I've always been a knitter and have recently taken to crocheting too.
I've taken to it so much that a few months ago an idea came to me in a dream one night. An idea that I have yet to act upon.
Not like Una, who had a far simpler idea and the courage of her convictions to get it up and running. There she was, sitting knitting some hats for pre-mature babies in her back garden one sunny day.....
"The sun was beaming down as I was casting on some stitches; I thought of the homeless and was thinking they must love a bit of sunshine. Then I remembered the terrible Winter we had last year and I got such a shiver thinking of how cold it was and that could be what is coming this winter.
I looked down at the stitches I was casting on and thought, maybe if I make bigger hats (a lot bigger) I could keep a few homeless heads warm this Winter?
I went into the house and googled a simple knitting pattern and found Evelyn's Patterns (I thought it was simple enough for me to make but also thought it was a bit of a sign as my Mam is called Evelyn; and so it began.)
I put it on my own facebook page and some of my family and friends said they would help. As a few hats started to come in I thought maybe there were more people than I know would like to make a hat, maybe this could get a lot bigger, so I started this page for Caring Hats."
And so Caring Hats was formed. Una has no grand plan she "just knows it will all work out and the way to distribute these hats will come, the people to give them out will come (hopefully some TY students.)"
She did set herself a goal though: 200 hats by September 12th, a date that's fast approaching.
The hats are indeed coming in and it's looking like she's getting close to her goal......
The campaign will of course continue beyond 12th of September!
As a fellow knitter and crocheter I think this is a fantastic project and I fully support it.
Those of you who are avid, or even beginner, knitters/crocheters can easily support it too, as you know we always have spare wool lying around! Now is the time for you, your knitting friends and knitting circles to put it to good use and to join in.
Don't have a pattern to hand? Here's Evelyn's Easy Knit Ribbed Hat Pattern to get you started:
US Size 8 needles (UK size 6)
Cast on 88 sts
ROW 1: K2, P2, K2 across, ending with P2
Repeat ROW 1 until hat is 11.5 inches from start, ending on a knit row.
On knit row- K2 tog. P2, K2 tog. across row
NEXT ROW: Knit
Next Row: knit two tog., P2, K2 tog., across
Last row: Knit.
Cut a tail of yarn 25inches long, thread a yarn needle with it.
Pull last row of knitting off needle.
Pull last row of knitting off needle.
Thread needle through every stitch.
Pull together tightly.
Whip stitch side seam shut.
Add pom pom if you'd like
Wear! Roll brim if preferred
Or would you prefer an easy crochet pattern? Here's one prepared earlier by Vicky from Castle Kelly Crafts...
Aran weight wool and 5mm hook
Start wit a magic or 4 chain loop joined with a slip stitch
Each row finished with a slip stitch into starting chain
Row 1: 1 chain (ch), 6dc into loop. (6)
Row 2: 1ch, 2dc in each stitch (12)
Row 3: 1ch, 1dc then 2dc in next, repeat (18)
Row 4: 1ch, 1dc 1dc 2dc, repeat (24)
Row 5: 1ch, 1dc 1dc 1dc 2dc, repeat (30)
Row 6: 1ch, 1dc 1dc 1dc 1dc 2dc, repeat (36)
Row 7: 1ch, 1dc 1dc 1dc 1dc 1dc 2dc, repeat (42)
Row 8: 1ch, 1dc 1dc 1dc 1dc 1dc 1dc 2dc, repeat (48)
Row 9: 1ch, dc x 7, (2dc x 1) repeat (54)
Row 10: 1ch, dc x 8 (2dc x 1) repeat (60)
Row 11: 3ch, tc x 10, 2tc x 1, repeat (66)
Row 12 - 20: 3ch, 1tc in each stitch (66)
Row 21 - 23: 1ch, 1dc in each around (66)
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
tc = treble crochet
And when you're done just click onto the Caring Hats facebook page and PM Una for address to post your hat(s) to!
As Una herself says:" Focus Ireland estimates that there are up to 5,000 people homeless in Ireland at any one time. So, let's get this rolling and see what difference we can all make - even a small gesture of giving someone a hat - they will know that someone cared enough about them to pick up the needles and wool and make it for them - someone cared "
How about you?
Would you care to join us in helping to keep homeless heads warm this Winter?
Don't forget to tell all your friends, and maybe make it a project for your knitting circle groups too!