November challenge: knitting for charity

November challenge: knitting for charity

As I was scrolling through Instagram one day, I saw this advert by Dementia UK asking people to join their November challenge: to knit every day for that month and raise money for their charity.

I’d never done this sort of thing before, and felt compelled to join and see how I’d do. It’s a worthwhile cause, and charities are always in need of money.
It has to be said that, in the past, I’d probably shy away from such a challenge because I’d fear “not reaching my goal,” which Present Me finds silly – I’m not doing this for brownie points, it’s not a measure of my self-worth and, more importantly, if I only raise £10, it’s ten pounds more that Dementia UK will have to help those in need.
Present Me is wiser than Past Me, don’t you think?

A dark grey hand knit jumper on a mannequin

Here is my first make, which I finished in, I think, 5 days. It’s knit with super bulky wool, so it goes along super quickly.
This is a free pattern by Drops Yarn – very fitting, because the yarn is also by Drops – and it has to be said, the instructions could be better. There were a couple of techniques I had to look up in video format because the written instructions just didn’t make any sense (to me, anyway). I also made a few changes here and there, one of them being some waist shaping. I also changed the sleeves a little to adapt them to my small frame.

A closeup of my hand knitted grey jumper, where I show the shoulder detail.

It’s a very warm jumper and I’ve worn it several times to help with having lowered my thermostat at home.
On a side note, I might add a few more rows to the sleeves just to make them extra, extra cosy.

A hand knit grey beanie hat on top of a mannequin.

I had a lot of wool left after finishing the jumper, so I decided to knit a beanie hat. This was knit in an evening and I can attest it’s kept my noggin’ warm when venturing outdoors.

Finally, a bit of a cheat…

Remember my Dead of Night jumper, that I showed you in my previous post? (Apologies for the lack of link to said post, I can’t find it at the moment of writing!)

Dead of Night jumper, pattern by Dear Ingenue, on a mannequin

I had “finished” it a few weeks ago, but hadn’t woven in the ends. I took the opportunity to do so and therefore count it as another November make – hey, it’s not done until all the tiny details are finished, correct?
It did turn out to be too large for me as had previously mentioned, but in a lovely twist of fate, my mother loved the pattern and wants it. That’s one Christmas present sorted!
It’s not blocked yet, as I want Mum to try it on and see if I need to coax its shape in any particular way. This is why you can still see yarn sticking out on the sleeve, I only cut the woven-in ends after I’ve blocked the garment.

So, that’s my November knits. The more observant of you will notice I probably didn’t knit every day for 30 days. Sadly, you’re right! Life got in the way and I was unable to keep up, but I did share what I was doing on my social media and managed to raise around £70 total for Dementia UK!

Not bad for a first, and not very persistent, try.

Have you ever knit for charity? Share your experience with me. If you have any fundraising advise, I’d love to read about it.

Finally, happy holidays, everyone! I hope you have a nice season whether you celebrate or not. See you next year.

13 thoughts on “November challenge: knitting for charity

  1. You go girl!
    What a lovely idea and congratulations for raising all that money for a very worthy cause. Your jumper looks so cosy and now that you have the matching beanie there will be no stopping you, both inside and outside your home Leonor.
    You have a very lucky Mum, she will be thrilled with her new jumper. Made with love and by such creative hands.

    1. Thanks, Hélène! Any little bit helps, right? It gave me such happiness to see others donating to a worthy cause 🙂
      That jumper is VERY cosy. I might have to knit another one so I’m not always seen wearing the same thing…
      I’m the lucky one with my Mum, she’s my rock and deserves all the hand knitted jumpers ^_^

  2. I’ve never been able to work out how you raise money by doing any sort of “make”. How did you manage to raise £70 by knitting? Is it a sponsored thing or what? If it is sponsored, that’s where I’d fall down – getting someone to pay me for doing something – I wouldn’t have the nerve to approach people.
    Of course in this challenge, the other way I’d fail is that I can’t knit! Well I can, but if I ever (and frequently do) drop a stitch I can never pick it up, I have to go right back and start again. If I do get to the end of a row, I usually find I’ve more stitches than I should have, so I’ve accepted that knitting’s not my thing.
    But well done you for making that beautiful jumper and raising that money.

    1. Ann, you’re not alone! Since my country of birth didn’t have any of this sort of thing when I lived there (not sure about now), I too had no idea how it worked. Luckily the charity made it easy to understand and I simply followed their instructions. My best move was to do a couple of short videos and post them on Instagram, with a Donate button attached. The charity gets the money directly and people cheer me on because they’re donating to see me make more stuff!

      Ah, you can’t knit – never let that stop you. We had a Facebook group and you wouldn’t imagine how many men and women shared their first makes! It was lovely, because everyone was super supportive and friendly no matter what was posted: exactly as it should be. What united us was the fundraising, not the perfect finished make. I loved it.

      Thanks! I might do this again in the future 🙂

  3. Your makes are wonderful. The dead of night sweater is amazing, you have a lucky mom. Like the other Ann I am wondering how you raise money knitting? I have tried knitting but although I love yarn I do not knit. I don’t want to start at the beginning and do the boring practice dish cloths etc I want to jump into something fun that is way beyond absolute beginner. Story of my life.

    1. Ha, like I told Hélène, I’m the lucky one – my mum is an amazing woman and I’m lucky to have inherited some of her genes 🙂

      So, this whole fundraising thing was also new to me, but it’s super common in the UK. You simply announce you’ll be doing something for charity (a marathon, cakes, knitting, whatever) and ask people to sponsor you by giving you however much they’d like. That money goes to the charity you’re doing the thing for. Simple!
      In my case, I had a JustGiving page set up that I shared on Facebook once in a while, and then I made a couple of short videos for Instagram where I shared my makes, and told them why I was knitting. I attached a Donate button for Dementia UK and whoever sponsored me would be giving the moolah directly to them. One of my biggest sponsors was a lovely lady from the US 🙂

    2. PS – I know, we all want to start by making super complicated stuff, but if you’re patient and start with a simple garter stitch scarf, you’ll graduate to jumpers and lace knitting in no time 😉

  4. Well done for raising the cash for a very worthwhile cause – I’m with Ann on this – how actually did you do it?

    Love the shaping on the ‘drops’ jumper – very unusual and would you suit you well.
    Good result on the Chrimbo presi for mum!

    1. Thanks, Lyn and Ann!

      Wait, you’re Brits and asking me how I did the fundraising? I though only the “outsiders” were oblivious 😀 I feel so much better for not knowing before this, haha!

      So, basically you commit to doing A Thing, whatever that might be, and then tell everyone you know you’ll be doing it for charity. Those who wish to sponsor you will pay you however much they wish, and that goes to your charity. That’s the first part, which I suppose you already know how it works. The second part is to share your efforts on social media – so I shared my JustGiving page on my Facebook (this page was created with the help of Dementia UK’s instructions) and I made a couple of videos that I shared on my Instagram, with a Donate button directly linked to the charity. Whoever wished to help would simply click on the button and pay however much they wanted, and voila, Dementia UK gets a few bob on account of my knitting and sharing 🙂

      The jumper’s shaping was what drew me to wanting to knit it. I’m glad I did the waist shaping though, because otherwise it would have looked a bit bulky.

      If my mum doesn’t love it I’ll donate it to charity, maybe? Teehee

  5. Great job raising money for Dementia UK. I haven’t raised money that way before but have see a lot of it on social media. It’s a great way for the charity to raise money as you are doing all the promotional work for them. And even if you only raise a small amount, as long as there are others that are doing the same, the charity will raise money. I’m not a knitter but it seems to me that any kind of “making” would work for this type of fundraising. I remember one here in the US that was throwing freezing water on a person and taking a video. It was called the Ice Bucket Challenge and it was for ALS. In the US alone, they raised $31.5 million. It got started off well because Charlie Sheen promoted it. Social media definitely helps to raise money as long as you get the right people on board.

    Anyways, your sweater/jumper and beanie look so cozy and I’m glad they are keeping you warm. I love the Dead of the Night one too and if it doesn’t fit your mom, I’m sure it would be a lovely Christmas gift for me 😉 It’s been really cold here in Montana, 3 degrees F this morning.

    1. Thanks, Ruth! It was a fun thing to do, even if I didn’t manage to knit for every day.
      I thought Dementia UK was smart in targeting a niche population – they were asking for knitting in particular. Maybe there were other challenges in place but I only saw this one? Not sure.

      I remember the ice bucket challenge, it was a weird and fun one. It morphed into other stuff – such as Sandi Toksvig (one of my favourite celebrities here) sharing liquor with Daniel Craig in a shower!

      If my mum says no to the jumper, I’ll throw your name into the hat 😀

      And ouch, that’s -16ºC! Freezing 😮 Stay warm!

  6. I have done sponsored walks but never sponsored knits. Well done. I have made blankets and hats and given them to homeless charities , care homes etc. I also make few little hats for the Innocent/ Age UK campaign. I think it’s great to help out with our skills.

    1. I’d love to try a sponsored walk someday. It’s healthy and for charity, win-win 🙂 (Or, knitting whilst walking? It’s a form of sport already, so it might catch on, haha)

      I’m glad there are so many talented people out there who are willing to donate their time and efforts for worthy causes. Thank you for being one of them!

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