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Beautiful Spring & Plea for Needle Donations

It was an amazing, beautiful, glorious day today. I left Foster Center after 9pm and I didn’t need a coat. I had needed one at noon when I left my home, but it kept getting nicer and nicer, and stayed lovely even after the sun went down. I was not out much today but the kids at Foster informed me it was perfect outside. I chose to open some windows a bit in my classroom, and that was quite a luxury.

It’s spring break for most of our children, so I had a lot of kids. I was busy both for computers and knitting. I am very excited because Thursday my knitters will be dyeing wool yarn with Kool Aid in crockpots. I only have so many skeins of wool/animal fiber yarn, so we will stop letting kids in the room when I have the same number of kids as skeins. I think we will have great fun. I just love love love “my kidz.” They are wonderful and I hope I let them know that.

Oh, I’m getting horribly low on knitting needles again. If anyone out there has any needles they don’t need any more, I can give you a tax deduct letter. We need sizes 6-10, straight needles either short or long, any material whether wood, metal, or plastic.

Yes, I know I can make needles from dowels but I just can not handle one more thing to fit into my program/budget/schedule. Actually I don’t even have a budget. They pay me 2 hours a week and all supplies are donated, that’s it. I do a lot with very little, and I’m proud of that! But I’m afraid making needles would be the straw that broke this camel’s back, I just can’t do it.

So… if anyone has it in their hearts to donate needles they no longer use, we would really appreciate it. We could also use worsted weight yarn in variegated or purple (or very bright colors), and any clean canvas tote bags you got at some conference your boss made you attend years ago, even with advertising. We can not use any thin yarns, any neutral colored yarn, or yarns that are in bad repair such as mildewed or moth eaten (it happened once… only once).

We really need needles and tote bags (when they carry knitting in plastic grocery bags, they lose the needles on the walk home). If you choose to send yarns also, we need smooth-textured yarns only, and worsted or thicker. No textured yarns (ie homespun or jiffy mohair-look), although short lengths of eyelash yarns are fine. We also take accidentally-shrunken items (commercial sweaters, for example) which the kids cut up as fabric, and hand-sew into purses/bags, mittens and bean bags.

Needles are the biggie. (Did I say that too many times already?) When kids are good enough to knit without my assistance I let them take their knitting home. If they come back without their knitting, they start a new project that stays in the building as a backup. That means each new kid potentially gets 2 sets of needles. I had something like 8 new kids last week and two today. I’m really short on needles again, even after some wonderful donations in the fall/holiday season. (Today these are older pics of my kidz, I’ve been so busy teaching new children these days I haven’t taken pictures in a while.)

Our shipping address is:
CityKidz Knit!
c/o Lynn Hershberger
Foster Community Center
200 N. Foster
Lansing, MI 48912 USA

If you choose to send a donation, please leave a piece of paper in the box with your address -or- email address and proper name, so that we can send you a tax letter. I don’t have my computer at the office even if you let me know it is coming… we go with what is in the box when it comes receipt time.

If you have nothing to share, or can’t bear to let go of your beloved knitting things, I understand. I’ll stop begging now, for as long as I can go with the supplies I have. And meanwhile, I’ll bring you photos of my kidz again soon.

6 Responses to “Beautiful Spring & Plea for Needle Donations”

  1. Sue Says:

    I understand that you don’t want to make needles, but what if you could get someone to donate dowels and the kids could make their own? They can be cut to length very quickly with a pair of pruning shears, then a quick trip in the pencil sharpener and the kids can sand until they are satisfied. I know that the kids I’ve worked with really enjoy showing off and working with their own needles, and they rarely loose them.

  2. Vicky Says:

    Hi Lynn,
    I’ll be sending a couple of pair of metal needles your way. When my mother-in-law passed away a few years ago, I inherited her craft box – with lots of goodies. I have duplicates of several sizes, so I will be happy to part with them!

    Happy Knitting!
    Vicky in OH

  3. Sharon Says:

    Hey, these dowels are a good idea. I’m going to try that. I need more needles for my students at school too. I’ve had a couple of donations…one from a student’s grandmother, and one from a former teacher, and that’s allowed me to teach about 20 kids this year, but it doesn’t give any extras for sending home. I see a trip to Michaels in my immediate future! Lynn, it was so nice to meet for tea. :)

  4. Patricia Says:

    Lynne – I adore your blog, and I have lots of extra needles – people keep giving them to me after they return from garage sales, LOL!! Lots of aluminum bright-coloured ones, long, short, etc. I’m so glad to know that kids will be using them. I will mail them to that address – thank you for giving me a way to repay you for your wonderful blog!

  5. Christina Says:

    I have a bunch of needles I picked up for $2 at an estate sale. I’ll mail ’em over to you this weekend!

  6. Nik Says:

    I have some circulars, sized 13 and 15, that i got in themail for free as a gift from a book order I place. Can you use them? I know you stated that you wanted size 6-10 straights, but I thought I’d ask anyway

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