How Many Knits A Year? Knitting 10,000 Broken Down

Oct 12, 2010
Back in August I set the audacious goal to knit 10,000 items for charity in my lifetime. I’d already knocked out 100 in a year thanks to the One Hundred Hats project and was excited to really challenge myself to do something meaningful for the planet during my short time here.

Without setting many rules or thinking too much about it {as is my way} I announced to the internet my intentions and set about knitting some hats for a local football team and crocheting some squares for charity.

A few weeks ago, I decided to calculate just how many items I should really be knitting a year in order to reach my goal – just thinking “this is one more towards 10,000!” is fine and all, but to have a concrete goal for each year seems like the best way to go about this.

According to Canadian Business online, I should live to be 86 years old. That gives me 53 years to knit 10,000 items. I also need to factor in the One Hundred Hats I knit last year, so really all I have to knit is 9,900.

This means I have to knit 187 items a year for charity.

Rather than being nervous at this number, or even overwhelmed, I’m super excited. I think I can do this. I have known several women who have knit well past 86 – my great grandmother was knitting hats and sweaters for babies at her local hospital until she was almost 100! – so knitting up to that age shouldn’t be a problem. And if I proved anything last year, it’s that I can knit at least 100 charity-based projects while still having plenty of time to knit for myself and for family/friends as well.

It also means I need to start thinking in terms of plans.

When I sat down and re-wrote my Life List, I added a few ideas for ways to hit my 10,000 goal. I included more hats, hats for babies, a few sweaters, and some squares. I thought mittens would be nice, and while I hate to knit full socks I thought making some yoga socks could be a fun thing to do.

After figuring out how many items I need to knit each year, I decided to get all sorts of Penelope for a few hours, and figure things out a bit more specifically. This means a list – yay lists! And since there’s a group of you reading who has been super interested thus far in my progress with knitting 10,000 items for charity, I thought I’d share my list/plan with you!

The “Official” Knit 10,000 Plan*

*subject to change at my whims. I am, after all, in charge.

First and foremost, anything knit to this point will count towards the goal. We already knew that, but it bears repeating.

To help alleviate some of the stress and panic I tend to feel when I think about big numbers, knitting tons of sweaters, and the like, I’m going on record right now and saying that 5,000 of these charity knits will be in the form of squares. That goes above and beyond my first 100, my second thought of making 1,000 and allows for more of my project to be done over the course of some smaller knits, and actually mostly crochet!

Say what you will about this, but while I love to dream big, I’m also a big fan of low stress levels and sanity, and declaring this eases almost any stress about this project almost immediately. I can crochet squares like the wind, and love all the fun granny square patterns I’ve seen. I crochet squares faster than I can knit them for some reason, and love to watch them form.

The rest of the 4,900 knits will be broken up as follows:
  • One thousand hats – this includes the first One Hundred.

  • One thousand baby hats, donated to my local NICU.

  • At least one hundred pairs of mittens.

  • Fifty Project Linus blankets – or one done each year, during the coldest winter months.

  • Fifty Oatmeal sweaters, with a few mods worked in.

  • One hundred vests, all sent to Wool-Aid.

  • One hundred yoga socks, hopefully sent as a donation to the SF location of Yoga To The People.

  • One hundred pair of woolen baby pants.

  • One hundred pair baby booties.

On top of those 2,600 knits, already laid out into projects, I will be adding charity-specific projects as I go along. I’ve loved knitting the hats for Boystown, at least partly because it’s a local organization, I’m donating to a specific group for a specific need, and it’s a smaller project with more immediate results.

I know I want to donate to a few groups that send items to the Pine Ridge Reservation, and I’d like to make a yearly donation to Nest: Maine. And I know that when I say “knit”, I truly mean both knit and crochet.

For the time being, I’m setting a goal of 200 knits a year – that’s above what I figured my yearly total to be, but within that goal, I’d like to make 100 of those be squares. I start my yearly count at my birthday, which means I have until June 13 each year to hit my goals.

So there’s a better picture at my Knit 10,000 goal. In the coming days and weeks, I’m hoping to add a section to the sidebar that showcases the project a bit better, along with a counter that tracks my knits for the year.

Thoughts? Suggestions? I’d love to hear them both in the comments!

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