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Crochet a Scarf for Charity – Handmade Especially for You

At Stitches West I met this month’s charity – Handmade Especially for You. Leslye Borden began Handmade in 2009 by making 300 scarves and donating them to a local shelter. As year four begins, Handmade has contributed 31,500 scarves in California alone.

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Handmade’s mission is “to give every abused woman who comes into a shelter a comfort scarf simply because she was brave enough to leave her abusive situation. Most of these women have never received a personal gift, much less a handmade personal gift.” Handmade hopes the scarf is a symbol of her transformation.

The scarves are not for sale; they are gifts. Forty major yarn companies and private stores donate the yarn used. It takes about 288 yards of yarn to make an average scarf. Multiply that by 31,500 and that length would stretch from Santa Clara, California to London, England. They use about 300,000 yards of yarn each month.

Women of all ages donate their time to knit or crochet these scarves. Their almost 1,000 scarf makers come from all over the United States, as well as a few from Canada, England, Scotland, Australia, Germany and South Africa.

You can donate in several ways:

  • Send your unused yarn so they can create kits for their volunteers.
  • Become a volunteer and receive a kit to crochet or knit a scarf.
  • Make a monetary donation.
  • Use your own yarn to crochet a scarf.

If you are crocheting your own scarf, follow the suggestions below:

  • Use soft yarn for comfort.
  • Pick happy colors.
  • Make them 4 to 5 inches wide.
  • Make them at least 60 inches long.
  • Use open-weave stitch if possible so they can be used in warm-weather climates.
  • Add some novelty yarn or ribbon to make them special.

There is a scarf pattern at the Handmade website or use one of your own. This month’s basic granny square would be a perfect match – an open-weave stitch that uses up your yarn stash.

You can read more about Leslye Borden and Handmade at http://www.HandMadeEspecially.org.

There are donation instructions, including a gift tag to download so you can personalize your scarf. Or your crochet group can start its own local chapter.


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