Wool-Aid campaigns in 2012 will be item-based rather than geared to a specific organization. This will allow us much-needed flexibility to meet the needs of recipient organizations as we become aware of them. In the past, we have sent our lovingly handknit and handcrocheted items to places as diverse as Tibet, Mongolia, Kazakhastan, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, and Canada.
We are challenging ourselves to create 12 of a specific focus item in 2012 — pairs of socks, hats, pairs of mittens, vests, and sweaters (being realistic, we decided to challenge ourselves to create 12 sleeves in 2012, as long as the sleeves are connected to the body of a sweater!).
- FOCUS: Challenge yourself to knit or crochet 12 of a specific focus item in 2012.
- SIZE: Most needed sizes (measured lying flat) for focus items are as follows: socks, 6.5″ to 9.5″ foot; hats, 16″ to 20″ in circumference; mittens, 5.5″ to 8.5″ wrist to fingertip (not counting the cuff), sweaters and vests, 30″ to 38″ chest size (finished measurement).
- Use 80%+ wool or animal fiber content. Wool is warm, and it stays warm even when it gets wet. Superwash wool is not required.
- Create a warm, dense woolen fabric. Clothing is often worn indoors as well as outside, because homes are often very cold. Patterns used typically call for worsted weight, aran, or bulky yarn. You may need to use a smaller needle size than is usually recommended in order to produce a dense enough fabric.
- The most needed sizes fit children 8 to 16 years old, because the need is greater for older children.
- Socks should be knit in yarn that is worsted weight or heavier, unless specified otherwise. (You can strand worsted weight yarn with sock yarn for some lovely effects, and the sock yarn also adds durability. If socks are knit from bulky yarn, they should be knit on smaller needles to create a dense fabric.) Socks should have standard heels. As a rule of thumb, the leg of the sock (cuff to bottom of foot) should be as long as the foot of the sock (heel to toe), up to about 10 inches. Please tie socks together at the cuff.
- All hats and mittens must protect against the harsh temperatures and extreme weather conditions, so they should be thick and dense, not lacy. A bit of extra length on the cuffs of mittens and hats can make a big difference. Please tie mittens together at the cuff.
- Sweaters and vests should close securely if not a pullover style. They should have good coverage for the chest and ample length for the body. Sweater sleeves that are slightly longer than average provide more warmth and protection against the cold.
- Please avoid white and very light colors. Acrylic and novelty yarn should not be used, even as an accent.
Notes: These focus items are always in high demand by our recipient organizations. Even when we send large items like sweaters and vests, smaller items can be tucked in around the edges. Any of the focus items can be sent to Wool-Aid at any time during the year.