International Crochet Day

September 12th is International Crochet Day! We never need an excuse to crochet, but it’s nice to take a day to celebrate the craft that brings all of us so much joy. You can celebrate in hundreds of different ways, but here are a few of our favorite ways to make today all about crochet.

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1. Give someone a lovely crocheted gift. We suggest the handy Vintage Hot Pad from our Fall Issue. You could also wrap a cute trinket in a cool crocheted gift bag. Both are free patterns that stitch up quickly, so you can make one for everyone you love.

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2. Learn a new skill. We love learning interesting new stitches and techniques, so why not celebrate by taking a class or tackling an intriguing pattern you’ve been thinking about? If you love the Hobo Bag from our Fall Issue (and how could you not?), the Daily Craft TV has put together a helpful video class that will walk you through the steps of creating this cool vintage-style purse. Our Fall Issue also offers a beginner’s guide to Tunisian crochet to help you master this popular and easy-to-learn technique.

Treat bags3. Buy some fabulous new yarn! Go ahead and splurge – it’s International Crochet Day! If you can’t make it to the yarn shop today, click over to our Yarn Guide to drool over some awesome fiber finds. If you’re planning on crocheting along with us as we make the Pumpkin Treat Bag in October, today is the perfect day to purchase your kit.

Mother bear4. Crochet something for charity. The Mother Bear Project and Project Linus are two wonderful organizations we love working with.

ocean waves] 5. Crochet with a group of friends. If none of your friends crochet, teach them now. The Ocean Waves Scarf is the perfect pattern to get a new crocheter hooked for life.

We’d love to hear how you’re celebrating International Crochet Day. Even if you’re simply spending a bit of time checking out new patterns or yarns, take a moment to appreciate crochet as a fun and useful craft that has an amazing power to bring people together.

The Mother Bear Project

Knitting for Charity

We know many of our readers love to knit and crochet for charity. In today’s post, we’re excited to highlight the Mother Bear Project, a nonprofit organization that provides hand-knit and crocheted bears to children affected by HIV/AIDs in Africa.

The simple gift of a handmade bear can help children feel comforted and loved in a very real way. Here’s a touching story the Mother Bear Project recently shared with us. It was told to them by a Peace Corps volunteer who distributed bears to children in Botswana.

“I have to say, this was such an amazing thing for the children in my village. They were overwhelmed and so excited. They were literally “awwwing” as they saw the bears and were giddy. I want to share one story with you also: One of the little girls, around 4-years-old, that is an orphan at my center and who has a very difficult home life, arrived in the morning worn out. When she was called up to receive her teddy bear, she skipped over with excitement and hesitantly took the bear from me. I believe her hesitation was because she is rarely given anything to call her own, barely even food. She held on to her teddy bear and hugged it and hugged it all the way back to her seat among the excited and antsy children. A few minutes later, I looked over at her and she was fast asleep sitting up in her chair, clutching tightly to her teddy bear. It gave her such comfort in the moments after receiving it that she was able to sleep, even surrounded by noisy children. It did exactly as it was intended — it soothed her soul. In turn, it instantly put me at ease because I knew she had something that would provide her comfort and love, even when she doesn’t get it at home. I want to say a resounding THANK YOU for this. Your agency is exceptionally special and I will forever be grateful for moments like that one.”

Knitting Charity Mother Bear Project

What an incredible story! To find out more about the Mother Bear Project and get involved, please check out their website at www.motherbearproject.org. You can also follow them on Facebook or find them on ravelry.