A few months ago, I was contacted by a woman named Kim who reads this blog and she asked if I would be interested in knitting a blanket for her, that she would pay me for. Kim was due to deliver her first baby in January and she really wanted to have something handmade for her little girl, and seeing as she didn't know anyone that could make anything, she was hoping I could help.
It took me a few days to realize that she was serious.
Since I am always amazed at the number of people that I meet who would really love to know how to knit, I was struck with the idea of posting a tutorial. My mother is a great knitter and she has taught me a thing or two about how to cast on and off. And even though my knitting skills are very basic, I love being able to create something with my hands.
Because I have a hard time sitting still and not doing something, whenever Charlie and I sit down to watch television or a movie, I enjoy knitting simple things. Hats. Blankets. Scarves. Knit. Purl. Knit. Purl. I can typically churn out a scarf in about two hours, a hat in about four and a baby blanket in about eight.
(My secret for making things fast is using fat needles and fat yarn.)
A few years ago, I was inspired by a blogger who was crocheting blankets for babies in South Africa. So, I decided to use my rudimentary knitting skills and contribute to what I thought was a very good cause. All told, I put together four care packages that consisted of a hand made blanket and miscellaneous supplies for baby and mom.
Then, I went to the post office and mailed the packages.
Almost three months later, my packages were received.
And that's when I realized that maybe it would be better to support a local charity.
Since then, I've found a cause that really appeals to me.
Project Linus is a group that makes handmade blankets for children between the ages of 0 and 18 who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. The group has chapters in all 50 states and every month, they collect and donate an average of 350 blankets to children in shelters, hospitals or social service agencies. Seeing how much our children adore their blankets, I would love to give that type of gift to a needy child.
So here and there for the next few weeks, I am going to post a tutorial on how to knit. Sure, you could go buy a book on the subject, but this will be so much more fun. (Or not.)
The first blanket that I make will be a gift for Kim because she was nice enough to actually write me a note and ask if she could pay me for a blanket. And then because her compliment went straight to my head, I hope to knit at least one blanket a month for Project Linus.
Before you start, you'll need supplies. Shown below are 14" (35 cm) US: 15 needles (10 mm) and Red Heart Baby Clouds acrylic yarn. Both of these items can be purchased online or at a local craft store (or Walmart) for around $5.00/each.
Of course if you don't want to make a blanket, you could always make a nice scarf. Like this one I am wearing on a San Diego beach, New Year's Eve 2003.
When it was a bitter 50 degrees.