If you want to knit for a cause, consider knitting children's clothing for charity. Impoverished children all over the world need warm sweaters, vests, mittens and hats, especially during the cold winter months. You don't have to be an experienced knitter to create usable knitwear for kids in need; in fact, knitting for charity is an excellent way for you to practice knitting techniques. Charities and children will appreciate the work you put in to knitting warm, utilitarian garments.
Find the charity you want to knit for. Several national and international charities cater to impoverished children. Some great options include Children in Common and Afghans for Afghans. Local hospitals may accept hand-knit preemie items and knitted goods for children undergoing chemotherapy and other intensive medical treatments. Visit Interweave Knits Online for an extensive lists of charities requesting knitted items.
Find out what charities need most. Contact charities directly or visit their websites to find donation guidelines, and tailor your knitting to meet each charity's stated needs. Contacting charities or perusing their web sites may help you determine which organisations could most use your knitted items.
Pick a knitting pattern. You don't have to knit complicated items; a simple box sweater or cardigan will keep a child just as warm as a complicated garment. If you're a new knitter, start with simple ribbed hat patterns and work up to pullovers, cardigans and vests.
Choose patterns that are suitable to the need. If you're knitting for an organisation whose goal is to distribute warm clothing to children, for example, don't choose lacy patterns that will not provide as much insulation as solid knit fabrics.
Choose yarns based on the charity's guidelines. Some prefer only washable yarns, like superwash wool, acrylic and cotton, while others, like Afghans for Afghans, only accept items knit from natural fibres.
Knit garments. After you've determined exactly what to make and what kind of yarn to use, you can begin knitting. Although sizing is not as important when you're knitting for strangers, you should knit a gauge swatch before beginning your project if you want to create a garment in a specific size. Wash and block your gauge swatch before you measure how many stitches and rows fit into a 4-inch square, as this will give you a correct gauge measurement.