Autumn’s well and truly here and there’s a distinct nip in the air in the evenings and early mornings. MissMolly’s noticed the change and isn’t impressed: Doberman’s really don’t like the wet or the cold!
But it’s not just MM that’s noticed the change in the weather. At work and at home I hear comments about the shorter days, longer nights and that winter’s definitely on the way. Doonas are coming out of storage, blankets are going back on beds and jumpers and scarves are back in fashion.
So what do people who’re living rough do when the chill weather starts to roll in? And is there something we, as a community, can do to help?
The start of an answer to these questions came to me when a couple of friends donated a whole lot of 8ply yarn and some completed crocheted granny squares, suggesting that I ‘put them to good use’.
Right. The logical thing was to turn the rest of the yarn into squares too. Then we use those to make small blankets and donate them to the local support services to distribute to people in need.
I recruited a group of people who already knew how to crochet, learned the basics myself and we’ve been crocheting in what seems like every spare minute ever since. Between us we’ve produced a large number of squares, taught a few people how to crochet and completed several blankets.
Each square takes about an hour to make. We’ve chosen to make our blankets 5×6 squares, so that’s approximately 30 hours of crochet per blanket. Then the squares are crocheted together, a border is added all the way around and all the little yarn-tails are sewn in to tidy things up. This probably adds at least 10 hours to each blanket, making it about 40 hours per blanket.
Will there be enough blankets for all those in need? No, never.
Will they be appreciated? Yes, most definitely.
Will they be looked after and last? It really doesn’t matter, does it? They’re gifts, made with love and hope for people in need. It’s enough to have been able to make them.
Will we continue? Yes. The need hasn’t gone away and won’t in the short term.
Can others join in? Please do. We have spare yarn and crochet hooks. Join us for our monthly community craft session if you can, otherwise work on squares when you have spare time and let us know when you’d like them picked up.
How to crochet a granny square for our community blankets
You’ll need: 8 ply acrylic yarn, 4mm crochet hook, small pair of scissors and some spare time
Instructions: We’ll teach you how at our craft sessions (1st Friday of each month, 7 – 9pm), or you can use either the video instructions or step-by-step ones. They’re both good introductions to making basic granny squares.
Size: Try for 10 rounds per square – and it’s up to you to choose whether to make them all one colour or to do them in a variety of colours.
In short, we could really do with some more crocheters to help us out. Every square created gets us one step closer to another blanket and another person kept warm this winter. So if all you do is make one square, it’s one square more towards a great outcome.