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Knitting squares that can be sewn together into a blanket is a really satisfying way to knit for charity.
It can be quick and as easy to knit or as complicated as you want it be – you can knit a simple garter stitch square in a plain colour, knit a multicoloured extravaganza of colour and design or anything in between, the choice is yours. And it allows you to use up all those odd balls of wool that we knitters collect, so it is a fantastic stash buster too.
There are many charities in the UK, US, South Africa and around the world that need people to knit squares to make into blankets.
If you are going to knit squares for charity, it is important that you check exactly what size of square the project needs. The most common sizes are 6” x 6” (15.2cm x 15.2cm) and 8” x 8” (20.3cm x 20.3cm), but before you cast on, check what size is required by any particular organisation.
Another request that some charities make is that you knit a “scarf of squares”. This means that you cast on the required number of stitches, knit to the required length for a square, than change colour or design and knit the next square without casting off. This saves a lot of time for the people who are sewing up the blankets, and you don’t have to keep casting off, casting on and counting the number of stitches each time.
Do remember that sewing the squares up requires time, effort and most importantly volunteers, so please do not send squares to any charity that have requested that you only donate completed items, as they will not be able to make use of all your hard work.
This Hertfordshire based group accept squares and completed blankets for homeless people of the county. Contact the group via their Facebook page for current requirements. While you are there take the opportunity to look at some of the fabulous blankets that have been donated to the campaign.
Project Linus, named after the character from the Snoopy cartoons who always carried a blanket around with them, gives blankets to comfort children, who are sick, disabled, disadvantaged or distressed.
They request that you only send complete blankets and quilts, which may be sized for babies, children or teens. They have a collection of patterns for both squares and complete blankets.
If you live near Swindon, you can join one of their events where you can knit, sew up blankets or just drop in and donate your knitted or crocheted squares or other items such as hats. Items are donated to local charities.
UK charity Knit for Peace have an on-going project called Keep Britain Warm. As part of this project they have a clever pattern for a dressing gown which can be made completely from 12cm squares, which is approximately 4 ¾ “. The pattern can be downloaded from their website.
They also are looking for blankets and have patterns for both knitted and crochet blankets.
They can only accept completed garments, but either of these would be a fun project for a knitting group, club or Stitch’n’Bitch to work together on, or for an individual looking for a more challenging project to tackle.
This is a US based charity that creates blankets for veterans who are in hospital, They are asking for 6” by 9” rectangles which can be either knitted or crocheted. They do accept donations of squares but also appreciate receiving complete blankets. Instruction can be found on their Facebook group.
Knit-a-square is a South African charity that makes blankets for children who have been orphaned or who are vulnerable. They create blankets to wrap them in your warmth, and give each child something unique and special.
They ask for 8” squares which can be knitted, loom knitted or crocheted and they have patterns on their website for all three methods.
All squares can be posted to their base in Bryanston, South Africa from anywhere in the world, posting instructions can also be found on their website.
This Canadian charity make blankets for any Canadian who needs warmth, and accept items that are knitted, crocheted or quilted. They ask for blankets made from 8” by 8” squares, and are delighted to accept blankets made using the scarf of squares technique to save you having so much sewing up to do.
Many blankets are knitted by different chapters of the organisation, who knit their squares as a team and sew them together into a blanket before donating the finished item.
This US charity accept 7” x 9” sections and completed blankets in a variety of sizes, which are given to anyone who needs them, from children to veterans, homeless people to children in foster care as well as schools and other community organisations.
Blankets are needed all year round, along with hats and gloves in the winter.
Do you know of a charity that wants knitted or crocheted squares, particularly in the UK? Do let us know about it so that we can add it to this page.
If you want to go beyond a garter stitch square, here are some fantastic patterns for beautiful squares to make for your blanket.
If you like some instant gratification, here are 7 Things That You Can Knit For Charity In An Evening.
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