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Newsletters & Stories

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Charity Feature - afghans for Afghans
By: Lion Brand
Giving the gift of warmth to children on the other side of the globe

Charitable knitting and crocheting is a good way to put our skills to use. It’s wonderful to give our handicrafts to people in need, people who will truly benefit from our talents. Each month, Lion Brand is proud to share with you an organization that is helping people in need using yarn.

Our featured organization this month is afghans for Afghans, a San Francisco based organization started in 2001 that collects blankets, hats, mittens, socks, sweaters, and vests and sends them to families in need in Afghanistan.

Its current campaign is aimed at collecting items for children and teens from 7 to 18 years old, who continue to suffer from oppression, war, hunger, poverty, and sickness. These items will go to children’s rehabilitation and health centers in Kabul and Bamiyan, helping children who have suffered physically and have been psychologically traumatized by years of war and poverty.

Afghani children with donated afghans Afghani children in donated sweaters
Photos courtesy of International Orphan Care

Founder Ann Rubin shared with us this thought, “This is a way for Americans and Canadians to share their respect and friendship with people in Afghanistan, to give them new, unique items. I hope that people think of each item as a gift to some individual on the other side of the globe.” She also told us that they must fill 80 cartons (that’s 4,000 to 6,000 items) by their September 21st deadline (Canadian due date September 7—see afghans for Afghans’ website for more details).

Donations should be wool or other animal fiber to provide maximum warmth (we recommend Lion Wool or Fishermen’s Wool), and items should give adequate coverage because of the harsh winters in Afghanistan (for instance, no lacy patterns, and cardigans should button up). Here are two Lion Brand patterns that would be good, especially for teens.

Toboggan Hat: Easy knit ribbed hat Warm Wool Mittens: Stockinette stitch mittens
Toboggan HatWarm Wool Mittens

You can also substitute either Lion Wool or Fishermen’s Wool in any of our great children’s patterns or afghan patterns that use worsted weight yarns (such as this sweet knit children’s striped cardi shown in Vanna’s Choice or this beautiful beginner crochet Two Color Afghan pattern shown in Wool-Ease).

The organization has specific recommendations and guidelines pertaining to what kinds of items, colors, and materials are best for the recipients of your donations, so please visit its current campaign page on, if you want to participate in the campaign.

Authored by Lion Brand

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