Made with love | meet our charity stitchers: Susan moser

Red Heart Logo

We knit and crochet because it brings us joy, but there's no doubt that generosity for others is deeply woven into the fabric of our craft community. Earlier this year, we asked our community to nominate a friend who knits or crochets for charity to be considered for our Charity Stitchers Award. We were overwhelmed by the responses and stories, and the many ways we see community members pair passion and purpose towards making their corner of the world a little brighter.

We’re excited for you to meet one of our winners, Susan Moser. When it comes to the West Los Angeles Knitting Group, Susan wears many hats. The group contributes generously to a local public hospital that serves vulnerable communities, stitching up hand-made hats and blankets for babies in the newborn wing. Susan’s contributions go beyond simply making goods to give. She leads her group’s donation process at every stage, from securing yarn, managing the group’s yarn stash, assigning projects and arranging the donation drop-off.

To view the Charity Stitchers Lookbook pattern collection featuring the projects named after Susan, click here.

Ready to be inspired? Read on to learn more about how Susan stitches for her community.

*Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.

susan moser

Susan Moser
Pull Quote Icon

“Susan is a prolific producer of crocheted baby items that are donated to the hospital, but perhaps more importantly, she also serves as the coordinator, hospital liaison and the West LA Knitters’ cheerleader. She encourages our participation, collects the donations and manages the paperwork, along with receiving and distributing yarn donations that come our way. Her contribution is multiplied far beyond the work of her own nimble fingers and I’m grateful for all her hard work.”

Edie Gralla, Nominator

Pull Quote Icon

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your passion for knit & crochet and where that comes from?

My Grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 10 years old. She was a great teacher because both of us were left-handed. When my kids got into high school, some of us Moms got together and said, now that our kids drive, what will we do with all of our free time? So, we decided to teach ourselves to knit! We had a great time struggling with our first stitches!

My passion for knit/crochet comes from loving the idea of creating something by hand. I find it to be a powerful creative outlet, and love doing bold things with color. I also love being able to make someone a gift that is made by hand. It represents time and effort to make something uniquely designed for an individual. I have always loved handmade crafts and sometimes think I should have been born during the pioneer days when everything was created by hand from scratch. These days, I knit some garments for myself, crochet blankets for charity newborns, and crochet/knit baby gifts for my daughters’ friends who are having babies.

Banner Image

2. Tell us about the West LA Knitting Group!

The West LA Knitting Group has been around for at least 10 years and we meet twice a week. We mostly bring our individual projects to the group and provide each other with guidance when someone hits a snag. Sometimes we’ll get excited about something and do a group activity like hand-dyeing yarn or learning Tunisian Simple Stitch from our resident Tunisian expert. A few of us have taught knitting to children to pass on the craft to the next generation. One of our members designed a huggable chicken pillow, so we went through a period of all of us making chickens! As you can imagine, some of have become close friends over the years. My favorite part of being in the group is seeing what everyone is working on and sharing ideas about various projects. I love helping my fellow knitters figure out pattern instructions and what colors would work in a project.

3. Have you always crafted for charity? When did you decide to donate your work?

Most of the women in our West LA Knitting Group are yarn and knitting addicts, but you can only make so many garments for yourself. You could never wear them all! We thought we should knit for someone else who really needs it and began hunting around for organizations that accept donated items. We’ve contributed projects to the Brentwood VA, Salvation Army, and Children’s Hospital LA. A few years ago, we began contributing to the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. I spent many years working for the health department and used to visit this large county hospital on a regular basis. I was able to connect with their CARES volunteer support organization and was told that 30 babies a month are born there, many living in poverty conditions. These newborns need blankets and hats, and the need is forever and ongoing. This is the charity we knit for now. We receive a lot of gratitude from the hospital and heart-warming anecdotal stories from grateful new parents. The nurses at the hospital love being able to give the baby and parents a gift to take home, and parents are quite surprised and grateful for the gift. We like this charity because the need is so great, and the recipients are so appreciative. This provides us with purpose and meaning for our knitting.

4. How do you select the patterns you use for your donated projects? What about the yarn and other supplies?

For our donated items, we like to use what we call “mindless” patterns that don’t require too much focus and can easily be done. Right now, we are all caught up in corner to corner (C2C) patterns.

For charity work, we only use acrylic yarn since it is washable and dryable, it’s easy for the recipient to care for. Sometimes a knitter in our local community dies or can no longer knit, so the people trying to find a new home for the yarn and tools will contact us on Facebook. Most often it is acrylic yarn, perfect for donations.

5. Do you have any tips for stitchers looking to organize donation drives?

My best tips for ongoing donation projects are to set up a system and stay organized. I put each donated item in a bag with the knitter’s name on it. Once I get a good number of bags, I photograph the items in each bag and send an email with a photo to the hospital. This helps the hospital with completing the tax donation receipt for our members. Then I gather the bags together for delivery to the hospital. It’s very important to keep in continuous contact with the organization you’re donating to. Having a consistent person to work with makes it a lot easier.

Banner Image

Want to learn more about our other Charity Stitchers? Kelly Martino crochets blankets for shelters in Toronto and you’ll love Jess Judkins’ story inspired by her son’s desire to brighten the day of coffee shop customers. Looking for more charity patterns? Check out our 2020 Charity Stitchers Kelly Martino tells us about stitching for Toronto shelters, Susan Moser shares tips on donation drives, and you'll hear all about how Jess Judkins’ story was inspired by her son’s desire to brighten the day of coffee shop customers. Looking for more charity patterns? Check out our 2020 Charity Stitchers lookbook lookbook.

We love to see your charity makes! You can share your photos using #YARNSPO and tag us @yarnspirations or @redheartyarns on Instagram or find us on Facebook.