Volunteering to change the world

VOLUNTEER FROM HOME: Knit a Simple Scarf for Charity People Children In Need

We’re all familiar with the concept of working from home, but have you thought about the benefits of volunteering from home?  There are plenty of reasons why volunteering can sometimes be difficult despite your best intentions.  Life is busy.  You’re working long hours.  You don’t have easy access to volunteer activities in your community.  We get it, which is why we created this blog, Make a Difference From Home.  Volunteering from home is super fun and  a great way to gather family and friends together to make the world a better place.

There are so many ways to give back from the comfort of your own home.  Maybe this is the year you have decided to learn to knit? What could be better than knitting for a cause?  Anyone can knit a scarf with this simple and basic pattern- it’s easy! Underprivileged and at-risk children, seniors in need, homeless people and others will be thrilled for the gift of a scarf that you make and donate.

 

SUPPLIES:

  • At least 150 yards of a very bulky yarn in a color that you find pleasing.  More yarn creates a longer scarf.   
  • One set of knitting needles. Check the label for the yarn you purchase.  You will likely find knitting needle size recommendations for your particular yarn. We recommend a set of size 13 (9.0 mm) knitting needles to make this scarf if the yarn’s label does not offer a recommendation.
  • Scissors
  • Medium crochet hook (9.0 mm) if you would like to add fringe to your scarf.

 

TIPS:

  • This simple scarf pattern is a great project for first-time knitters.  With this pattern, you only need to learn one simple knitting stitch, the garter stitch.
  • A few important terms:
    • Garter stitch is a plain and simple stitch in knitting.
    • Gauge is the number of stitches there are per inch of knitting.
    • Casting on is the method to add new stitches that do not depend on earlier stitches.  
    • Casting off is the method used to get live stitches off the needle to secure them.
    • Binding off, also known as casting off. (See above.)
  • Things you will need to know how to do before starting:
    • Casting on
    • Casting off
  • We often get asked what the difference is between crocheting and knitting.  The main difference between crocheting and knitting is that crocheting completes a stitch one at a time whereas knitting keeps many stitches open at once. 
  • Your scarf can be as long or as short as you choose.  We’ve found that scarves measuring approximately 4 feet in length work well. 

 

HOW TO:

Knitting Pattern for a Simple Scarf

This garter stitch knitted scarf is a great beginner’s project and can be made with a few simple and easy techniques that soon will have you knitting like a pro.  This entire scarf is made using only the one stitch.  Easy! 

Step 1: Getting Started, Casting On
Cast on 24 stitches. This will give you a scarf that is approximately 9 inches wide.  
Note: You can alter the number of stitches to change the width of the scarf.  Fewer stitches cast on make a narrower scarf.  Extra stitches cast on create a wider scarf. 
 
Step 2: Begin Knitting 
Hold the needle that has the stitches on it (Step 1) in your left hand and the needle without stitches in your right hand.  Slip the needle in your right hand into the first loop on the needle in your left hand from front to back.  With the yarn in your right hand, wrap it over the right need counter-clockwise so that the yarn slides between the two needles.  Slide the needle in your right hand from back to front of the left hand needle so that it makes a loop with the yarn on the right-hand needle.  Slide the needle in your right hand up so that the loop on the left needle slides off.  Voila! You’ve made your first stitch!  Now move on and do it again and again to complete the first row of stitches. When all the stitches on the first row are completed, flip the needles over and do it again to create the second row of your scarf. 
 
 
Step 3: Keep Knitting
Knit every row using the same garter stitch (Step 2) until the scarf has reached the desired length.
 
 
Step 4:  Finishing the Scarf, Casting Off
When your scarf is the length you prefer, cast off.  Once casting off is completed, cut your yarn from the skein leaving a tail of about 5 inches.   Use your crochet hook to hide this ending piece of yarn within the scarf.
 
Step 5: Adding Fringe (optional) 
Wind the yarn around a piece of cardboard sized to be the length of the fringe you desire. We’ve found that approximately six inches long works well.  Cut it at one end. Fold the strands of the yarn in half and poke it through the end of the scarf using a crochet hook. Pull the tails through and pull snugly to tighten. Repeat until both ends of the scarf have fringe.

DONATING YOUR SCARF:

The scarves you donate do not have to follow the above pattern or even have to be homemade.  Any warm scarf makes a huge difference to people in need. 

Donate Locally in Your Area:

There are quite a few options for getting your scarf into the hands of someone in need in your local community.

  • People living on the streets in your area would likely love your scarf to help them stay warm this winter.  Reach out to the volunteer director at a local homeless shelter for help getting your scarf into the hands of someone in need.
  • Senior daycare centers would also love to pass your handmade scarf to seniors in need. Contact an elder daycare center in your area for more information.
  • Representatives from your area Ronald McDonald House, local food banks, schools, hospitals, community centers, nursing homes, etc. can help place your scarf with someone who needs it. 

Donate Via Mail:

  • Scarf Bombardiers:  Each year, Scarf Bombardiers leave free scarves tied to fences, benches, poles, trees, and other cool places so that the people who need them can find and take them.  If you would like to donate your scarf to a great cause, please send it to: Scarf Bombardiers, 322 Mail Blvd. Box 185, Monroeville, PA 15146.

  • Small Acts Big Change, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, will happily pass your scarf to people in need.  To donate, please send your scarf to:  Share Your Warmth, Small Acts Big Change, PO Box 1374, La Canada, CA 91012.

 

EARN VOLUNTEER HOURS FOR SCHOOL:

Small Acts Big Change can certify your student’s volunteer hours.  One handmade 4 foot scarf = 11 hours of volunteer time.   Please contact us at smallactsbigchange@yahoo.com to learn more.

 

SHARE:

We’d love to see a  picture of your “Knit for a Cause” scarf .  Please feel free to share pictures at https://www.facebook.com/smallactsbigchangeus.

 

JOIN US:

If you would like to learn about more DIY volunteer from home projects like these, please subscribe to this page, Make a Difference From Home.  

This blog is hosted by Small Acts Big Change, a nonprofit organization helping people volunteer to change the world through kindness and service. 

 

GROUP OPPORTUNITIES:

Would you like to bring this project or another from Make a Difference From Home to a group you are involved with while still practicing social distancing? Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, schools, businesses or other groups, please contact Carolyn  at smallactsbigchange@yahoo.com for more information.

 

THANK YOU:  

Thank you for helping to spread happiness and kindness throughout the world. <3 

 

Article written by:

Small Acts Big Change presents Make a Difference From Home. This blog is filled with fun DIY projects to help families volunteer and give back from the comfort of their own homes. Thanks for making a difference. <3