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Archive for February 3rd, 2004

Cyndy’s Question

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004

Cyndy wrote in comments Monday:

Do you need donations for your kids? Yarn, books, needles…tell me what they like.

I’m touched and delighted that she would ask. I tried to reply to her directly, but I must have had the wrong email address for her. Therefore, I’m answering here, hoping that maybe a few others of you would not mind reading through it. This is what I wrote to her:

How sweet of you to ask about my knitters. Yes, we do have some needs.

We always desperately need needles in size 6 through 9 especially (sizes 5 and 10 work in a pinch). Short or long are both great, straight needles preferred. We also need circular needles in those same sizes, especially the lengths that would work for hats. (Is that 16 inches, I think?)

We always need bulkier yarns as long as they are fairly smooth textured. We use up nearly any purple yarn and/or variegated yarns in any colors, worsted weight or thicker, as soon as the kids realize it is there.

They go through variegated yarns like you can not believe, especially that garish crayon-colored rainbow that Red Heart has made since before I was age 10 and learning to knit myself. They love bright, bright, bright. The more color, the better. Even my boys go for bright blue, green, red, orange. Variegated yarns really help them see when they have made a mistake, in addition to the “pretty” factor.

I also can use small lengths (or full balls) of eyelash yarns or fuzzy mohair, believe it or not. The kids like to make small purses and just put some eyelash in the first few rows as a second strand with the standard yarns. Even a yard or two is special for a kid. If I get bigger balls of it, I divide it up into smaller bits so that more kids get to use it.

Please send yarns in balls, pull-skeins, or anything that can be knit from immediately. We do not have a ballwinder or swift, so yarns in hanks, lovely as they can be, do not get used quickly. The kids don’t want to spend their hour winding yarn into a large ball, and I honestly do not blame them.

I also always need canvas totebags… clean and in good repair, new or not, with advertising or not, any size. The kidz take their knitting home (many of them walk) and if they use a plastic grocery bag they often lose a needle on the way. It is humorous how often the librarians on the lower level of the building will bring me one needle or a bunch, unmatched of course. But if kids knit at home, they get better at it, and it also gives them a sense of ownership which I want to encourage. So I let them take needles and yarn home when they get to the point where they can knit without my assistance.

Oh, if you have a wool sweater that was shrunk by mistake or you don’t mind having me shrink it for the kids, it would be used now that they understand the potential of sweaters as a raw material for cut-and-sewn bags and mittens, among other goodies. We don’t do this as often, it’s sort of a special treat when I have a small enough crowd to do justice to the value of the sweaters. They understand the economic value of the sweaters… I make sure they understand, and respect the gift properly.

And sometimes I give out little “door prizes” so even little dollar store type trinkets, or small stuffed animals, picture frames, photo albums, colored pads of paper, anything a child from about 3rd grade to 6th grade might like… those will be put to good use. These items should be unbreakable, of course.

What I do *not* need: thinner yarns than worsted weight, neutral-colored yarns, needles thinner than US size 5 or thicker needles than 10 US. No chenille or Lion Brand Homespun… I have plenty already for the few kids who can handle them. I just don’t have much space right now (they plan to get me shelves but the budget is so tight it may be August before I get them) so I can’t take anything I won’t go through fast. And it may be obvious, but we do not have laundry facilities, so be sure it is in clean and fresh condition to be used immediately.

By the way, every donation will be acknowledged with a tax-deduction letter. Please be sure that there is a piece of paper in the box with your name and address (and email address) written on it (not just on the box, please… the box goes to my room and the paper goes to the office) so that we can read it easily, and our secretary will pop out a letter to you for next year’s taxes.

If you are still inclned to help out, the address is:

CityKidz Knit! c/o Lynn Hershberger
Foster Community Center
200 N. Foster Ave.
Lansing, MI 48912

Thanks again for your interest in my CityKidz. They are worth it, I assure you!
Photos here are December ’01 and October ’02, some favorite pics of mine.)