As my friend Kathryn Vercillo has shown time and again, crochet can be healing, comforting, even life saving. I know my own life was changed and improved by crochet, before I even began Moogly! But crochet isn’t only for the crocheter.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few years as a member of the online crochet community, it’s that crocheters love to give back. There are dozens of crochet based charities, with new ones popping up all the time. And then there are those who crochet scarves to leave tied to trees for those who need them in cold climates. Those who crochet recycled plastic mats for the homeless. Those who crochet tiny, heartbreakingly small hats for their local NICU.
However, crocheting for people we know and love is a natural instinct as well. Sure, there’s a little bit of fun in showing off what we can do with hooks and yarn. But when we crochet for those who need extra comfort in times of trouble or stress, it’s the love in each stitch – the time we spend thinking about them, what they like and how they are doing – that makes crocheting comfort gifts so special.
Prayer shawls are a particularly popular gift for those who’ve gone through a loss, whether it’s a spouse, a child, or a job, a home. Those who make them often say there is a little prayer in each stitch! But you don’t have to pray, or follow a particular religion, to stitch a comfort wrap for those who need it. The warm, cozy hug of a handmade wrap or shawl needs no words to give comfort, and any favorite pattern will do – it’s doesn’t have to be designed as such to be made and given with love.
|Crochet Fortune’s Wrap by Moogly made with LB Collection® Superwash Merino||Knit Prayer/Healing Shawl made with Homespun®||Crochet Log Cabin Arrow Afghan made with Heartland®|
And it isn’t always one to one. There’s something very special that happens when an entire community of crocheters comes together to support one of their own. Whether it’s the happiness of a new baby or the tragedy of loss, blankets are another popular project to make and give as a group. I’ve been honored to participate in several such projects, and it’s always amazing seeing the all the individuals’ efforts come together to create a greater whole.
When making a group blanket like this of course, organization is key. Making sure everyone is using the same weight of yarn, ideally with the same hook size, and creating the same size block, hexagon, or section. The person putting them all together at the end will certainly appreciate the pre-planning!
Do you know someone who could use a comfort wrap or blanket? Someone who could use something to wrap up in, someone who needs to feel a little extra love? Or are you inspired to find a crochet charity to donate to? Here are some resources to get you started!
Lion Brand Charity Finder – Lion Brand offers a charity registry and a search feature so those who wish to craft for charity or donate can find appropriate groups and services.
Comfort Wrap Patterns – Find lots of free Lion Brand patterns for shawls and wraps here, as well as chemo caps and other items!
Printable Prayer Shawl Cards – Some lovely sentiments, as well as handy dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
Already Have a Charity You Support? – click the link to add your favorite yarny charity to Lion Brand’s Charity Finder!