Finding a charity to knit for
Sometimes you just want to pick up your needles and knit, but you've got no projects on the go, or nothing to make in a hurry. During those times, I enjoy trying out new patterns and knitting up some items for charity. Through my other side hustle, Hatchling, I create a knitted item for my local hospital’s childrens’ unit for every order or newsletter sign-up made. It’s a wonderful way to keep creating as well as knowing that the items are going somewhere they are needed. If you’ve been looking for somewhere to donate your knitted items, or looking for somewhere to knit with a purpose for, here’s just a small selection of places you could consider.
Middlemore Hospital’s Kidz First Hospital (or check with your local hospital)
When I knit for a charity, I spend most of my time knitting for prem and newborn babies at my local hospital Middlemore. The Kidz First part of the hospital helps newborns and their parents through that tough first little while (or long while, depending on the care the baby needs). I make a lot of beanies and booties for the Middlemore Foundation mainly.
It’s worthwhile checking with your local hospital to see if they need anything in particular knitted as sometimes there can be a need for specific styles or sizes that you can sort for them.
Little Squares for Little Sprouts
This one is a great idea if you’re just starting to learn how to knit and just want to knit basic squares. We call these peggy squares. Little Squares for Little Sprouts will take all those squares and they’ll stitch up blankets for babies. For a peggy square just follow these instructions:
Knit a 16cm square using 100% wool double knit / 8 ply yarn in all natural fibres
Using 4.5mm needles you will need to cast on around 30 stitches
Want to learn more? Head to Little Squares for Little Sprouts website.
Vests and booties are what Plunket needs. And they’ve even got their own pattern on their website for you to download and knit from. So easy! No searching high and low for the perfect pattern.
If you’re looking for something perhaps a little more challenging, we’ve been told that SPCA Auckland are always on the lookout for kitten toys, and for cat blankets. The blankets would be fun things to chip away at in front of the TV, but the kitten toys may take a little more focus.
Knitted Knockers are knitted prosthetic breasts for cancer survivors. You’ll need to use nice and soft yarn for this one, and you can knit them in a range of sizes and styles. The Knitted Knockers organisation has patterns on their website, so that’s a great place to start.
If you have plenty of leftover yarn that you need to use up, consider making Twiddle Muffs for your local rest homes. Twiddle Muffs are basically a knitted muff that has several fiddly attachments fixed to it. They’re great for dementia and alzheimers sufferers as it can keep their hands occupied, providing a simple yet effective type of therapy.
Matakana Animal Sanctuary
In Matakana, New Zealand, there’s an animal sanctuary that often needs warm, cozy nests for injured and baby native birds. They’re also often on the lookout for chicken jumpers and bedding for abused farm animals. I’ve made a chicken jumper before and I can tell you they’re super cute to make. I’d highly recommend.
Now, don’t take this article as a definitive list of the charities you can knit for. There are so many out there. Find something that aligns with you, and get knitting. Or knit for them all a little bit at a time if you like! Do let me know what you’re knitting and where it’s going though. I do love to hear about all the amazing people and causes out there: firstname.lastname@example.org