On Saturday October 18th, The Loop will be hosting a charity knit-a-thon in support of Afghans for Afghans, and also in support of Canadian troops stationed overseas.

On their website, you will read that Afghans for Afghans is “a humanitarian and educational people-to-people project that sends hand-knit and crocheted blankets and sweaters, vests, hats, mittens, and socks to the beleaguered people of Afghanistan.” For this event we are focusing on the knitted blanket squares. We will collect squares and forward them to our friends at Sunrise Mercantile, who will send them along to Afghans for Afghans as part of a larger project they are coordinating.

A blanket I made a few years ago

I’ve heard people express a variety of opinions about Canada’s deployment of military overseas. Whatever one’s opinion on the politics, I like to remember that ultimately the people serving in the armed forces are individuals who are working hard under difficult conditions. The Military Family Resource Centre in Halifax will be sending holiday parcels to local troops stationed overseas, and they will welcome hand-knit socks and helmets liners to include in those parcels.

Sock project information:

If you wish to knit socks for a soldier, please use a superwash fingering weight yarn in a suitable colour: black, grey, olive green, brown, tan. Any basic sick pattern will work. It would be best to choose a size that is going to fit an adult male, though a few pairs for women soldiers would probably be welcome too.

Helmet Liner project information:

Most of the information I’ve found online for helmet liners leads back to this pattern:

http://knitting.about.com/od/hatpatterns/a/helmetliner.htm

An adapted version of this pattern is available as a free download from Ravelry, at this page:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/gussetted-helmet-liner

(You will need to have a Ravelry account to access this page.)

I’ve started the pattern and am going to complete it using the gussetted version from Ravelry.

Project Materials:

Afghans for Aghans specifies that they only accept products made from natural fibres like wool. Blends of wool and alpaca or other natural fibres will provide warmth and durability under harsh conditions.

You may have something in your stash that will work well for blanket squares or a helmet liner, or some sock yarn that’s been hiding at the back of a basket for some time. We will accept donations of wool yarns too (we already have a bin of wool donated by our customer Judith).

We have ordered in a shipment of Cascade Superwash 220 in colours suitable for both of these projects, and we will be selling it at a special discounted price for the knit-a-thon.

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