Thursday, January 17, 2008

January's Collection: An Awesome Way to Begin the New Year

The Madison Knitters' Guild charity knitters have done it again. They set a new record for monthly donations with a total of 152 items!! This included:

94 hats (preemie to adult)
7 pairs of mittens (infant to adult)
5 pairs of booties and socks
11 scarves
35 sweaters (our monthly target item)

Can you believe the generosity?? Many members brought more than one donation and some brought a bag full of items. Just think of all the people in Dane County who will be warmer and healthier because of your efforts!
Here's a variation on the Carol Anderson Wallaby--without a hood and without pockets. A cute, cute warm sweater.

There were eleven Baby Surprise Jackets from Elizabeth Zimmerman's old pattern. I got photos of a few of them before my camera's battery died.

Someome made a cute hat to go with this BSJ.

Baby Surprise Jackets in all sorts of colors and stripes!!

Two BSJ's with hats and one with mittens to match.

And hats to match sweaters and hats that are unique!
A soft little sweater with a parade of confetti hats.

Wee hats, scarves, slippers and a stack of sweaters for a larger child.

Bright and warm hats!

Snowflake hat and hat/sweater duo.

The blue sweater is oh so soft; the white sweater zips up the back; the striped hats are for preemies and little babies, other hats are for bigger heads!

Warm double knit pom=pom hats to keep ears and heads warm in January!
Gorgeous, warm patterned mittens.

Below is a stack of baby sweaters made by someone! Each of them cuter than the next.

Little booties will keep little feet warm.
Knitters, be proud!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

February's Challenge: Chemo Hats

Ask any cancer survivor, the treatment for cancer is physically and emotionally debilitating, often leading to despair and depression. The loss of one’s hair can be one of the most emotionally draining aspects of the treatment. For February, the MKG knit along challenge is to make a “chemo hat” that is, an attractive hat for a cancer patient to wear during hair-loss.

Why would someone wear a hat during this time? In addition to boosting the feeling of pride or confidence in one’s physical image, the hat will protect the sensitive scalp and keep the wearer warm.

What kind of hat should you make? Here are some factors to keep in mind:
1. Attractiveness: the wearer wants to look good at a point when her (or his) self-confidence may be at an all time low.
2. Warmth: the wearer may feel chilled due to the treatment.
3. Softness: the wearer’s scalp will be sensitive due to the chemotherapy.
4. Ease of care: the wearer may need to wash the cap frequently.

What type of pattern should you use? Here are some suggestions.
The inimitable knit-blogger, Grumperina, designed the "Odessa" hat. It has a snug fit with an attractive spiral design. Click here to get the free pattern from Magknits. You may wish to eliminate the beads.

This snug beanie is simple and elegant, appropriate for either men or women. You can find the pattern at or by clicking here.

Teenagers also get cancer and other illnesses that result in hair loss. This is a particularly difficult experience for teens who are developing their self image and who want to blend in with their peers. This is a brimmed cap from Click here for the pattern.

I've made this hat from Lion Brand several times. It is made from the top down, with a very easy lace pattern. Instead of making a ribbed edging, I used an I-cord bind-off (a la Elizabeth Zimmerman). This made the hat end above the ear. You can find the pattern at or by clicking here.

For more ideas on the internet, look at "Headhuggers" or "Chemocaps".

The Madison Knitters' Guild library also has books with hat/cap patterns. Try "Hats On" by Charlene Schurch, or "Caps and Hats" by Vogue Knitting. Or, invent your own pattern.

Remember, as every month, February is also "knitters choice."

Monday, January 7, 2008

January Challenge--Baby Sweaters

The theme for the January Madison Knitters' Guild Charity Knitting Challenge is Baby Sweaters! The January MKG meeting is the annual Pot-Luck with drawings for door prizes. They year there will be special door prize drawings only for those who bring an item to donate! You can double your chances of winning a door prize by making an item to donate. Or, if you are really lucky, you could win a door prize in the regular drawing and another door prize in the charity donation drawing!!

No doubt MKG members have many baby sweater patterns in their home libraries. In case you don't, here's a cute pattern by "Bev's Country Cottage" that is called the Five Hour Baby Sweater. The 5 -hour title does not include the hat and booties, however. Click here for the free pattern.

Don't forget Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Baby Surprise Jacket." It knits up quickly and is a standard. The pattern is available in most of EZ's books. Maybe you already have the pattern from last year's BSJ Knit-along!
You could also check out in their archives for "kidswear". They have interesting patterns designed by readers and designers alike.

Knitting Pattern Central has dozens of free baby item patterns as well.

Don't forget, despite the theme for each month, donations are always "knitter's choice."

December's Donations

The Madison Knitter's Guild members were outstandingly productive prior to December's meeting, making 116 items for donation. We set a record for the number of donations in a month. December's "theme" was baby hats, and some of the cutest baby hats ever made were donated.

These were only three of a number donated my the same person, in different colors and sizes, from premie to newborn.
Can't you just see a cute newborn in these pale green hats, pompoms wiggling?? And, the little patriotic socks??

An assortment of hats in various sizes from different donors. All wonderful!
Another person donated a full rainbow of baby beanies!! Wouldn't an Anne Geddes photo of newborns in these rainbow hats be cute??
Here are some mittens and larger hats which will be greatly appreciated by some youngsters whon't have cold hands and heads this winter!

Some hats were marvelously decorated with pine trees, checks, fair isle and fancy dazzles!
More cute confetti hats, mittens and a matching headband and mittens. What lucky kids!

Festive hats for the holiday season, or Badger Red for all year long!

And last but not least, two pair of dazzling patterned mittens, for older and younger siblings?, in colors to excite an active snow-ball thrower!

Congratulations to all the MKG members who participated and donated these outstanding items. Although we don't know the names of the ultimate recipients, we do know that 116 babies and youngsters will have warmer lives due to your contributions!