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Newsletters & Stories

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Charity Feature - Warm Woolies
By: Lion Brand

Each month, we feature an organization using yarncrafts to help people. For April, we highlight Warm Woolies, an organization that is dedicated to providing knit and crocheted garments and blankets for children in extreme poverty.

Founded in 2002 by Executive Director Kimberly Turnbow to celebrate a friend's adoption of two Russian boys, Warm Woolies has grown steadily, providing over 17,000 pieces of hand-knit, wool clothing to date. Working with international adoption agencies and relief efforts, the organization sends pieces to Eastern Europe and Mongolia, as well as the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations in the U.S.

Boy receiving garments

In 2007, approximately 400 knitters from all over the U.S. and from countries as far away as Finland and Singapore, contributed 5,742 garments. This year's goal is 7,000 garments. To encourage donations, Warm Woolies has organized a contest in which "25 Wins a Prize." More details can be found on the website.

If you're interested in getting involved, the organization accepts items for children from 6 months to 16 years old, so many different sizes are needed. Items most needed, in order, are socks, sweaters, vests, and baby blankets. Items should be at least 75% animal fiber, with 100% animal fiber strongly preferred, but baby blankets may be made with acrylic yarns. "Most of the children we support do not have acces to washing machines--many not even to hot, running water--so shrinkage is not a problem," Kimberly Turnbow said.

Further guidelines, patterns, and information can be found at the organization's website.

Boy trying on items in an orphanage
near Beslan, Russia
Photo courtesy of Warm Woolies

For warmth, wool yarns are most appropriate. Lion Wool or Fishermen's Wool are good choices. These yarns can be used with any of our patterns using worsted-weight (category 4) yarns. For more information on substituting yarns, click here.

Authored by Lion Brand

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