Warm Wool Sweater for Charity

Project -  Raglan Pullover for charity
Bernat Pattern Book #542012 - 9 Family Designs to Knit
Yarn - Bernat Felting in Snap Dragon
Blogger - Shandeh

Every year, I knit about 5 or 6 things for charity, in between other projects for myself, friends, and family.  It's very satisfying to knit for charity, because I know that what I make will be appreciated.  Occasionally, I've spent hours knitting something for a family member or friend, and when I give it to them, they don't recognize the work I put into it.  Very disappointing.  But, when I knit for charity, I feel a wonderful glow in my heart EVERY TIME.  Much more pleasing to the soul. ;)

Since the weather is cooler now, I would like to knit a warm wool sweater for a teenager.  After looking through Bernat's yarns, I've settled on the one and only 100% wool yarn in the group - Bernat Felting.  This yarn was created for making felted items, but I've seen it used for knitting warm sweaters by other knitters.  It doesn't HAVE to be felted when you work with it.

When I received my yarn in the mail, I opened the box, and was greeted with the lovely smell of fresh wool.  Love it!  And the pattern book I've chosen was in the box as well - "9 Family Designs".

The booklet contains patterns for Bernat Softee Chunky, but I feel confident that the Bernat Felting will knit to the right gauge.  Actually, I'm not that concerned with gauge, because I'm sure the sweater I knit will fit SOMEONE!  The design I've chosen is the "Weekend Raglan".  I'm making the smallest size, so it will fit a teenage girl or boy.

The Bernat Felting yarn has such a nice texture - very easy to knit.  Of course, I had to try a couple different needles, until I found the right ones for this yarn.  I have learned over the years that some needles work better with certain yarns.  I started off this project with my favorite vintage plastic needles, but they gripped the yarn too much.  Now, I've settled on some slick metal needles for this yarn.  They work great!

So, if you're ever having trouble using a yarn, don't blame the yarn - just try different needles.  You might be surprised!

- Shandeh


Are you at all concerned about whether or not a teenager is going to feel like handwashing? THAT would be my issue with using a yarn designed for felting - it must be handwashed in cold, or OOH! LOOK! A REALLY AWESOME BARBIE SWEATER. lol

The charity I am knitting for donates 100% wool items to needy people in the coldest climates. They do not have electricity. There is no need to worry about felting or shrinkage.

Good plan, bad execution? You're knitting a sweater (which is great!) for a kid who is in need of charity. But you're making it out of wool (allergy alert) that is not superwash. That means that this kid who may live in a shelter or other tough situation will have to be sure to hand wash their beautiful sweater to keep it from felting and shrinking. And they're a teen - do you know any teens who pay attention to washing instructions? This seems like such a potential waste of your hard work.

Once again, the charity I am knitting for donates to people who have no electricity. I have donated several wool items to them in the past. I am sure this sweater will be loved and used to keep them very warm.

I, too, enjoy knitting for charities. I almost always knit projects for teens and 'tweens, who I feel get kind of left out, since a lot of knit charity donations seem to be for babies, toddlers, or the elderly. I usually use a machine washable yarn since I am not sure if the recipient will know how to properly wash and reblock a 100% wool sweater. I have visions of them machine washing and drying! Since I am not a big fan of using 100% acrylic yarn for garments (I like a little breathability), I usually do my charity projects in either a washable wool-blend, cotton-blend, or bamboo yarn that will retain it's shape and color wash after wash.

The charity I am knitting for only accepts 100% wool, handknitted items. I have donated wool knits to them before.

Are you worried about someone knowing how to wash your sweater so that it doesn't felt? I'm just curious :)

I'm not worried at all. They have no electricity to run a washing machine or dryer.

I'm sorry you got all the repeated questions. When I posted it said there were no comments. :)

That's okay. I figured that was what happened. :)

If anyone else is interested in knitting 100% wool items for charity, here is a link to the charity I knit for: http://www.wool-aid.org/

Thank you!

On the note of Charity knitting... is there a Canadian Address to send the preejmie caps for good to thanks

Hi Louise - that program is America-specific, but there are lots of Canadian charities accepting baby items - just try the charity search on www.bernatcares.com

I knit in Canada too and I take my charity knitting to my local hospital to be given in the maternity ward to the new babies and the extras go into the gift shop. I also take the occasional knitting to the local Salvation Army. They always have a child in need. Happy knitting in the cold spell.

When knitting on 4 needles does anyone know the best way to keep the yarn tight when going to the next needle. It always seems to be loose there no matter how tight I hold it when going to the next needle. Any suggestions?

When going to the next needle, make sure the new dpn is stacked on top of the last dpn you used, so the yarn will pull tight, without the width of the needle getting in the way of the stitch.

Thanks, tried this and works pretty good. A lot better than pulling the yarn tight. Once again thanks.

So glad I could help!

When you knit the second stitch on the next needle, give the working yarn an extra tug to snug it up. That's worked pretty well for me in sock knitting. hth! :)

I agree with Steph. I also snug up on the first and second st. It sometimes looks too tight but works out ok. You might also try adding a 5th needle. I have found that helps with certain yarns.

I was wondering about the Bernat Felting and if it would work minus the felting. I really like the colours and finally can find it locally. Looking forward to reading about your progress. :)

Hi Dina! The Bernat Felting makes a wonderful, thick and warm fabric! I might have to knit another sweater like this for me. :)

I really like the pattern Bernat Stain Cable Hat, but it is just too small. I played around with the pattern and increased the size. I cast on 86 stiches and did 4 1/2 repeats instead of 3 1/2 and it fits like a glove. Still have ample yarn and am now knitting it with the variegated. Can't wait to finish it. I showed the two I made in the larger size on my blog today. http://conestogo.blogspot.com/2011/01/needlework-tuesday-tag-team-knitting.html

I make a lot of sweaters & hats for the refugee children who come to Spokane, WA where I live. The organization is World Relief; they're in various cities. I've made several sweaters from that book...they're easy to make and turn out nice-looking. I usually use acrylic yarn. Kathy

I love all the patterns in that book too, Kathy! Good, basic designs that will work for all ages. Nice to find another charity knitter! :)

I am looking for someone to knit me a sweater using an old bernat pattern. my mother in law used to make them for me, but she has passed many years ago. I would love to pay for the yarn, the work that is put into it, and something extra so you could have more for donations. anyone out there do that? will send pattern if interested, it is beautiful. from the early 80's. thanks carolyn gazoo1i633@hotmail.com