At the beginning of the year I announced that I was going to start a charity crochet project with the goal of donating handmade crochet items to a different organization each month during every month this year. Here’s the first month’s update.
January Donor Organization
The organization I chose for the month of January was Bridge and Beyond. I posted earlier this month about why I chose them.
What I Made
To be honest, I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t do better in handcrafting more items for donation to this organization. I’ve made two pairs of mittens and am almost done making a very large, very warm scarf. I wanted to have a bigger donation but by the time I got started and got going there just wasn’t a lot of time to make stuff. The goal I set mid-month was “to try to make at least one pair of mittens for donation. I will also be making at least two hats and several scarves.” No hats and only one scarf. On the plus side, I had never made mittens before and I feel like they came out really well so I’m happy with that. And I love the texture on the scarf. Plus it’s better to do something than nothing right?
I’ll be finishing up this donation in the next few days and putting it in the mail next week. (In addition to finishing the scarf, I need to add thumbs to one of the mitten pairs and weave in all ends). Then it’ll be time to start working on February’s donation. I’ll be doing my mid-month update on the second Sunday of February, which is when I’ll set my specific plans and share more about the month’s chosen organization.
Some Things I’ve Learned
I loved the idea of doing this monthly charity crocheting. And I think it’s a good thing and intend to stick with it. But I’ll be honest in saying that I’ve learned a few things that have dampened my enthusiasm slightly:
- I’m not a very generous crocheter after all. I noticed that I tended to feel a slight bit of resentment when making crochet items for others. I wanted to be using that time and energy and creativity to make something for myself. I’m a little embarrassed by this and almost didn’t want to admit it on the blog but I felt like I should be honest about it because that’s the truth of what’s really going on as I do this. Many people I know are very generous crocheters who almost never make anything for themselves. I am the opposite. I mostly make for myself. I don’t want to be un-generous so this is just something I’m going to pay attention to and learn from as I continue on with the charity crafting. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it as time goes on.
- I’m a sloppy crocheter. This isn’t really a new revelation for me. I’m an impatient crafter. I don’t always make sure that I have neat stitches. I don’t like to make a bunch of color changes. I’ve learned lots of adaptations when making things for myself. However, when I make something for someone else I want to give it the care it deserves. And the truth is, I don’t like having to be so careful in my work so I don’t end up enjoying the process quite as much. Honestly, I’m starting to think that I’m more interested in art crochet and crocheting for my own wearable enjoyment than any other crochet. We’ll see.
- I don’t own easy care yarn. My January donations are going to homeless people so of course they need to be easy care. In fact, most items that you donate should be easy care. I didn’t realize until I started crocheting for charity this month that I really don’t own this type of yarn. I like luxury yarns and those almost always require hand washing. My go-to workhorse yarn is Paton’s Silk Bamboo which is a silk bamboo blend. I do have some acrylics but they’re mostly novelty yarns and wouldn’t have been practical choices for the donation items. I had four skeins of Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease for the scarf but now I’m out of any kind of easy-wash wool like that. So I’m not sure what that means as I move forward. Something to figure out.
At the beginning of this project I invited others to join me in doing 12 in ’12. I tried to use a linky tool so everyone could share their work. However, it doesn’t seem to want to work on this blog. So here’s the deal … if you made a crochet donation to charity in the month of January and you blogged about it, send me the link to that post via email and I will add it here (below). You don’t have to be someone who committed to doing 12 in ’12. Anyone who did charity crochet can send me their link. But I ask that you follow these basic rules:
- Send me the direct link to the post about the donation.
- One link only per blog per month.
- At least some of the items you donated must be crochet.
Crochet Others Donated
I’d love to know what you have learned about yourself and your stash from doing charity crochet work. Am I the only selfish crafter out there?