun
Below are a list of links related specifically to knitting for charities. Please send me info you have about local groups who would welcome knitted/crocheted items, woven and/or quilted items (lap blankets, perhaps?). We'll make a current list of local organizations we can help. (includes patterns you should use)

In November, Judy Warren showed us how to make felted insoles to give to The Charleston Port & Seafarers Society which serves those who pass through our port city, -- can you imagine what a difference warm feet make to those who live aboard working ships?

Here is Judy's report on our November meeting:

"On Saturday, Nov. 16, the Guild's program was to perform a service project: making felted wool insoles to warm the cold feet of transient sailors who work year-round on the high seas. We started right after all other Guild business was covered and, once we got our system rolling, we worked until about 3:15 when folks needed to head home. We had already machine-felted a boat-load of 100% wool sweaters, so Saturday was the day to disassemble and then cut them up into pairs of insoles.

For over 90 minutes we worked and chatted while producing 53 pairs of X-Large, colorful, felted-wool insoles. We had decided to make them all XL - and a bit wide - to accommodate most sizes (our recipients can trim them down to their respective sizes.)

tightly felted wool insoles will make a sailor's work boots noticeably warmer.
The group we're donating these to is the Charleston Port and Seafarers' Society here in Charleston. The Director, Rev Len Williams, seemed very pleased I had called, and estimated that 30 pairs should take care of an average ship's crew.... so I intend to have a few more made (between me and the rest of the group) before Thanksgiving so they'll receive at least 60 ... hopefully for two ships' worth.

Sincere thanks go out to the 15-plus members who participated that day!"

These were 2 great programs to close out our year -- and a great project for us. We'll have more information on this topic early in the year.