Last week we discussed selecting a charity. Click here to read the post if you missed it. Now it's time to collect supplies and begin your charity projects! First, select the pattern you wish to make. Many charities use their own patterns for consistency, but others allow you to use virtually any pattern. Use our Pattern Finder to help find ideas that meet your charity's needs. Some of our charity patterns include chemo caps, preemie items, Warm Up America! blankets, and the SHIPS Project hat.
Next, choose the appropriate yarn. Many charities only accept certain yarns for projects; for example, charities for deployed troops often require items to be made of wool, as it is naturally flame retardant, while many children's charities request machine-washable yarns. Some charities also require newly purchased yarn due to allergies. Always check your charity's website for fiber, washability, color, and yarn weight requirements prior to purchasing materials. If you cannot find any guidelines, it never hurts to ask a charity's organizer or chapter leader.
After finding any requirements, gather your yarn! When purchasing new yarn, remember to keep your receipts; the cost of yarn for any donation you make to a 501(c)(3) charity will be tax deductible. You can also check your own yarn collection, as many small items can be made from leftovers from completed projects. Ask friends if they have any extra yarn they would like to donate to your project. You can also find deals at thrift stores and yard sales. If you cannot afford new yarn, some charities have supplies that members may use; inquire with your organization for more details. Remember that it is very important to know your fiber content to comply with any charity requirements.
So now that you have your pattern and your yarn, gather your hook or needles and start yarncrafting! What will you be making? Comment to let us know about your charity, your items, and your yarn. Be sure to share your tips, your charity stories, and your progress!