With just five weeks until Christmas, many of us are deep in holiday planning. Making lists that we're checking far more than twice, one item that can easily be forgotten is giving to those in need. This holiday season, to combat this forgetfulness, I'm challenging myself to bust through as much of my stash as I can, making hats I can mail off to my friend Kelli.
Kelli blogs over at AfricanKelli, and recently posted about the struggles her city's homeless folks face each winter. She lives in Arizona, and many transient folks make their way her direction, towards somewhat warmer temps for as many months as they can manage. While it's never easy to sleep outdoors, for folks with no other option a warmer outdoors is always better than colder. Along with challenging myself, I'd love it if you all joined me in making a few hats for folks who struggle to stay warm during the coldest months of the year.
The Pattern:We'll be using my Sandoval hat pattern for this knit-along (KAL). It's an easy-to-remember hat that fits almost every head, works well with acrylic yarn, and is perfect for beginner knitters and seasoned knitters alike! Find directions free on the blog here. Download the PDF of the pattern free here.
Materials Needed:For each hat, you will need right around 200 yards of yarn. Some folks have used more yarn to get their hat to the right length, and some use less, but 200 yards is a pretty safe bet. I can get two Sandoval hats out of a skein of Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn, which costs just under $4 for a skein - $2.00 a hat isn't so bad!
If you don't want to go buy new yarn for this project (and who can blame you - I plan to use stash yarn myself!) know that this pattern is incredibly forgiving! I've used worsted weight from my stash that might never have come with a label, I've made this hat with stripes of different yarns, and I've made this hat with a wide variety of "worsted weight" skeins. Every time the hat will fit my head perfectly, stretch to fit my husband's head perfectly, and works out ... perfectly! ... on our friends' heads with the biggest noggin's we know!
Timeframe:We will be knitting these hats from today (November 18th) through December 31st of this year. That gives everyone a full six weeks to make as many hats as they can! Whether you end up with one hat off the needles or a dozen, remember your hat will be put to good use this winter, and is much-needed!
Mailing Address:Please send all finished hats to:
ADHS c/o Kelli Donley
150 N. 18th Ave. Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 85007
A few things to keep in mind:** Most of the folks who will be receiving these hats are men, so stick to neutral and darker colors.
** People will have spotty access to laundering facilities, but when they do, they'll want to be able to just toss everything in without worry ... so stick to acrylic, not wool!
** While Arizona has warmer winters than Nebraska, folks in warmer climates still wear winter jackets and hats in their winter. Just because northerners like myself would be running around in a sweater and jeans no problem, folks used to hotter temps get cold faster, and so will need warm hats!