crochet or knit for charity

Crochet or Knit Something Amazing for these 14 Charities

pussy hat on the cover of the new yorkerEver wanted to crochet or knit for charity? It’s something that’s often crossed my mind, but I’ve never taken the next step… I know that often charities need money more than they need goods, and to be honest, I was afraid that my work wasn’t good enough. But after seeing the affect of the Pussyhat project, something’s shifted in me. Knitting and crocheting something for charity is officially a goal of mine in 2017.

So with that in mind, here’s a list of charities currently accepting yarny donations. These are in no particular order, and are for inspiration as well as action – I’m sure a hospital in your area will be accepting preemie hats, for example.

In no particular order…

1. Knit and Crochet Hats, Scarves and More for Refugees

No one can deny that the refugee crisis in Europe is, well, a crisis. I took a trip to Calais last year, and it was incredibly moving.

KnitAid, Knit for Syria, and Knit for Peace are accepting donations, and have guidelines on what’s needed. (Dark colours, warm.)

2. Knit Hats for Premature Babies

Preemie babies can’t regulate their temperatures very well. Beanies really help, and are a welcome distraction from all the wires and tubes in their incubators. As a plus side for a knitter, preemie hats take almost no yarn, and no time to knit up! Baby Beanies have collected about 22,000 hats for charity, so they’re a good place to start!

3. Support Cancer Patients with Hats Knit for Charity

I once knit a beanie for a friend’s cousin’s fiancée who had cancer. My friend told me she cried when she received it. Then I cried too. Try Halos of Hope or Knots of Love, or reach out to your local hospice or cancer charity and see if any groups in your area are collecting hats.

4. Knit or Crochet Breasts for Cancer Survivors

There’s no question that for many women, a mastectomy would do a number on your confidence (and on your wardrobe). And reconstructive surgery is major surgery. That’s where Knitted Knockers come in. Watch the video for all the details:

5. Crochet an Octopus for a Premature Baby

This is literally too cute for words.

baby with crocheted octopus at Pool hospital. Copyright: Pool Hospital

As this article explains, the babies love the octopuses tentacles, as they remind them of the umbilical cord/still being in the womb.

Octopuses are being collected in the UK and Denmark, but I bet if you called your local hospital and asked…

Want to try? Here’s the pattern.

6. Support New Babies (And Their Mums) and Knit for Charity

Fistulas are a massive problem worldwide caused by a prolonged or obstructed childbirth (what’s a fistula? Here’s a link – don’t click if you’re the queasy sort). Freedom From Fistula helps women and girls in Africa – and with more than surgery and childbirth:

As part of our handicrafts training, some of our patients stitch together knitted squares to make blankets.  This activity gives them something to do to fill their time as they recover and they also get the gift of a warm blanket to take home with them when they leave the hospital.

They’re also requesting preemie and baby jackets – read more and donate here.


Another great way to help is to teach someone to knit or crochet! But what about those that can’t? Let’s look at some animal charities…


7. Knit a Blanket for a Pet

Unlike carefully trained friend’s and family members, pets can’t tell what’s had love worked in every stitch. But you’ve got stash and love animals… Comfort for Critters has been around forever, and is a good place to start if you’re in the US.

8. Knit or Crochet a Bird’s Nest

I love this so much! It really shows off the sculptural possibilities of knitting and crochet. This is a very achievable project for a beginner, or someone like me who’s scared of creating something “not good enough”.

9. Knit a Jumper for a Chicken

Baby birds not your thing? Okay, why not knit a jumper for a chicken. As well as being adorable, it’s practical: birds recused from factory farms often lack feathers and need a bit of love.

Here’s the pattern and more information.

Hen wearing a jumper knit for charity

9B. DON’T Knit a Jumper for a Penguin!

We’ve talked about this before, okay.


I know after looking at so many charities can be exhausting. They’re all all so deserving (seriously – I don’t believe there’s a “best” place for your charity efforts to go: everyone’s trying to do something good for the world). If you’re feeling decision fatigue, and are thinking it’s easier to close this tab than knit anything, I have one more link for you:


10. Knit A Square

Knit A Square collects blanket squares, which are sewn together and given to orphans. It’s easy-peasy to whip one up, a single square has minimal postage costs, and they can literally be a lifesaver.


I hope this post has started you thinking about knitting or crocheting for charity! If you’re not ready to get started yet, pin this post to bookmark it – or just to inspire others. crochet or knit for charity

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