My first items are ready to ship to Wool-Aid. I discovered this charitable organization on Ravelry, the knitter’s dream site for managing yarn stash, patterns bought and wished for, a warehouse of all projects made and queued (I have over 400 items in my “I want to make” list.) Wool-Aid distributes internationally to children, from infant through teens, who live in the coldest climates with least access to resources. Dark colored, densely knit, minimum 80% wool fiber hats, mittens, socks, scarves, sweaters, vests and baby blankets are currently sent to places like Tibet, Afghanistan, and to Syrian refugee camps in Greece, to name a few.
As they have the most need for items from children aged 8-16, I decided to make a hat and a sweater to fit an 8-10 year old boy or girl,. As Wool-Aid’s requirements are minimum 80% wool, NO acrylics allowed, the first sweater I started with a soccer ball for accent on the chest, was soon set aside. When I checked the yarn’s label, I discovered it had acrylic fiber in the blend. So I instead test-knit a sweater pattern for a designer on Ravelry, the Pebble Sweater, which should be a published pattern soon. It is a seamless raglan-sleeved sweater with a narrow band of knit/purl “pebbles” from underarm to ribbed bottom border that adds a nice touch and structure as a fake seam. I made it in a dark blue tonal 100% worsted wool by Malabrigo, (colorway Azul Profundo and actually aran weight) which felt like flannel and was a true delight to knit. Wool is warm; if it gets wet, it is still warm… most important for children in a cold climate where a gifted sweater may be their only really warm clothing item. And the dark color is practical. Light colors show dirt/grime and these sweaters may never be washed. No superwash wool is needed. Next, I made a dark greenish-blue, Green Mountain Spinnery 100% wool beanie hat with a wide, ribbed band that could be turned up for extra forehead warmth or pulled down to cover ears completely.
My grandson modeled the sweater, my granddaughter the hat upon completion. And we had a nice talk about giving to others as we are blessed with so much. They will accompany me to the post office to mail the package off to Wool-Aid on Monday after they attach notes to the items, wishing the recipient children much love and happiness.