Archive for June, 2013

Wool-Aid Summer Campaigns

Join Wool-Aid in focusing on specific items this summer in order to maximize the number of items that are needed most when we prepare the big shipments to our recipient organizations in late fall. All Wool-Aid focus items — hats, socks, vests, sweaters, mittens, blankets — are always needed and always welcome, but from time to time we focus on specific items in order to boost their numbers. Here we go!

Summer 2013: Sweaters by September!

Focus: Sweaters! All sizes are good, but let’s focus on sweaters for the larger kids.

Most-Needed Sizes: Sweaters with a chest measurement of 28″ to 36″, all the way up to about 40″. Measurements should be taken at the chest with the sweater lying flat. These will fit kids size 8 to size 16, plus teens who are already moving into adult sizes.

Dates: Summer 2013 (June 1, 2013 – September 7, 2013)


  1. 80%+ wool or animal fiber content. Wool is warm, and it stays warm even when it gets wet.
  2. A warm, dense woolen fabric is important. Recommended patterns 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Avoid white and very light colors.


  1. We send sweaters year-round to Tibet, and in the fall we send large shipments, including as many sweaters as possible, to Mongolia and Afghanistan so that our warm woolens reach the children before the harsh winter weather hits. Please send your finished sweaters to Wool-Aid in time to be included in shipments that go out in October/November.
  2. Check for sweater patterns on the Wool-Aid website.


June 2013: 10″ Blanket Squares

Focus: 10″ blanket squares to be assembled into 40″ × 40″ blankets

Dates: June 2013


  1. Use solid colors.
  2. Blocks can be knitted or crocheted (‘classic,’ Tunisian, knooking, etc.).
  3. For ease of sewing up, frame your block with a 1” garter stitch border (knitted squares) OR a row or more of single crochet (crocheted squares).
  4. Use a basic worsted weight wool yarn (such as Cascade 220, Patons Classic Wool, or similar yarn).
  5. A good density is achieved with a gauge of 4 to 4.5 stitches per inch for knitted squares (size 7 needles are a good starting place). Gauge for crocheted squares is harder to predict, but aim for a non-lacy, cozy, thermal fabric.
  6. Leave a tail for seaming (about 18″) at the beginning and end of the work.
  7. Block your squares to 10″ square.
  8. Please avoid using white or light pastel yarns (so that the blankets don’t show dirt easily) and lacy patterns (which aren’t warm enough).
  9. Choose textured stitches, an old favorite, or try something new. Or choose patterns with pictures (such as dishcloth patterns), as long as the pictures aren’t of animals or people. Pictures of plants and other objects (sun, block, flower, heart, for example) are fine.


  1. Images of people and animals should be avoided in the squares pattern, because we would not be able to consider those items for sending to Afghanistan; they would be offensive to persons who practice Islam. Let’s make sure that our blankets could go to any of our recipients.
  2. Blankets will be assembled in time to send to children before next winter’s harsh weather. Please send them to Wool-Aid by July 15 so that they can be included in the assembled blankets.
  3. Check out the four 10″ blanket squares patterns on the Wool-Aid website.


Other short-term campaigns will be announced later in the summer.




Wool-Aid Patterns: New patterns now available

Wool-Aid has added several patterns to the Patterns page on the Wool-Aid website. There are now some 25 patterns available for download — hats, mittens, vests, sweaters, blankets, and 10″ blanket squares. Every pattern meets Wool-Aid guidelines as written, with no modifications needed. Items created with these patterns should be knit/crocheted with 80%+ wool yarns.

Here’s a sample of what you’ll see there:

big_squash_hat_140x208childs_top-down_henley_140x208gnarly_140x208KeepMeWarmVest140x208st-anthony_hat_140x208 st-anthony_mittens_140x208SteppeAheadSweater140x208 swedish_blocks_140x208 waffles-for-brunch-sweater_140x208

Each pattern that appears here was designed by a member of the Wool-Aid community on Ravelry and is included with permission. They are free for charity, non-profit, and personal use. They are also featured in our Wool-Aid Pattern Store on Ravelry, which can be viewed by guests.