The Big 10 Knit-a-Long

My daughter is always brimming with great ideas. I recognize my prejudice as her mother, but seriously, she really is creative. She knew I'd been kicking around ideas for a way to commemorate my 10 year knitting anniversary this year and after a discussion recently about knitting and giving back and community involvement, she hit upon her most recent great idea. It's so great of an idea that I am going to flesh out the details and make it happen. I can't think of a better way to celebrate than this. It's awesome on multiple levels. OK, OK, it's time I told you!

In conjunction with Warm Up America (founded by the late Evie Rosen, my teacher/mentor with the Craft Yarn Council's Certified Instructor Program), we're going to have a knit-a-long!

It won't be just any old knit-a-long, either. We will be knitting a square a month to be sewn up into blankets and donated to charity (the whole point of Warm Up America, actually). Here's how it will work: Sign up to participate and choose how you would like to receive your patterns: either by seeing them here on the blog or getting a PDF emailed to you. Knit at least one each month and then in December I will collect them and host a sewing up party.

Some questions you may have:

What if I can't make it to the sewing up party? No problem! Just knit up some blocks and send them to me to be included. Or, if you are fortunate enough to be surrounded by other knitters in your area, get them involved in the knitting and host your own sewing up party!

What if I can't make all the blocks? No problem! Any blocks you send in will used. We'll need 49 blocks to make one afghan, and I want to make more than one!

How do I get them to be the right size? Easy! Cut a piece of cardboard that is 7 inches by 9 inches and use it as your template. The patterns I post will be written for a 7" x 9" block.

What if I want to send my knitted blocks in before December? No problem! I'll collect them anytime.

Who will be the recipient(s) of all this handknit goodness? I'm glad you asked! I am working on lining up a really great charity here in the Charleston area and will let you know soon. As we knit during the year you will get a chance to hear about the work and mission of this charity and know that your time and effort and yarn are going to a good cause.

What if I don't know how to knit? I would LOVE to teach you how! Check the schedule for a class or take a private lesson (useful for brushing up on rusty techniques).

How good do I have to be at this knitting thing to participate? If you can do the basics--cast on, knit, and bind off, then you can make the Garter Stitch Square. If you can crochet, you are welcome to participate as well. Your finished afghan blocks need to be neat and as close to 7" x 9" as possible, with all ends woven in, but they do not have to be fancy or complicated. We will have some fancy, complicated blocks available during the knit-a-long, just in case you're ready to try something new.

How do I sign up for this awesome endeavor? Simply fill in the form at the bottom of this post with your name, email address and your choice of pattern option. Type the word "email" if you would like to have PDF documents emailed to you as the patterns are released, or "blog" if you will be visiting the blog to find the patterns throughout the year. (As always, your email is safe with me!)

Anyone can participate. If you've never known the joy of knitting a simple block that will become a warm afghan that will provide a hug to someone in need, you're in for a treat. Because the patterns range from beginner to intermediate/advanced, there is something for everyone.

When do we start? Next week! I'm putting the finishing touches on the first patterns and will have them ready soon. In the meantime, check your yarn stash for easy-care acrylic yarn and sign up today!


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