Sunday, November 3, 2013

Streetknit Collects Knitting for Homeless Folks

It's quick, easy and inexpensive to knit a hat – or three – and there are people who need warm clothing on our cold winter nights. The Streetknit Project in Toronto connects the two sides of this potentially happy equation.

I was handed a skein of blue yarn at the Leslieville Farmers' Market earlier this year by a Streetknit volunteer. My task? Simply to knit something warm and drop it off at one of many participating yarn stores, like my local, the Purple Purl (1162 Queen East), the Knit Cafe (1050 Queen West), Lettuce Knit (86 Nassau) or Sew Be It Studio (2156 Yonge).

You may ask "why bother knitting when dollar stores are overflowing with cheap, warm hats and mitts?" Call me crazy, but I believe that the intention to help someone else makes its way into the garment. I even think that the act of knitting for someone else can be like a meditation or a prayer; I think it sends good vibes out into the universe. In any case, it can't hurt.

The Streetknit site has links to lots of easy free patterns for hats, scarves, mittens and (for the more ambitious) sweaters, as well as to similar organizations in other cities. (Knitting groups like this exist in many other  places beyond the links on the site, some of which have a different focus, like hats for premature babies or layettes for pregnant teens.)

I warn you, this can get addictive; I know of one Toronto woman who knits a hat every day for charity. I think I'll stop at two this year... but you never know; I have lots of yarn in my stash that's itching to be used.

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