So I went to the Center for Service and Civic Engagement at the school and pitched my idea for Knit for Those in Need, and the woman I was talking to seemed very enthusiastic. She assured me that money was not an issue, that I just needed to work out a budget and we could go from there. Things were going along swimmingly, I was on top of the world, I was soaring. And then she mentioned a woman I may want to get in contact with, a professor from our school who is doing the exact same thing. WTF? It couldn’t have been mentioned earlier that another person was already doing almost my exact idea, and already had things up and moving and whatnot? Gah! Needless to say, I was crushed, especially when I emailed this person offering to help out and telling her I had some ideas that might be useful to her cause, and never got a reply back. Lovely.
On the positive side, her program is only running until next week (or maybe this week?) and then it’s over. Her plan was to get a certain number of knitted garments by a certain date, whether they were handmade, store-bought, or purchased later with donated money. This is slightly different from what I had in mind. This is because when people use their own yarn/buy their own knitted products to donate, they often inadvertently get materials/products of inferior quality. It’s very exciting when you learn to knit and discover that they have gigantic balls of yarn at Walmart for only $3 each! I know, I went through the same thing. Unfortunately, over time you learn that the reason this stuff is only $3 is because it’s crap. It’s acrylic, it’s cheap, and it won’t keep someone warm. When knitting for charity, and homeless shelters in particular, it’s important to keep in mind that what you are making is going to be someone’s source of warmth over the next four or five months, and that they may be exposed to the severe elements for some or all of that time. Once cheap acrylic yarns get wet they become 100% useless on the warm front. Just like when writing a paper it’s important to know your audience, so too when knitting is it important to keep your receiving party in mind.
Also, I checked the website of our local homeless shelter, COTS, and they are desperately in need of blankets more than hats, mittens, and scarves. So I thought it would be a cool idea to hold a workshop or two where beginning knitters can learn by making 12″x12″ squares, which can then be sewn together into blankets! I found this great yarn at our local yarn shop (Kaleidoscope Yarns) called Cascade Eco Wool, which I mentioned in a previous post. It is warm, durable, eco-friendly, and reasonably priced. Each skein can make 2 scarves, or a scarf and a hat, etc., which means that buying one ball would be enough for at least two people.
Right now I am feeling very stuck with this project, as I am feeling in the rest of my knitting life as well. I know what I want to have happen, but I don’t know how to make the next step, or if I should, or anything. Plus finals are coming up all too soon!
I will keep everyone posted as this progresses, but in the meantime please feel free to send me knitted items to donate!