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November 22, 2022


amy g

Hi Deb! I can relate! I have only a few that are knit-worthy. Many homeless shelters love to have socks as they are a highly requested item.

Personally, I have started to work on mystery afghans that can use up stash and are really fun to do. If no-one in the family wants them, I can always donate them too. One of my favorite designers is Louise O'Neill. Her patterns are easy to follow, but still a bit challenging and the forums are very helpful.

I hope this helps! Good Luck ~amy g


Personally I mostly knit items for myself.{grin}

In addition to socks, homeless shelters may also accept mittens, hats, scarves and cowls. Hospitals often accept small afghans and chemo caps for keeping warm while receiving cancer treatments or baby items for new parents in need.

And if you belong to Ravelry I'm sure that somewhere in the forums you can find information about all sorts of organizations that accept donations.

Happy knitting!


If you like to knit shawls or wraps or lap blankets, many hospitals and hospices want these items for patients in end-of-life care. When my other was in hospice due to a severe stroke, there was a hand-knitted shawl over her when we got to the room. It is lovely and my Dad still has it on his sofa. It was very special to see that and to have it come home with us after an excruciating ordeal, just waiting for the end. I am currently battling cancer for the second time in 3 years and I am going to start knitting a shawl for our palliative care wing at the hospital where I’ve been a patient, in the hopes that it brings a small measure of comfort saying someone cares to the family of someone in that wing; especially knowing I might end up there in the not-to-distant future if my treatment doesn’t work or last this time around. I held a friend’s hand while her husband lingered in that unit and it’s really tough. A hand-knitted item adds a loving touch in a sad situation.


Sorry your family didn't like the handknit socks. If they didn't suggest alternative items, I think that's that.

Sometimes hospitals want knitted items for patients, but they can have strict guidelines due to comfort and sanitation/washing reasons. I would just google charity knitting to see what's out there. The Dallas Knitting Guild has this:
Good luck!


Aww. I'm glad they told you now!

In my area, the no-kill animal shelter seek nap mats (knit or crochet), and the wildlife hospital accepts handmade nests (like wool bowls) for baby birds and squirrels and other little animals.

Those animals will appreciate a warm, cozy bed.


Sorry that didn't work out! I don't like to wear hand knitted socks either so I can relate. BUT it's a shame they don't seem interested in hats, scarfs, mittens, etc.
I knit a lot for charity. This time of year there are collections for hats, etc. at area businesses. I also send a lot of knitted items to the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations in South Dakota (see Ravelry) Rough winters and they can use all the handknits they can get of all sizes! Knit for those worthy. (Although I give DIL props for admitting the lack of use of your hard work.) Enjoy your knitting!


Unpopular opinion: I'm a knitter, I've made myself a few pairs of socks (from fingering weight indie-dyed sock yarn, the "best" kind), and I never wear them either. They just aren't as comfortable as good-quality commercial socks, although the colors and patterns are way more fun.

I don't have much to add to the charity suggestions that others have given above, but I'll say that I give a lot of hats and shawls (in a style that can be worn as a winter scarf) to my family and friends, and they've been enthusiastically received with evidence of use lol. I find them just as fun to knit as socks, if not moreso because you only need to make 1 copy!


Please don't forget Knitted Knockers. I've had fun knitting them and the organization is terrific and the end result (the knockers) are so very appreciated.


Charities often welcome hand-knits.

However, you may still have a family option. At first some of my family were neutral on hand-knitted socks. I mentioned wearing them occasionally as bed socks and they gave it a try and several were converted. They still mostly only wear them as bed socks or with house slippers but a sudden cold snap sometimes has them pulling them out to wear with shoes.

Another idea is a lap robe which can be worn at home but also in the car on those cold mornings or when the car has been sitting out in the cold.

Good luck knitting.


I am betting there are definitely hospitals in need of baby hats and nursing homes needing lap blankets and homeless shelters needing socks and mitts and gloves. I think some schools have a closet with warm hats and mitts. Good for you for looking for a spot to share your gifts!


My daughters & partner don’t like hand knit socks. So I only knit for myself & occasionally my granddaughter who wears anything I knit for her. She gets that hand knits are an expression of love. I do occasionally knit for my offspring but only when they ask for something specific & pick out yarn. I’ve knit for the 3 grands more than for my girls or my partner. I always let them pick out the item & the yarn. It may ruin the surprise but I want what I knit to be worn. I have fibromyalgia which limits my knitting so I don’t mind not knitting for them. In the last few years, when I was at my daughter’s house, I saw one of the grands curled up with the very plain but cuddly throw I knit for his mom when she went off to college in August 1994! Imagine how happy that made me!


Sometimes honesty can hurt! I say sod ‘m and make beautiful knitted garments for yourself! 😉😃

Gayle King

Check out for a great charity project. They also have a FB page where you can see hats that other knitters have made.


I forgot to add that our Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) accepts and wants tiny preemie sweaters and caps for the infants to go home in, and also “Angel gowns” for those that don’t make it, they use them as their burial garment…..
And our hometown area also does knitted knockers……


I feel your pain. I don't think my family appreciates cowls and hats so I gave up. I now knit the girls dishcloths and pair them with a pretty hand towel for in the kitchen and that seems to work. Just knit for yourself and be proud when you wear your hand knits.


Hi Debra! That’s something I’ve worried about too. I love to knit and give my knitting as gifts. Although I would want to know, so I would not continue to waste my efforts where they’re unwelcome or unappreciated. I hope your daughter-in-law was kind in the way she approached this, in all honesty as hard as it would be to hear, she did you a favour. I like to knit baby things and accessories, try new techniques, then think who might actually appreciate and wear them. For me, I just enjoy the process and hope to choose someone who will enjoy the finished product. Continue to do what you love!


Another opinion-my husband is disabled with severe back problems and only wears my knitted socks because they are easier to put on with the assistive dressing device he must use (no elastic tops to deal with). I make some wild colors which always gets him compliments at his assisted living facility.Perhaps you know someone with limited mobility fo whom hand knitted socks would be a real life saver.


I suspect that my hand-knitted gifts are not so appreciated as well. Since I only really enjoy knitting socks and have built quite a large stash of beautiful sock yarns, I have just decided to knit what I like for myself. The joy I experience from knitting is meditation for me, and that’s enough. I already have way more hand-knit socks than I can wear. I don’t find them comfortable inside sneakers which is my footwear of choice. I wear them with Birkenstocks when it’s cold enough. I can’t bear the thought of giving them to charity because they will most likely be ruined. They deserve to be cared for. Selfish, I know. I am trying to incorporate some one-skein shawl patterns into my project options. I find that Martina Behm”s patterns (think Hitchhiker) are easy, fun, and adaptable to various yarn weights and amounts. They’re fun to wear and very casual, adding just a pop of color to a casual tee, sweatshirt, or whatever. All are available on Ravelry. Your family members may enjoy these items. Good luck finding your place in this beautiful knitting world. I simply couldn’t live without it. Think of it as therapy.


I think it is nice to make things for charity out of easy care yarn. People don’t want to handwash things.

If you want to sell handknits and price is fair, people suddenly are willing to properly care for handknits.

I usually only give my finer woolens to another knitter.

When i knit for charity, i knit cotton washclothes and acrylic hats.

One year, i went to a sporting store sale and bought acrylic men’s beanies. I donated them to local high school for ski club or outdoor activities. The feedback was they liked them the best… better than handknits .
(I see alot if high school kids with inappropriate winter clothes)

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