A smaller group than usual this time, due to holidays, but still fourteen of us.
Alison Banerjee, who is our local Linus Project representative came to talk to us about the charity. Named for the Peanuts cartoon character who loves his blanket, the charity began in the US in the mid 1990s. Inspired by a 3 year old girl who relied on her comfort blanket during aggressive cancer treatment, a woman named Karen Loucks decided to donate blankets to her local children’s cancer centre in Colorado. The idea is that any child in need should have thier own comfort blanket. Today all ages from newborn to teenage receive blankets from the charity.
Blankets of any size are welcome, but those for babies should be knitted or made in double crochet so that there are no holes for tiny fingers to get trapped in. Yarn should be washable at 40 deg, and most of the yarns we buy for our group are suitable. I have checked out the following basic DK brands: W.I., Robin, Hayfield Bonus, Stylecraft, and Sirdar Country Style, and all of them are acceptable. Although beware because at least one other Hayfield yarn needs a 30 deg wash. Please check the label if you are unsure.
Patchwork quilts are also welcome, ideally made from interesting patterned fabrics, or in multi-colours, so that they provide interest for the children.
One thing which is very important is that these blankets are given to the children, not to the hospital or organisation, so that once they have received a Linus project blanket or quilt, it is theirs for life, as are the twiddlemuffs we make (usually) for people at the other end of the age range, although at least one has gone to a primary age boy with ADHD.
We have more information about knitting for the Mission to Seafarers. They are very grateful for the beanie hats, but they are now a little more specific about what is needed. Hats should be stretchy with a long rib which can either be folded over or pulled well down. They can also accept fingerless gloves, and mufflers, which should be a maximum of 10″ (25cm) wide and about 55″ (1m 40) long, and should be knitted in garter stitch to keep them flat. Many of the recipients of these are Filipinos, therefore from a warm country, and they are working in the North Sea, which is COLD.
Finally, we have started next year’s Chernobyl knits. We have been informed they do not need the 24″ jumpers this year, and looking at the children at this year’s farewell concert, I would think 28″ – 30″ would be the most use, not forgetting the extra length. Gifts are small stuffed toys, but these seem to be well in hand already.