A Hat-a-thon? Why?

It was a normal Tuesday. I was drinking coffee, reading the papers (Washington Post, NY Times & Washington Times- it’s all part of the job when you work in publicity), and going through my daily blogs.

I clicked on a blog and found a plea for Christmas presents for kids- money to be turned into gift certificates, school supplies, clothes, anything. So, I left a comment offering a couple of hats. I had a few skeins of scrap yarn that I’d picked up at an estate sale, from the Knit-Out, that I just had and was going to make into hats for charity anyway.

I could do that for her. And then I thought a lot of other knitters I knew could too.

Judging from the tremendous success of Wendy’s Mouse-a-thon, I knew knitters across the country and in fact, around the world, were generous when there was a cause. So, I thought I’d start a hat-a-thon, see what people will send in, and raffle off a couple of prizes.

So, What Do You Need?

You can knit whatever you want for this. Literally. They’ll take anything. Baby hats, adult hats, in between hats. Stocking caps, skull caps, ski hats, berets, Fry-up hats, anything. If you want to make a big fuzzy blanket, a pair of booties, a child’s sweater, a scarf… they’ll find someone who needs it.

If you have the time to make more than just a hat, these kids need winter clothes like jackets and sweaters. Also, don’t forget the boys! It’s very easy to knit girly things, but consider a solid color or a plain ski cap pattern that you think a 13 year old boy would like, too.

What Do I Do Again?

Good question.

First, spread the word! I'm relying entirely on word of mouth to make this work. Feel free to steal a button above. Just please place it on your own imagehost. Don't steal my bandwith! Replace the ultimatum with the correct image link and remove the spaces between <> and code for the linked image should look like this:

< a href="https://www.angelfire.com/magic/kestrel127/charityathon.html" > < img src="HOST YOUR OWN IMAGES!" > < /a >

Now that you've spread the word, make the hats! Print out the tickets, fill them out, and package everything up. Then email me for the address. If you don't have outlook, that's kestrelle.geo@NOSPAM.yahoo.com. And send 'em out!

Winners will be notified by the New Year. Probably on the blog, but I'll send out emails as well.

But it's Christmas! I'm Busy!

I know, I know, it’s nearly Christmas, you have to knit presents for all your friends and family, everything’s on the needles, you have to bake cookies for the fair and you have no time. But to knit something small doesn’t take too much time. And that means a kid gets a Christmas present when maybe they wouldn’t.

So, What Can I Win?

Prizes, at this point, are a leftover mix CD I made for a CD swap, a copy of the now defunct DC band Otis Finch album, a gift card to Michaels and a gift certificate to elann.com. I will try to scrounge up some yarn too. I also have knitting needles I can give away- about 5 pairs of 6s that are about 30 years old, some wooden needles that I think are 13s, and a wooden crochet hook. Alas, I’m an intern on a stipend and can’t afford sweater kits to give you guys.

I've Never Knit a Hat Before!

Surely, you're joking, Mr. Feynmann!

Well, okay, maybe not. But here are some good free pattern hats (and there's always my hat patterns, too.

knitting.about.com's hat patterns- They have some great techniques for the new knitters, too.
The Knitting Pages - mounds of patterns.

How to knit with a circular needle- A must for hats
Double Pointed Needle Tutorial - Great for brim shaping.

So, Where Exactly is This Stuff Going Again?

Donations will go to Pala and George Middle Schools in San Jose, California. Deadline is December 19. If you can’t make it by that day, let me know. Your donations won’t make it to the school, but they’ll make it other needy families or afghans for Afghans instead.

Just so you know the kids you’d be helping… (This is directly from the teacher who would be receiving the hats.)

A lot of my students live in garages with their whole families. I went to one student's house this weekend who lives in a garage with his mom and 2 brothers. His mom works cleaning homes during the day and offices at night, probably making $6/ hr.

75% of my kids have parents in jail.

My 6th graders are often taking care of many of their younger siblings, to the point of not being able to do their homework.

All of my kids are on free lunch.

Some of my kids suffer physical abuse at home.

When I asked them what they wanted for Christmas, the most popular response is a jacket.

For many kids, their basic needs are simply not being met. Their parents came here illegaly, so can't get drivers licenses- therefore getting the most BASIC things, aside from the financial strain, is a complete hassle.

There's every reason for you to do this. So start knitting!

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