You LOVE to knit. You have a huge stash. But . . . you’ve run out of people to knit for.

What now?

You have several options and I cover a few of them below. Some ideas are very run of the mill while others are less so.

Click on any section title to jump directly there:

Knit for Yourself
Knit for Charities (Local and Beyond)
Knit for Specific Charities
Knit for Unofficial Charities (Do Your Own Thing)
Knit for People You “Adopt”
Knit for People in Your World
Knit for People on the Internet

Knit for Yourself

Stacks of knitted items waiting to be assigned people to knit for

It always amazes me how many people NEVER knit for themselves.

Knit for yourself.

Even if you have a ton of people to knit for, take time to knit for yourself every once in a while. I believe in this so much, I created the 12 Days of Knitting (just after the Christmas and holiday rush) inside A Close Knit Community Free Facebook Group with the specific goal of helping people knit for themselves. There are fun, reflective and self-care activities that take place during the 12 Days of Knitting, but the main focus is on knitting something for yourself.

If you need suggestions on patterns to knit, you can check out my knitting patterns here or on Ravelry.

Knit for Charities (Local and Beyond)

Perhaps the most obvious answer is to knit for charity.

There are so many charities to knit for, the list is almost endless.

Before you start knitting for any charity, even one you have knitted for in the past, make sure they are accepting donations and check for any requirements and restrictions. The charity may have more items than they can store or their requirements may have changed in some other way.

Local hospitals – Preemie hats, chemo hats, blankets for babies, children and other patients.

Hospital Gift Shops – Proceeds from these shops often go to support hospital programs and hand knitted gifts are often sold, especially baby items.

Local Schools – some schools accept donations for children who do not have what they need to stay warm.

Various knitted things on a table

Animal Charities – Most shelters needs easy care blankets and specialty items like sweaters for warm climate chickens living in cooler climates, nests for orphaned baby birds and even pouches for orphaned baby kangaroos. Check with an organization that works with your favourite animals to see what they may need and for any guidelines they may have.

Police, Emergency and Social Services – Some departments collect knitted blankets and toys (including Trauma Teddies) to have on hand for emergency situations to comfort children and others.

Goodwill, Salvation Army, Local Shelters, Missions and Churches – Some local organizations that help the homeless, those on limited incomes and those with other disadvantages appreciate hand knit items to distribute to their clients.

Dementia OrganizationsFidget Muffs (many people call them Twiddle®Muffs, but that name is a registered trademark) or sleeves are hand warmers that keep people with dementia comforted and provide sensory stimulation. You can check retirement, long term care homes and day programs to see if these would be appreciated. Twiddle muffs are particularly great for using up stash-busting small quantities of various yarns.

Peacekeeping Missions – Izzy Dolls (named after peace keeper Cpl. Mark Isfeld) are small dolls that are distributed by peace keepers to children experiencing trauma around the world. Esther Braithwaite has many free and paid variations of the Izzy doll to add variety to your knitting.

Please note: Charities have varying requirements and will not accept items that don’t meet those requirements (usually for very good reasons). Please check with the charity before donating.

Knit for Specific Charities

Prosthetics – Boobs. You heard that right. Knitted Knockers and Awesome Breast Forms are distributed to women after mastectomies (and other procedures) as soft, removable prosthetics. Not only are they greatly appreciated and fun to knit, but you should see the expressions on people’s face when you answer their “What are you knitting?” question. Really, you may go out of your way to knit in public, just to see the reactions.

Warm Hands Network – This organization provides warm (preferably wool) items to those living in the communities of Northern Canada.

Cherished Gowns – Provides clothing and accessories for funerals for babies who are stillborn, miscarried or pass away soon after birth. There are similar organizations elsewhere, but this is the only one I found that includes knitted items with their packages.

Knit for Unofficial Charities (Do Your Own Thing)

In addition to all the wonderful organized charities that you can knit for, you can do your own thing.

Knit the projects you want (and are appropriate for your climate) and leave them with a note around your town.

You can knit children’s things and leave them (with a note) somewhere that children gather with their parents – outside a school or at a playground, give them to school bus drivers to distribute to kids they may know need them.

Leave things for homeless people where they will be likely to find them.

Random gifts placed where anyone can find them may be just what someone needs to feel less alone in the world. Sometimes synchronicity helps your gift to be found by just the person who needs it most.

Hat on a fence waiting to be taken by someone who needs or wants it

Knit for People You “Adopt”

You can adopt people around you or around the world to knit for. You can choose these people in all kinds of ways and even have some fun with it.

Knit for People in Your World

You can always knit for people in your world:

  • a scarf for the mail carrier.
  • finger-less gloves for the cashier at your grocery store
  • a cowl for your hairdresser.
  • a hat for the barista at your favourite coffee shop.
Coffee shop barista wearing a knit hat

Knit for People on the Internet

Choose the project you want to make, for example, the Mod Square Blanket.

Select the yarn you want to use to make the project.

Post a picture of the project and the yarn (specify the fibre content and the care instructions) and offer to make it for someone.

You can choose to have conditions that prospective recipients have to meet or not. Whichever you choose, just be clear about the rules you decide on in your post.

How to Choose Who to Knit for

Here are some things to consider:

  • Do you want people to just say “I want this” or do you want people to nominate someone else they think needs a little TLC?
  • Where should the person live? Anywhere or should they be local?
  • Will you take into consideration need or will you knit for anyone who wants your knitting?
  • Will you knit for the first person to comment or will choose randomly?
  • Is there something the person needs to do to qualify? Do you want the person to make up a rhyme or a meme, or answer a trivia question in order to qualify? You can even do a scavenger hunt where they need to post a photo of something you specify or use a different fun game to qualify.
  • Do you expect or require anything in return? For example, is it important for you to get to know the person a little bit before choosing? Do you expect them to pay you or pay it forward or donate to charity?
woman and child wearing knitted clothes

There are no right or wrong answers to any of these questions, you can do what you like. The questions are things that you should think about and decide on before asking people if they want to receive your hand knits.

You will also need to take a few other things into consideration.

  • How will you get the project to the recipient? Who is responsible for the logistics or cost? For example, even if the person is local, are you comfortable with them coming to your home to pick up the knitting, or do you want to meet somewhere neutral. If they live far away and have a very limited income, will they be responsible for shipping or not (either way is fine, but make it clear right from the start).
  • Make sure to check for allergies and other restrictions. If for example you are using wool in your project, you want to make sure that the person is not allergic and that they understand and are willing to care for the project in an appropriate way. If would be a shame if you created something for someone and they laundered it incorrectly and ended up with a tiny, felted, unusable thing.

You can Find People to Knit For in Many Ways

Read over some of the options and choose a way that works for you.

You can find people to knit for in your own backyard (ok, that might be a bit weird unless it is you, but you know what I mean) or on the other side of the world, or anywhere in between. There are always people who need or would appreciate a hand knit gift, just check that what you want to make fits their needs or requirements.

If you have other suggestions, leave them in the comments below.

P.S. Just for fun, I am publishing this post on 2/2/2022 at 22:22

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