rs_200

We Believe...

..that the solution to inequality, pain, suffering, and lack in the world is ‘those that have’ sharing willingly from the heart with ‘those that have not’ who are sick and/or needy.

Warm clothing and bedding for babies, quilts for the aged or ill, books for the disadvantaged, essentials and household goods for those who have lost everything in floods, house fires, or due to job loss; these are just some of the need we assist with. You can help.
 

Archive for Crochet Ideas

A fun way to be organized and efficient when taking supplies to charity work meetings or to a friends house to work together on projects!

Relief Share home office has something wonderful to share with all our volunteers who are on the go.

Our new craft and yarn carry-all from Miragoods was donated to us in exchange for an honest and unbiased review and we love it.

Watch the video to see why: Click here for the Youtube video from President Carol Green

This yarn storage bag is made with beautiful lilac pattern, high quality PVC coating, includes lots of storage pockets and an additional pouch for extra space and and has a detachable shoulder strap. You can purchase it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FU5OZD2

We are quite excited about this product. The bag holds quite a lot of supplies and the extra pouch allows us to stay organized. Its’ zipped closure will keep sharp sewing accessories safe and knitting needles together. There is also one zipped pocked inside the bag, so the needles could be stored there, too, for extra safety. The exterior layer of the bag itself is of PVC coating to keep items safe from moisture or spills from water or beverages.

We love sharing fun, pretty, and economical ways to keep all of our charity volunteers effective and happy. What kind of a tote or carrying bag do you use for craft and charity projects? Be sure to share with us your thoughts with an email to info@ReliefShare.org.

Keep putting your “Love in Action” for the sick and the needy! You are what makes miracles happen, and we love YOU for it!

Share

Science Has Spoken – Giving Makes You Happy!
By Eve Pearce 

Helping babies makes us happy and makes them happy, too!

Relief Share believes that the true solution to the inequalities and suffering that occurs every day in the world is giving… by sharing toys with children whose parents may have lost everything in a natural disaster, bedding with those who who cannot afford to stay warm, quilts to keep the aged cosy, we play a small part in curing social ills which could be eliminated on a collective levels. Interestingly, numerous scientific findings reveal that when we give, we don’t just help the recipients of our donations; we also take our first steps on a journey towards greater personal happiness. These findings should be shared with the world, for they are likely to lead to further giving. In this post, we share important research work on the link between giving and personal joy:

Happiness is a cycle: Researchers, Isen and Levin conducted a study which revealed that people were more likely to help others when they were happy; those in a positive mood were also more likely to lend a helping hand to researchers. Similar observations have subsequently been made with children. In another study, Rosenhan et. al. randomly assigned positive or negative mood states to children by asking them to reminisce, talk and think about specific memories. They were then given some candy and money, which they were told they could give away to other children. While both groups of kids consumed more sweets than the control group, the happy children gave larger amounts of money to other children. As is the case with adults, similar positive mood states (achieved through a sense of competence or success) resulted in greater giving.

Happy people have been found to help others more in many contexts, including the work context: In one study, inexperienced workers with more positive moods and outlooks were found to be more likely to go the extra mile when helping customers by trying hard to find what the customer was looking for, and making a greater effort to provide quality customer service.

Giving also makes us happier: In an excellent report on giving, L. Anik et.al. run through the most useful recent studies on the subject. One study mentioned, carried out in 2007 showed that when persons donated money to a food bank, the ventral striatum region of their brain was activated. The This area of the brain is involved in the experience of pleasure and reward, showing that giving does inherently make us happier. In Germany, meanwhile, Meier and Stutzer (2006) showed that those who performed volunteer work had greater life satisfaction. The study is vital because it shows that giving doesn’t always have to be about money. Sharing one’s time by making blankets or toys for needy children, for instance, is an equally important way to make a difference.

Everyone can help!

Giving is good for young and old alike: One particularly touching study involved elderly retired volunteers and infants. In this study, 10 elder volunteers with a mean age of 70 years were asked to massage infants at a nursery three times weekly for a period of three weeks. The elderly were also given massages at other times in the week. The researchers sought to observe the different effects caused by giving and receiving. The scientists found that “immediately after the first- and last-day sessions of giving massages, the elder retired volunteers had less anxiety and depression and lower stress hormones (salivary cortisol) levels. Over the three-week period, depression… decreased and lifestyle and health improved. These effects were not as strong for the three-week period when they received massage.” This is a particularly strong indication of the bond human beings share – the love for children and the need to care for others are almost universal feelings that we can fulfill by giving.

Volunteering and giving keeps awakens us to current problems facing society: When donate blankets, art supplies or toys, or volunteer our time to entertain children or the elderly, we begin to fully realize the vulnerability of the human condition. ‘There, for the grace of God, go you or I’ is a saying many volunteers repeat to themselves when faced with the devastation caused by poverty, HIV, and disease, not only in our area of the world, but in third world countries as well. As we meet other volunteers and patients, we share and discover vital information such as the link between poverty and STDs, heart disease and Type II diabetes; or the devastating child poverty rate, even in so-called affluent countries. In this way, volunteering stops us from turning a blind eye to social problems and opens our eyes to the important role we can play in helping even just one person – with a little help, maybe that one well-fed, warm and happy child will one day change the world.

So….GET HAPPY! Get involved. Clean out your closets for a good cause!

Added to this article by President Carol Green/Relief Share:

Here are some of the items needed – go through the list, pick some, and send them to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd., Houston, MO 65483-2225. Be sure to include your shipping information so we can send you a tax deductible receipt/thank you letter! We appreciate you!!

Baby Items: diapers, receiving blankets, sleepers, hats, booties, onesies, outfits, pants, tops, socks, swaddlers, baby cocoons, hygiene items (like soap, diaper cream, baby wash, q-tips, cotton balls, washcloths), diaper bags, soft toys, quilts, afghans, etc

Children’s items: clothing, toys, books, coloring books and crayons, videos, hair accessories, video games (these goes to the hospital to keep kids occupied when spending long periods immobilized after surgery), soap, shampoo, conditioner, food (yes, many of our children don’t get enough to eat) – healthy snacks or Wal Mart gift cards for our volunteer shoppers to go get what is needed, such as milk, bread, cheese, oatmeal, basic fruits and vegetables etc. Quilts, afghans, etc

Adult Items: Clothing, quilts, afghans, books, hair items – brushes, combs, curling or straight irons (for women who are in homeless shelters or crisis centers due to domestic violence trying to get ready  to work), hygiene items, washcloths, towels, soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, conditioner, food (basic healthy food items are great, WalMart gift cards for our volunteer shoppers to get what is needed is wonderful, too).  Just think what you would need if you suddenly found yourself homeless and without anything – that is what is needed.

Animals – collars, food, litter, litter boxes, leashes, bedding, toys, flea and tick prevention products.  We help a number of animal shelters with donations of needed items when they are donated in.

Supplies for volunteers to work with to make some of the items needed:

Knitting & Crochet supplies: knitting machines, yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles (addi turbo circular knitting needles in all sizes are a huge blessing for our volunteers to use – if you want to pick a size, the 14″ or 16″ length in size 7 is the most popular but we need the smaller sizes, like 5 and 6 for knitting booties and preemie hats, and larger circ needles for afghans are wonderful as well) We can never have enough knitting needles!  Stitch markers. Yarn winders are really needed right now! Patterns.

Quilting supplies – fabric, thread, needles, templates, patterns, batting, rotary cutters, mats, etc

Sewing Supplies – fabric, scissors, thread, elastic, velcro, lace, binding, embroidery thread, sewing machines, sergers, fabric cutting machines, etc.

Office supplies – paper, labels, price tags (for our flea market booth), post it notes, pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, computers, speakers, printers, copiers, digital cameras.  We have more than one location and when a machine breaks, it slows down the work.

Our dear volunteers and donors:  Thank you for everything you do – from sharing your smile with someone to giving of your time to sew, knit, crochet or simply spread the word.  We love all our volunteers who share their time, efforts, funds and love to make the lives of God’s sick and needy better.  Volunteers unselfishly drive our donations to where they need to go, spend time going to flea markets and yard sales to try to get what is needed to stretch our dollars, people who spend countless hours listing and shipping charity auctions on ebay for us, and wonderful people like Eve Pearce who wrote this article for us to help others understand what it is that Relief Share does to make the world a better place is what makes the miracle of love happen. Thank you so much!

 

 

Share

Relief Share Comfort Toys Change Lives For the Better…You Can Help!

Knitted gnomes donated for sick and needy children

In the aftermath of a disaster, one of the most powerful tools in a rescuer’s armory is the ability to distribute soft toys to children who are traumatized. This has long been recognized as an effective way of helping traumatized children, and it is worth considering exactly why this is. It also helps us to understand the importance of the work we do in sending handmade items, such as toys, to aid agencies.

The Invisible Power of Toys

We all know that children love their soft toys, but have you ever wondered about the psychological reasons behind this attachment? Researchers Bruce Hood, of the University of Bristol, and Paul Bloom of Yale University  conducted a study into the phenomena of attachment items – blankets or toys – and their results were striking. They ascertained that children believe that their toys have an ‘essence’, or life force, qualities that cannot be replicated. When offered the chance to have their toy ‘duplicated’ an overwhelming majority chose the original item over the duplicate. Professor Hood comments, “We anthropomorphize objects, look at them almost as if they have feelings. The children know these objects are not alive but they believe in them as if they are.” This behavior can be seen in adults too. After a burglary, even if the house contents are fully protected and stolen items replaced with identical ones, there remains a sense of dissatisfaction and loss. The new object never seems to replace the original. It seems that imbuing objects with special significance and regarding them as having an essential essence is not confined to children. In fact, it the cultural norm in some cultures. Professor Hood points out the some eastern beliefs centre around the idea that all things have a life force. Some cultures even find it hard to live in other people’s homes as they have a strong belief that there is ‘something intangible’ left behind by the previous occupants.

Transitional Objects

With this research in mind, imagine a child losing everything in a natural disaster? Imagine if their precious toy was lost forever, and they had to cope without comfort, in the midst of chaos and possibly bereavement. This is where aid shipments of toys can really help rescuers. Because even if the soft toys they distribute are not the ‘originals’, they still offer huge comfort to traumatized children. Many children in disaster areas will never have owned a soft toy of course. For these children, having something soft and comforting to hold, such as a toy or blanket, has shown to be highly effective in emotional recovery. In the west, up to 70% of children have a comfort object, since they tend to sleep apart from their parents at an early age. This is significant. Children in societies where this is not the norm may not have soft toys, but the importance of the parent in a sense of security is consequently even higher. To lose a parent in a disaster for these children is psychologically devastating. ‘Transitional objects’ (a physical object, which takes the place of the mother-child bond) become even more crucial in the days before proper support can be put in place in the rebuilding of a country.

Rescuers

Rescuers find that important links can be made with children in disaster areas or war zones if they are able to give them a soft toy to hold. There are several charities in the US who make sure that firefighters and policemen are kept stocked up with teddies for their vehicles, just in case they have to deal with a traumatized child. Their testimony proves that soft toys make a big difference.

Toys Change Lives

Aid workers in danger hotspots around the globe provide similar anecdotal evidence. The power of softness and comfort cannot be underestimated. Traumatized children can confide in a teddy bear in a way that may not be possible with an adult. Toys are frequently used in play therapy for this very reason, where they are known to improve feelings of social inclusion and pro-social behavior. The attachment that is formed between a child and the toy they are given cannot be more powerful. The gifts that you make and send abroad change lives, and bring comfort where there is despair. You can knit and sew in the knowledge that your work is making a difference to children somewhere in the world.

There are hundreds of free patterns for simple soft toys here.  Make some toys, or send supplies to make toys to:

Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.

 

Share
Soft sparkle yarn was used to make this cocoon and Momma hats for Relief Share

Soft sparkle yarn was used to make this cocoon and Momma hats for Relief Share

When the winter winds swirl around and chill us to our bones, you can imagine how the little ones feel….baby, it’s cold outside!  Baby blankets, quilts, clothing and knitted or crocheted cocoons are very much needed for the babies in hospital and those in homeless shelters or crisis situations. 

The pattern in very simple – cast on 80 stitches with circular needles or flat needles and knit for 18″.  Decrease:
- knit every 8th stitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- knit every 7thstitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- knit every 6th stitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- knit every 5th stitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- knit every 4th stitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- knit every 3th stitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- knit every 2th stitch together for one row, knit the next row,

- cut the yarn long enough to seam the cocoon and gather the stitches on the needle into a circle and seam the cocoon. If you are knitting with circular needles, just gather the last stitches in the row and tie off. 

This pattern works for the Ultimate Sweater Machine as well – you will need a garter bar for the decreases or knit for 21″ instead and simply gather the final row.

The hat pattern is the same for the cocoon but knit for 6 1/2″ before decreasing – this makes an adult hat. The baby hat is the same pattern but only cast on 40 stitches for a preemie baby or 80 stitches for a newborn baby and knit for 5 1/2″ before decreasing.

If you want to do chemo hats, it is nice if you add a crocheted flower to the side of the hat to cheer up the patient or if the hat is for a male, stripes can be added.

 

Donations are sent to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  We are a 501 (c) 3 IRS approved charity – donations are tax deductible. 

Make this season a bit warmer and more comfortable for the sick and needy by putting your sewing, knitting, crochet or crafting skills to work. 

People who are not familiar with Relief Share charity work sometimes ask us what we do and what kind of donations we accept.  The answer is simple.  If there is a need and we are capable of addressing it, we do.  Donations of all kinds are gratefully accepted – clothing for all ages, toys, books, household goods, animal supplies, cancer patient needs, help for those in hospital, homeless shelters, crisis centers and families who have emergent needs. 

Relief Share mainly handles crisis situations to help in emergencies.  We provide food (if available) clothing and items to help folks get through the crisis.  Babies are always first and foremost in our humanitarian work.  We specialize in newborn and preemie quilts, receiving blankets, cocoons, diapers, clothing, toys and more.

Currently our main project is keeping the hospital stocked with baby items so new babies in need can go home with the basics for a good start in life and we are also making 240 twin size quilts for Shriners Childrens Hospital.  Supplies such as fabric, yarn, batting, etc are needed.

Share

Baby hats - so soft and well made.

These beautiful soft crocheted hats have just been donated to ReliefShare.org  – they are wonderful and very much needed as the cold weather sets in.  Thank you so much to Connie S. from Summersville, MO for her generosity and kindness to God’s tiniest and most helpless children.

The hats were donated this afternoon and have already been donated out to where they are needed the most ;-)

Share

Crisis center donation of warm hats, scarves and more!

Our Relief Share volunteers have been very busy knitting and crocheting up a storm.  Donations have come in from many parts of the country to be combined with items made here at Relief Share’s home office in the Ozarks.  Many items to keep babies and families warm have been created with love and prayers to be shared with the sick and needy who appreciate a gift from a stranger to ward off the cold.

Hats, scarves and other items can mean the difference between staying healthy and getting sick.  It can also mean the difference between a simple cold and pneumonia or worse.  In more desperate circumstances, it can even mean the difference between life and death.  Babies need their strength to heal and grow and a warm baby hat and cocoon can mean everything to a struggling family bringing home a preemie baby from the intensive care.

Relief Share is donating 50 handmade knitted hats, and many scarves and other items to the crisis center for the sick and needy, so the Thanksgiving and Christmas season will be a little warmer with love from the heart and hands of strangers who cared enough to spend their time, talents and resources on those who are in desperate circumstances and need help.

A heartfelt THANKS to all the wonderful donors and volunteers working with Relief Share to make the miracle of love and warmth happen for those who need us this season.

If you would like to help knit and crochet to help the sick and needy, feel free to use your own patterns and make hats, scarves, mittens, cocoons and sweaters in any size and any type of yarn – there is always someone waiting for your items as we address the needs at a number of hospitals, homeless shelters, crisis centers, medical clinics, churches etc across the country.

Send your donations to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  We always send a thank you letter/tax deductible receipt with each donation received, so be sure to include your name and address for us to thank you properly ;-) We are so grateful for your love in action. If you would like to donate yarn, knitting and crochet supplies and tools, please do – we will love you for it!

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

Email me – I would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.

Share

Lovely blanket and comfort ball

The babies in hospital and children at the shelters love these soft comforting lovey blankets and balls that our ReliefShare.org volunteers make. They love the balls so much that we call them ‘Comfort Balls”.

The blankets are made of soft material – usually 12″ square. One side is polar fleece or flannel and the other minky or fuzzy microfleece – any kind of material can be used as long as it is washable and soft – we’ve even used satin on one side – babies love soft material. Around the edge are loops of knitted i-cord that are sewn securelyl so toys can be attached to the loops or the blanket can be hung on an IV pole for distraction when the medical staff need to work on the child. The babies and children love to play with the loops as well. That’s what makes the blanket fun!

The knitted ball is a huge hit with all ages, there are times the volunteers play with the balls more than the children do. The balls are knitted in 6 strips that measure 8″ long by 2″ wide. (note: yes, the strips can be crocheted as well and so can the icord) For most sport or worsted weight yarn, that means 15 stitches by 50 stitches but you have to use a ruler and adjust the number of stitches as you use other yarn to make the balls. After the strips are knitted, the ball is woven together.

The first attempt at assembling the ball is usually a challenge but if you stick with it, something clicks and then you can assemble the balls with no problem.

The pattern for the knitted ball is found on ravelry.com – just type in ‘knitted ball’ in the search on their website and it pops right up.

Use your scraps of yarn to make comfort balls for all your grandchildren, children, kids at church and local hospital and if you have some left over, we would love it if you would like to send them to us to donate out.

Assembling the balls is not for the faint at heart. If you simply want to knit the strips and send them to us for our volunteers to assemble, that would be wonderful. You can even clean out your yarn stash for a good cause, pop your donation into a box and address it to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225 and we will be happy to knit up the balls and icord for the lovey blankets.

All donations are tax deductible and any and all donations are very welcome. There are no restrictions on what you can send, we make every donation count, no matter what it is.

Any type of yarn will do and any color. Children love lots of color and texture.

The lovey blankets are very easy to assemble as well, sew on the icord – or if you don’t have icord, you can sew on medium and wide width ribbon that is 4″ long and doubled around the edge of the blanket. Sandwich the ribbon inside the two pieces of fabric that are right sides together and sew 1/4″ to 1/2″ seam, leaving a place to turn the blanket right side out. Turn the blanket right side out and sew 1/2″ from the edge all the way around to make sure the icord or ribbon stays in place securely. Ta da! You have created a darling lovey blanket for a little one.

Questions? Email us at info@ReliefShare.org we’d love to hear from you or simply post a reply under this blog post! Happy knitting and sewing.

Share

Add fun fur and a top knot to make a hat special. It may be the only hat the sick or needy receive. Show them your love by making it special.

Do you like to make hats?

ReliefShare.org volunteers love to makes hats.  Baby hats, chemo hats, hats to keep families warm in cold weather, hats to brighten and cheer and bless, hats knitted, sewn and crocheted with love and prayers. We make them at home, on the road as we travel, at church or visiting with friends. You can make them with us for the sick and needy.  Send them to us to distribute or donate to your favorite charity locally.

When knitting hats, we use soft yarn, like Love that Yarn from Hobby Lobby, Bernat, Lion Brand or Caron Simply Soft – something gentle to the skin and easy to wash (yes, that usually means acrylic so hospitals can put it in the washer and dryer). We also use wool, alpaca and cotton for hats if they are going to individuals who are willing to hand wash them.

The men like the grey ones we do with a black stripe or two, blue shades or the camo yarn hats.  Red Heart makes Softee yarn and Red Heart kids yarn that is soft and wonderful. Some of the super saver yarns, depending on color are okay but some are rough, close your eyes and run your hands over the yarn. The touch test is the best way to tell.

Ladies like it when we put a crocheted flower on the hat and seem to prefer pink or pastel. Kids love lots of color. Babies look cute in anything pastel or colorful, but then again, babies look cute in anything :-D

We usually use size 7 circular needles with worsted weight yarn, but you can use your favorite yarn and needles.

With circular needles or double pointed needles, cast on 80 sts (depending on how large you want the hat to be and the kind of yarn you are using you can cast on 70 or 80).  We love using a long tail cast on as it provides and nice even stretchy base to knit from.  There is nothing more disappointing in spending the time to knit a wonderful hat and find that it won’t stretch over the head (we lovingly call those kind of hats ‘cast iron cuties” and they wind up getting redone or used for doll clothing if the size is right – nothing is ever wasted).

Join in the round, placing a stitch marker on first stitch to mark beginning of round.

Knit for approximately 7 inches then begin decreasing.

Row 1. Knit 8, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts knit together).
Row 2. Knit all sts.
Row 3. Knit 7, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts knit together).
Row 4. Knit all sts.
Row 5. Knit 6, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts knit together).
Row 6. Knit all sts.
Row 7. Knit 5, knit 2 together (repeat to end of row. Row should end with last 2 sts knit together).
Row 8. Knit all sts.

Continue in this manner, switching to double pointed needle (DPN) when it gets too small for the circular needles – or use the magic loop technique if using circulars to finish, until only 8 stitches remain. Cut or break yarn leaving a long tail to thread through the remaining 8 stitches. Tighten the bottom and secure yarn by weaving it up into the inside of the bag a bit until you feel it is secure and won’t come out.

Weave in any ends ( if you choose to do stripes you will have lots of them) and ta-da! All done Sometimes we do an icord knot finish and sometimes an icord loop finish.  Details can make the hat special for the recipient.

Note: Childrens hats are the same pattern as the adult but cast on only 60 for babies or 70 for toddlers/children. Knit for 4 1/2″ for babies and 5 1/2″ for kids then decrease. Women with small heads you can knit for 6 1/2″ instead of 7, depending on how much of a self rolled brim you want the hat to have.

Feel free to knit, sew, felt, craft or crochet hats of all colors and sizes  to donate to charity.  Our address is Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  All donations are tax deductible and we are happy to send a thank you letter and tax paperwork to acknowledge your donation.

Share

Love in action - working together to help others.

This winter has been cold but filled with hearts made warm and cozy with lots of love in action from ReliefShare.org volunteers and donors from all over the country.  A huge thank you going out to all those who have been shopping, knitting, sewing, serging, tatting, crocheting, crafting and de-cluttering for the benefit of the sick and needy we are helping.

Recent donations received include:
- hand knitted and crocheted hats
- prayer shawls
- afghans – all sizes
- baby blankets and snuggler cocoons
- baby sweaters and clothing
- infant demise layette sets
- crocheted, knitted and sewn booties
- children’s clothing and diapers
- hygiene supplies for needy families
- food items
- household goods – kitchen items, bedding, towels, electronics, etc
- beautiful quilts
- knitted and woven soft toys, stuffed animals and balls
- videos, books and toys

Donations have been give out to hospitals, homeless shelters, crisis centers, individuals, pediatric clinics, and other organizations that help the sick and needy.

Honorable mentions for donations and service include:

Janet W – WV
Melody G – CT
Michele H – UT
Kimiko S – VA
Jennifer S – ID
Dan W – MO
Christine R – SD
Herbert P – TX
Mary S – NC
SharpShoppersClub – MO
USCybertek – MO
Light Speed Interactive – ID
LDS Humanitarian – ID
Brian J – AZ
K W – ME
John S – AR
Barbara L – CT
Ethel V – OR
Charlotte B -CA
Cynthia S – WV
Ozark Glass – MO
JC Auto – MO
Marla P – KY
Grace D – PA
Terry W – KS
Diane H – AR

May God bless each and every one of you who answer his call to help.  If you would like to help there are many things you can do.

- Spread the work and share our link of www.ReliefShare.org on your facebook page,  twitter feed, or website.

- Go shopping and have a blast at the sales, then put your purchases for the sick and needy in a box and send it to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.

- Clean out your closets for a good cause, de-clutter your home, teach your children and grandchildren about caring for others at Family Home Evening, family gatherings or one on one times – reach out to others by using your talents God has given you.

- Share your ideas to make the world a better place with others and ACT upon what you know to be right.

Start right were you are, right where you stand with what you have available and bless the lives of those around you.

We love your donations and are happy to get them to where they are needed the most, but you can also donate and help locally to strengthen your community.

Bloom where you are planted and spread God’s message of love and hope in your own special way.  It may be a smile, a hug or a warm blanket.

In the words of a wonderful Christian leader of men, Spencer W Kimball - “Just Do It!”

With love and gratitude,
Carol Green
President
Relief Share

info@ReliefShare.org

Share

2012 is going to be a banner year. Relief Share volunteers have rolled up their sleeves, opened their wallets, filled their schedules with charity work and the results of dedicated love for the babies is showing up in a plethora of donations to where it counts the most!

Donation out to Texas County Food Pantry and Crisis Center, January 12, 2012 delivered in person by Relief Share Vice President

1 receiving blanket
3 pair mens pajamas
4 baby bibs
7 baby sleepers
4 coats
4 pants
1 roll masking tape
4 tops
2 baby onesies
1 pr mittens
1 dress
2 pr socks
1 dog bed and pillow

Donation to Newborns in Need, Springfield Chapter (run by a very lovely lady, President Judy McDuffie) Mailed Jan 10, 2012
4 baby afghans
8 baby bibs
5 shirts
10 crocheted children’s soft balls
16 knitted woven children’s soft balls
3 knitted hats
6 crocheted hats
2 pr pants
1 baby sleeper
1 pr baby shoes
1 toddler blue jean jacket
12 preemie hats
1 toy
7 baby onesies
1 baby jacket

Donation to local Church for needy in area.
2 large shelves full of warm adult sweaters – many large garbage size bags full. Thank you to Susan and Phil for delivering those items to where they are needed the most.

Donations to individuals needing items the first two weeks in January 2012:
Baby cocoon for little girl
Baby clothing and accessories for little baby boy
Warm hats to needy family
Sewing supplies for grandmother to make items for grandchildren
Sewing supplies to make items for chemo patients
Toys for needy family

Share

 

Soft woven knitted balls

One of the items that ReliefShare.org loves to make and donate is our knitted woven balls.  These soft fun balls are loved by children and adults alike. Hospitals can use them to help patients who are in rehabilitation from eye surgery, burns or need hand to eye coordination activities to toss and catch the soft knitted ball without getting hurt.

The re-purposed function of the knitted woven balls are that the centers are hollow and you can put things in them without them falling out. We use the plastic containers that the knee high pantihose come in from Wal Mart – we put a jingle bell inside the round plastic containers, permanently glue the small container shut and insert it inside the ball.  This makes a baby rattle that moms and babies love.  The old folks love to use our balls for their animals to play with, providing hours of entertainment for shut ins.

Relief Share donates to locations all across America, we also donate  internationally through other organizations as our combined efforts saves us on shipping and helps them to help others.We like to wind a ball of yarn (you can get whole skeins of yarn wound and fitting inside the balls) and insert them in the balls. When the balls are sent out, particularly to regions of the world who are in short supply of essential materials for necessary goods, the yarn can be taken out and used to knit or crochet mittens, hats, baby layettes, crib blankets, etc and the balls use for play or children, babies and curious adults.

Warning: making the balls is fun and addicting. They are like potato chips, you can’t just eat one.  The first one you make will seem frustrating and complicated, but once you get the first one done, they are quick, easy and a pleasure to make.  The pattern is free and so are the smiles.

If you would like to help by knitting or crocheting soft balls for the sick and needy, we would love the donations.  Use your own pattern or make some like these – the babies and children love soft toys.  You’ll have fun and will bless the lives of others as well.

Carol Green
President
ReliefShare.org
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

 

 

Share

Warn knitted hat - one size fits children and adult

This entry in our Relief Share blog is bringing attention to the needs of those who are dealing with lack.  When we think that an item will be used for a specific purpose, those who have not may use it for our intended purposes, but also have the creativity and inventiveness to re-purpose it for other needs.

We were charmed to see what our Relief Share knitted hat wound up being used for by a sweet little girl who innocently showed us that there are different ways to look at and use the same things.  Thinking outside the box allowed her to spend happy hours caring for her baby doll in a soft cuddly bunting pod, and when it gets cold, she can immediately pop the baby dolls ‘bed’ on her head for a cute warm hat to protect her head from the chilly weather.  I guess you could look at it this way – warm weather, it’s a dolly bed – cold weather, it’s a hat.

Attention to detail makes the hat fit better and look nicer

Cute soft baby doll bed, re-purposed hat by a little girl - smart thinking.

Just a few extra minutes with a crochet hook and adding a button really puts that 'touch of love' message to recipients.

If you would like to donate knitted or crocheted hats to help the  sick and needy, feel free to use your own patterns or email us at info@ReliefShare.org for our pattern shown above.

Hugs to you – may your heart always be warm, your tummy full and you be willing to help others when the spirit of God touches you to do so.

Carol Green
President
Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

 

 

Share

Cocoon made with Love That Yarn stripe from Hobby Lobby

Experiment with color. Enjoy the process of crafting a remarkable item to share with those less fortunate or sick. You will be doubly blessed as you put your love for your fellowman in action through service and charity.

We make so many items for the hospitals and for the sick and needy that it can get pretty hum drum to use the same yarn and colors over and over.  To spice up our charity work and enjoy what we are doing again – we simply add variation and color.  We either change up the pattern just a bit to make it slightly different and interesting – adding seed stitch to our knitting or using a variegated yarn instead of solid colors – and the joy in creating comes flowing back in again giving us a renewed love for the projects we are working on.

I ran across a wonderful tutorial on youtube on how to get the most from your variegated yarn. The idea was simple but brilliant. Mike suggests pulling the yarn from opposite ends to get a color reversal to double your benefit from using variegated yarns.

One of our Directors also has a marvelous way to make the most of variegated yarns. Jennifer Sundquist is an experienced knitter and crocheter and owns “The Tiny Panda” business – you can see her facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tiny-Panda/177250085656698 Her technique for working with variegated yarns is to watch how the colorway interacts with the pattern. When she sees that there is too much of a color being added to the project, she ties off some of that color and omits it from the yarn being used. By doing this simple technique, she can control how much of any color being integrated in the pattern is impacting the final result. This is especially helpful when using your own dyed yarns if the colorway turned out different than what you wanted. Don’t toss it out or put it in the back of your craft room – simply use the tying off technique to get the amount of any given color you are looking for.

Dyeing yarn with koolaid

If you are in a rut with your charity knitting and crochet by being bored with color – make your own!  Another way to get the most from variegated yarn is to dye your own yarn. Wool is the best choice of yarn to work with and it can be dyed with koolaide and your microwave. Yes, it does work and the color is permanent. Jennifer has dyed some incredible colorways that are absolutely gorgeous. Using Koolaid to dye yarn to make beautiful colorway (variegated yarn)

Here is a tutorial on the internet on how to dye wool with koolaid: http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall02/FEATdyedwool.html

Yarn dyed with koolaid - simply gorgeous

Some of the wonderful colorways you can purchase in variegated yarns are found at the major chain craft stores. My favorites are:

Hobby Lobby – the store brand of Love That Yarn is always a good choice. You can find two types of variegated yarns in that brand. The ‘stripe’ version of the yarn will give you, yes, you guessed it, stripes – but not just solid stripes. There are pretty accents in the stripes that make your finished items wonderful. The other type of variegated yarn made by Love That Yarn is the ‘ombre’ – the more traditional type of variegated yarn with spotches of color.

Ombre pattern turned in to argyle with just a tension change - how fun!

I discovered, by accident when working on a charity fundraiser cocoon, that the ombre also makes amazing patterns when you least expect it. When making a cocoon, I put extra tension on the yarn and the basic ombre or splotch coloring turned into an argyle pattern. Very beautiful and more complex coloring and completely unexpected and welcome!

Another colorway that I love to use is Caron Simply Soft. In my opinion, that is some of the best yarn to use for baby projects as it is silky and soft and drapes beautifully. I also discovered that Wal Mart has three colorways that just came out a few weeks ago, as Wal Mart is adding all their fabric departments back (yay, Wal Mart – we love you again!) and the colorways are gorgeous. They are not available at any other stores in our Boise, Idaho area yet so I quickly bought up all that I could.

If you have ideas and comments on using color with yarn in your charity or other projects, we would love to hear from you.  Our email is info@ReliefShare.org

Carol C Green
President
ReliefShare.org
ReliefShare.org/wordpress

 

Chow dog dyed to look like Panda

Oh – just a fun aside note:  Yarn isn’t the only thing people like to dye.  This is a picture of the latest rage from China – people are dyeing their dogs like other animals.  Its safe and fun and quite interesting, but that is an entirely different post altogether *smile*

Share

Dryer balls from wool yarn.

These are dryer balls – they save money and are environmentally friendly.   An average family will save approx $240 a year by using them as they don’t have to buy fabric softener or use more electricity to run the dryer longer.

The wool in the dryer balls wick away extra moisture, drying the clothes faster and with the quite  soft beating motion in the dryer from the balls makes the clothing soft and keeps the static down.  It is a huge plus to be free from the chemicals in fabric softeners and fabric sheets, too.

These are three I just made from wool yarn.  You can make them quickly for yourself, your friends and family and to donate to charity, too.

Here is the pattern to crochet them.

1 skein yarn
1 crochet hook

With wool yarn (we recommend Fisherman’s wool yarn from Hobby Lobby – the price is good and it felts well), and a crochet hook (we like size G) make a magic ring.  Here is a link to a youtube tutorial on how to do a magic ring if you don’t already know how – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLuSVyKvoUg and crochet 8 sc in the ring. Pull tight and slip stitch into the first sc to make the first ring.

For the second row,  chain 2, dc in the same stitch.  Follow the instructions in the bracket to the end of the row – (dc in next stitch and 2 dc in the stitch after that) dc in last stitch that you just did 2 dc in.   Slip stitch in last stitch to close. This will make half of the cover – a domed shape.

Repeat row 2 for row three. That is the other half  of the cover.  You will now have 2 half domes that will be whip stitched together over a ball of yarn you have rolled from the same wool yarn. To roll the ball of yarn check out this tutorial on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=equs45JCHwo You will note in the picture that some of the balls have more than just three rows.  You can make the balls as big or as small as you like by adding or deleting rows.

These balls are quick and easy to do.  After you have them done, toss them in the washer with your laundry, pour the laundry detergent for the load right on the balls.  Use hot/cold setting for the load as the temperature extremes, soap, and washer agitation will felt the balls so they work better and hold together better with use.  Toss them in the dryer and leave them there permanently. I use approx 8 to 1o balls in my dryer as I tend to do full loads.  If you are doing small loads you can use 5 to 6 balls.

Use up your scraps of wool yarn as well by simply tying the ends of shorter pieces – as you crochet the tied ends wind up inside the covers so you don’t see them.   These dryer balls are a wonderful gift for a new mother as fabric softeners can cause allergic reactions in small babies. We make them for the refugee center and other places who are helping folks get on their feet with household goods.

The same pattern from acrylic or cotton or blended yarn makes wonderful soft toss toys for the children in hospital, homeless shelters, crisis centers and for individuals in need who would love safe toys for their children.

Do you have a variation on the dryer ball pattern? Please share, we would love to hear from you.

Carol Green
President
info@ReliefShare.org

Share

Cotton knitted dishcloths

These cotton dishcloths are earth friendly and last a lot longer than synthetic mass produced dishcloths – they work better, too.   They also save money when you use them instead of paper towels or wipes.

Make some for yourself and extras to donate to the refugee center, homeless shelter or crisis center in your area or send them to us at Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225

Materials: 1 ball of cotton yarn. We like the Peaches and Cream cotton yarn.

Knitting Needles: Size US 7 or 8.

Pattern: Cast on 3 sts.
1st row: Knit.
2nd row: K1. Increase 1 st in next st. Knit to end of row.
Rep last row to 40 – 50 sts. (depending on how big you want the dishcloth.
Next row: K2. K2tog. Knit to end of row.
Rep last row to 3 sts. Cast off.

Note: This pattern makes a darling baby afghan. Use washable acrylic yarn and knit rows until it is as big as you want, then decrease.

Share

Braided blue comfort ball

This is a darling knitted ball that is easy to make.  Make 2 – keep one for yourself and give the other to charity!

These are hand knittedhere are the instructions from ravelry.com – if you don’t belong, sign up – it’s free and full of wonderful people and patterns.

These balls are called ‘comfort balls’ and the children in hospital, homeless shelters and crisis centers love the soft toys.  So do the adults ;-)

If you want to make them for your local animal shelter, you can put a jingle bell inside of the ball inside of a plastic container like the clear balls that knee highs from Wal Mart come in.

We really need the strips to put them together. Please knit a stockinette strip that is 20 stitches wide by 8″ long. It takes 6 strips to make a ball.  You can mix and match colors and use any type of yarn you like :-) Most of our balls are made with worsted weight acrylic yarn and knitted on size 7 needles, but you can use most yarns and any size needle you want.

This is a perfect project for all the scrap yarn you have left over!.

We could really use donations of yarn and Zanies cat balls, that go in the center of the ball to make a jingle noise for distraction and fun, to help us make these comfort toys. If you would like to share your stash with us, please mail donations to:
Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

The cat balls in the middle of the knitted woven balls are very important. The hospital insists on them. When the doctors and nurses are working with their little patients, the jingle sound that the balls make are very helpful in taking the little one’s mind off the treatment and can put a smile on their wee faces.  The balls are around $18 a package for 50 and we go through a ton of them for all the places we donate to. Please help! We are just about out and desperately need more!

Here are two places that you can purchase Zanies and have them sent to Relief Share for us to use for the sick and needy children we donate to:

http://www.fidopaw.com/product/lattice-ball-cat-toys-in-canister-50-toys-2168.html

https://www.amazon.com/Zanies-Plastic-Lattice-Canister-50-Pack/dp/B003WH1KPW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481755907&sr=8-1&keywords=zanies+cat+balls

All donations are tax deductible, please include your email address so we can thank you ;-)

President Carol C Green
info@ReliefShare.org

Share

Crocheted baby cocoon and hat

Free pattern from FaveCrafts.com Swaddle your newborn with the cozy soft baby cocoon and hat, two free crochet patterns from Red Heart. These beginner crochet patterns make great gifts for new babies.

Directions are for Newborn to 3 months.
Finished Cocoon Circumference: 24″.
Finished Hat Circumference: 18″.

Materials:

  • RED HEART® “Buttercup™” 1.76 oz (50 g), 72 yd (66 m) balls: 4 balls 4277 Light Mint Multi
  • Crochet hook, 6.5mm [US K-10.5]
  • 2 Split-lock stitch markers
  • Yarn needle

GAUGE: 9 sts = 4″; 8 rounds = 4″ in sc. CHECK YOUR GAUGE. Use any size hook to obtain the gauge.

Instructions:

COCOON
Round 1: Beginning at lower edge, ch 9; sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 6 ch, 3 sc in last ch, PM in center sc of the last 3 sc, working on opposite side of ch, sc in next 6 ch, 2 sc in last ch, PM in last sc made – 18 sc. Do not join but work in continuous rounds. Move markers up each round.
Next Round: [Sc in each sc to 1 sc before marked sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in marked sc] twice – 20 sc. Repeat last round until there are 54 sc.
Body
Work even on 54 sc until 21″ from beginning.
Fasten off. Weave in ends. Fold top edge down for cuff.
HAT
Round 1: Beginning at top of hat, ch 5; sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 2 ch, 3 sc in last ch, PM in center sc of the last 3 sc, working on opposite side of ch, sc in next 2 ch, 2 sc in last ch, PM in last sc made – 10 sc. Do not join but work in continuous rounds. Move markers up each round.
Next Round: [Sc in each sc to 1 sc before marked sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in marked sc] twice – 12 sc.
Repeat last round until there are 42 sc.
Body
Work even on 42 sc until 8‖ from beginning.
Fasten off.
Weave in ends. Fold bottom edge up for cuff.

Make some to share and send them to:

Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

All donations are tax deductible – include your email address and we will email you your thank you letter and tax paperwork to print out.  The babies in the hospitals, homeless shelters, and crisis centers really need the cocoons for warmth for growing and healing.

Note:  Caron Simply Soft yarn, Hobby Lobby Love That Yarn, and any worsted weight yarn will do nicely.  If using Red Heart, use the softer yarns ;-)

Share

Relief Share volunteers have been very busy knitting, crocheting, sewing, serging and donating towards our baby cocoon project for the hospital.  Lots of questions have been asked and answered so for convenience, we are going to put most of the answers to questions regarding this project in this post for easy accessibility.

Question: What are baby cocoons?

Answer: Baby swaddling items that can be knit, crocheted, tatted, sewn and serged from either new or recycled material.  Here is a picture of a baby cocoon in use:

Baby cocoon for swaddling babies

Hand knitting pattern for “THATCHER’S COCOON”click here.

Machine knitting pattern for the baby cocoon - click here.

Sewing and serging pattern for the baby cocoon – click here.

Crocheted pattern for the baby cocoon – click here.

The general sizes are:

The baby’s weight for the general sizes are:

XXS – 14″ long x 50 stitches wide (6″ across) – 12″ diameter 1.5 to 3 lbs
XS – 16″ long x 60 stitches wide (8″ across) 3 to 5 lbs
S – 18″ long x 70 stitches wide (10″ across) 6 lbs to 8 lbs
M – 20″ long x 80 stitches wide (10″ across) 9 lbs to 11 lbs
L – 23″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across) 12 t0 15 lbs
XL – 25″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across) 15 to 17 lbs

The hospitals use the XS size the most, the the families we donate to use the S, M and L the most as well as the XL. The XXS are used by the hospital, some of them for infant demise.

Hints and tips for making cocoons have come in from many sources and the ideas volunteers have suggested are wonderful.  We’ve been scouring the thrift shops and our own closets for sweaters that are soft and made from yarn that can be washed, taken apart and the yarn used to make the cocoons.

A wonderful thrift shop in Breckenridge Colorado named “For Pets Sake” donated 4 sweaters, we also purchased many of them off their $1 sale rack.  Other thrift stores in Boise, Idaho, such as the Deseret Industries yielded beautiful sweaters that we got a lot of yarn from after washing them and taking them apart.  We bought a large lot of yarn on craigslist from money donated by caring volunteers to help make baby cocoons, hats, blankets, and layettes.  JoAnn Fabrics had a wonderful sale on yarn as well.  Use your imagination to come up with sources for materials to make the cocoons from.

Babies love the cocoons and rest peacefully swaddled in them.  They are so easy to use, quick and safe, and the hospitals and mother’s love them as well.

If you would love to help with our baby cocoon project, here is what is needed:

1.  Volunteers to make the cocoons and send them to

Relief Share,
6078 Lundy Rd,
Houston, MO 65483

2.  Donations of yarn, fabric, and sewing, knitting, and crocheting supplies are needed.

3.  Funds to purchase supplies and ship the items to where they are needed the most can be sent through paypal to info@reliefshare.org  – all donations are tax deductible.

If you have comments, suggestions, ideas or questions, please email us at info@ReliefShare.org – we would love to hear from you.  All Relief Share patterns are FREE for charity or personal use.

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

Share

Mason at just 3 lbs 2 oz.

Ever wonder “how tiny is tiny” when we are talking about the preemie babies we make things for?  A picture speaks a thousand words and this beautiful baby takes our breath away as we see his Daddy’s hand measured up against him.  How tiny is tiny? REALLY tiny.  Really perfect, really sweet and this little one is no different from thousands of other teeny tiny babies in that he has completely captured our hearts.

In less than one second, eyes are riveted to the picture and hearts committed to helping clothe and snuggle Mason in warm clothing and blankets. That is the power of ‘baby love’ that drives the volunteers at Relief Share.

Thank you to the volunteers who quickly responded to the call to action.

A package went out priority post for Mason filled with all kinds of goodies:

1 preemie afghan
2 crocheted incubator/carriage covers
1 blue outfit
3 preemie tops
4 preemie sleepers
1 preemie jacket
1 preemie snuggler cape
8 washcloths/also used for burp cloths and change pads for preemies
1 baby gown
1 baby bracelet
a number of knitted preemie baby hats
2 teddy bears
1 pair preemie booties
2 baby swaddling cocoons
pkg of 20 preemie disposable diapers
2 to a pk of bottle insulators

There was a lot of love put into this package.

Mason's care box.

The crocheted incubator covers were made by a precious little old lady in a old folks home in Missouri.  Her husband travels 2 hours EVERY DAY to go see her and pick up what she has made to donate to us.  She loves the preemies and continues to crochet for them on an ongoing basis.

Mason's care box.

I made the cocoons from a gorgeous baby blue sweater (this president loves to roll up her sleeves and participate) donated by the local Food Pantry to help us with supplies through recycling. The soft cocoons will keep Mason snuggly warm and comforted as it is like being back in the womb again.

Mason's care box.

The gown was sewn by a volunteer and has a matching crocheted hat that another volunteer made, they are from West Virginia. The bracelet was made by a third volunteer and the white blanket and booties by another.

Mason's care box.

The preemie clothing is brand new from Wal Mart and bought by yet another volunteer. Everything was donated and worked on with love. Mason has a lot of Relief Share Grannies and Aunties that love him ;-)

It is a miracle how all the hands and hearts come together in love to bless the babies and families we serve. No one is paid, we are just happy to help where we can.  Now that our care package has gone out to help Mason physically,  we will keep him and his family in our prayers ;-)   He truly is a gift from God.

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

PS.  If you love babies and want to get involved, it’s as easy as 1, 2 3……

Mason's care box.

1. Get a cardboard box
2.  Fill it with anything a baby might want or need – either finished or purchased items or sewing, quilting, knitting or crocheting supplies.  Items can be new or gently used.
3.  Stick a label on it to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225 and mail it.

Ta da! Done! You are now one of us, a Relief Share donor and volunteer and also counted in God’s book of heavenly acts on earth ;-)

Some of the items a baby needs:

sleepers, gowns, onesies, socks, booties, soft shoes, hats, tops, bottoms, diapers (cloth and disposable), burp cloths, diaper bags, swaddlers, cocoons, blankets, afghans, quilts, stuffed animals, crib bedding (sheets, bumper pads, blankets), moses baskets, cribs, swings, activity mats, rattles, bottles, soothers (pacifiers or dummies), bottle liners and nipples, breast feeding items, breast pumps, diaper lotion, baby shampoo, baby oil,  baby bath, baby food, formula, shorties, longies, baby slings, baby carriers, car seats (for safely rules they must be new), play pens, baby music CDs, bassinettes, baby brush and comb, baby chair, bath items.  Can you think of more?

Mason's care box

Some of the supplies needed:

fabric – all kinds.  Minky, chenille, micro fleece, flannel, knit, cotton – think baby!
thread, scissors, pins, quilting rulers, rotary cutters, rotary cutting mat pads, cricut machines and cartridges for quilt appliques, sergers, sewing machines, knitting machines, knitting machine weights, Kris Krafter garter bars for Bond knitting machines, yarn, all kinds, colors and types, elastic, velcro, buttons, zippers, appliques, interfacing, wonder under, knitting needles, crochet needles, tatting shuttles and needles, patterns, pincushions, bias binding, trims, laces, etc.

Clean out your closet for a good cause.  Recycle the items you no longer want or need – sweaters and tee shirts become baby cocoons, hats, onesies, gowns and stuffed soft toys.  Cut the buttons off of old shirts – they are fun down the front of a sleeper in all colors.

Share

Recycle sweaters and tee shirts turned into baby cocoons

After some very busy cutting and serging, 72 cocoons were delivered to the hospital today.  It did my heart good to hear the answer to my query from the nurse.  I asked her how were the cocoons working out and she said they loved them.   Some of the little babies tend to have a problem keeping their heat and the cocoons helped keep them warm and snuggled.  She also said it was a lot easier for new Moms to pop their babies in the cocoons to keep them snuggled up instead of trying to keep them swaddled in the blankets.

The cocoons are fun to make – they can be sewn, serged, knitted, crocheted, hand knitted, and machine knitted.  If you are really energetic, you could even tat one ;-)   The patterns are free and offered on our blog.  You can also google for free cocoon patterns on the internet and find a ton of them.  A great website for free patterns is www.ravelry.com

The cocoons in the picture are made from recycled sweaters and tee shirts, most of them donated from the local food pantry and crisis center.  They are 16″ long by 10″ wide.

Here is a quick way to make a pattern.  Take a piece of paper that is 16 x 10 (I buy roll ends

Shape of the cocoon

from the newspaper and it gives me lots of pattern paper to work with)  and put a dinner plate on one end and trace with a pen.   Cut it out so that will make one short end of the pattern rounded.   Then cut a wedge on either side of the other end so that the top of the cocoon slopes in towards the baby’s neck.

Extra Long knitted and serged cocoons

Lay the pattern on the sweater so that the top of the cocoon is the bottom of the sweater – this gives you a finished edge at the neck of the cocoon.   Serge around the cocoon on 3 sides with your serger. Ta da! Done.

The general sizes are:

XXS – 14″ long x 50 stitches wide (6″ across) – 12″ diameter
XS – 16″ long x 60 stitches wide (8″ across)
S – 18″ long x 70 stitches wide (10″ across)
M – 20″ long x 80 stitches wide (10″ across)
L – 23″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across)
XL – 25″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across)

I made the extra long cocoons to test and my grandson is doing really well with them.  You can pull them up around the baby’s face in cold weather to keep them snuggly warm.

Long rib knit serged cocoon to snuggle baby.

If you are doing these cocoons for your local hospital or birthright center, be sure to ask them what size they want.   If you are making them to help us provide the 350 cocoons the hospital has asked for (yes, we love help!), they use the 16″ long by 10″ wide the most.  They also use the smaller ones as well.

Our address to send donations to of finished cocoons, knit and tee shirt material, sweaters and tees to cut up to use, thread -sewing machine and serger thread, and other sewing supplies is:

Relief Share

6078 Lundy Rd

Houston, MO 65483-2225

All donations are tax deductible.  Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to this project. We appreciate the donations of sewing machines, sergers, knitting machines and sewing supplies so much. It takes all of us together to make miracles happen.

Carol Green
President
info@ReliefShare.org

Share

Preemie/Small Newborn Baby Cocoon Pattern

by Marla

Materials:

SOFT worsted weight yarn or double baby yarn,
6oz worsted for 5-6lb
size H hook.
Note: Do NOT turn after Joining. Ch 2 at first of round counts as a DC. If you have counted correctly your 2dc space with be made in the first stitch of the 2dc stitch on the row below.

Chain 3

1: Dc 11 times in the end chain. Join with a slip stitch. (12 Dc made)

2: Ch 2, DC in same space, 2dc in each stitch around. Join. (24 DC made)

3: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch) around. Join. (36 Dc made)

4: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next 2 stitches, 2dc in next stitch) around. Join. (48 Dc made).

5: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next 3 stitches, 2dc in next stitch) around. Join. (60 Dc made)

6: Ch 2, Dc in NEXT stitch and each stitch around. Join.

For 5-6lb size:
Repeat Row 6, until cocoon reaches about 17-18″

Add Edging if desired.

You may adjust pattern if needed or hook size so that cocoon measures 8″ across (16″ around) by 18″ long.

A huge thank you to Marla for crocheting up this cocoon quickly for us and sharing the pattern. She is a wonderful donor/volunteer and has been helping many many years!

Share
Comments (9)

Donation of yarn being made into a baby cocoon

Sometimes folks wonder if donations sit around not being used for a while or if they get quickly used to help the sick and needy.  Here is what we received today in the mail from Pat S.  – a wonderful box of 14 balls of beautiful sport/worsted weight yarn to use for the babies in hospital.

Within a very short time it was being knitted on the knitting machine, donated by a wonderful donor, J W (who wishes to remain anonymous so only initials are used).  She has blessed many people with her ongoing donations to Relief Share.   Because of her recent donation of garter bars and needle stoppers, the work went even faster and very quickly a baby cocoon was completed.

Completed cocoon

A skilled knitter, Judi Meissner, shared with us how to do the decreases even faster so we could get more cocoons to the hospital sooner.

I am on a marvelous yahoo group, who are more than willing to share hints, tips and welcome advice on how to be more effective in knitting with the Bond knitting machines. The patterns shared are fun and the folks on the list genial and helpful. If you own a ISMor a USM knitting machine by Bond, we highly recommend the yahoogroup for a way to be more productive and enjoy with your knitting machine.

Go here to subscribe: incrediblesweatermachineclub-subscribe@yahoogroups.comincrediblesweatermachineclub@yahoogroups.com

Here is the cocoon being modeled by one of my display baby dolls:

Snuggly cocoon for newborn infants

Newborn baby size cocoon

This cocoon is 9″ wide (18″ circumference) and 20″ long.  The size that the hospital needs the most is 8″ wide (16″ circumference) and 18″ long.  I was trying to downsize a larger cocoon and didn’t quite downside the pattern enough.  Today I will make another cocoon the right size!

These cocoons can be knitted, crocheted, sewn and serged.  We make many of them from recycled sweaters and tee shirts.  The arms from the sweaters can be used to make baby pants and matching hats.

Our recycled sweaters are donated from the local food pantry and crisis center, then donated to the local hospital.   The TCMH hospital needs 350 cocoons – so far we have donated 15, and made another 6 for the crisis center.

Would you like to help?  We need yarn donated – worsted weight or sport weight is best but we use all types and weights of yarn as we make baby blankets as well.  We also need knitters, crocheters and seamstresses to help by making and sending the cocoons to us to take to the hospital.

Our address to send donations to is:

Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

All donations are acknowledged with a thank you letter/tax deductible receipt. We are a 501 ( c) 3 non profit registered with the IRS.  The patterns for the cocoons are free and found on this blog.  We love sharing volunteer and donor patterns as well. If you have a pattern you would like to share with others for the cocoons, or for any baby item, we will be happy to include it on our blog.

Relief Share is staffed by all volunteers, no one is paid and no administration fees are taken out of donations – everything and every penny goes directly to help the sick and needy.

President Carol C Green
info@ReliefShare.org

Share
Nov
30

Crochet pattern for baby cocoon

Posted by: | Comments (19)

Beautiful baby cocoon by Hyke Groen. This is her pattern.

Here is a picture of a baby cocoon by Hyke Groen – the free pattern for it is offered on www.Ravelry.com – a wonderful place that we highly recommend.

Crocheted baby cocoon

A crochet pattern to make a cocoon (courtesy of Marla Caneer – a very good friend)  is as follows:

Materials:

SOFT worsted weight yarn or double baby yarn,
6oz for 5-6lb or about 7oz for 7-10lb sizes and size H hook.

Note: Do NOT turn after Joining. Ch 2 at first of round counts as a DC. If you have counted correctly your 2dc space with be made in the first stitch of the 2dc stitch on the row below.

For all sizes:
Chain 3

1: Dc 11 times in the end chain. Join with a slip stitch. (12 Dc made)
2: Ch 2, DC in same space, 2dc in each stitch around. Join. (24 DC made)
3: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch) around. Join. (36 Dc made)

4: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next 2 stitches, 2dc in next stitch) around. Join. (48 Dc made).

5: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next 3 stitches, 2dc in next stitch) around. Join. (60 Dc made)

6: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, (Dc in next 4 stitches, 2dc in next stitch) around. Join. (72 Dc made)

7: Ch 2, Dc in same stitch, Dc in each stitch around. Join.

8: Ch 2, Dc in NEXT stitch and each stitch around. Join.

For 5-6lb size:

Rows 9-24: Repeat Row 8, for 24 rows or until cocoon reaches about 14″.

For 7-10lb size:

Rows 9-28: Repeat Row 8 for 28 rows or until cocoon reaches about 18″.

For babies a little larger or for a 0-3mos size, you may use a size I hook with worsted weight (SOFT please!) yarn and continue cocoon until it reaches 24″ or desired size.

Now, finish off or for girls you may add a shell or picot edging. I don’t for boys but that is up to you. For Boys you may add a few rows to be turned down at the top, or simply stop at row 28 or so.

Hope you enjoy! I’d love to see what you make, esp if you get creative and use up partial skeins or multi colors. Please make at least one for charity.

Thanks again, Marla for this pattern and your comments.  You are a wonderful volunteer and donor and we appreciate you so much!!

Hugs

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

Share
Soft dollies, cuddly quilts - love in action for the children!

Soft dollies, cuddly quilts - love in action for the children!

Being in hospital looking out the windows and seeing other children happily playing in the sunshine can be hard for little ones. One of our ongoing donors continues to spread sunshine and dry tears with her sweet donations of blankets, dollies, teddies.

Included in her donations are some very special preemie receiving blankets. She takes the time to carefully crochet lacy edges around the blankets to make them beautiful. These soft pretty blankets are used for the most precious of God’s children who need only one last blanket to be cuddled in. Those who are too perfect, too special, to remain here on earth for long are gently placed and wrapped in the blankets made with so much love and then they go on to God’s arms from ours.

Some of the little ones, born too soon or very small, are strong enough to fight and and stay here to continue to bless the lives of the families God has sent them to, and their blankets become a family heirloom.

We are grateful to R. M. for her love and continuing kindness to God’s precious sick and needy babies and children. She continues to reach out and bless the lives of strangers with love in action through her donations ;-)

Carol C Green
Relief Share President
info@Relief Share.org

Share

We are now in our third week of sales for our fundraiser for Relief Share.  Instead of having folks come inside our building, we took it to the parking lot in our mall.  It’s been very busy as we set everything up like a garage sale to attract people and have a HUGE room all set up inside with tables and everything is just one dollar! The room was donated by a wonderful gentleman who owns the mall so we have a place to haul things in quickly when the rain shows up and to put things in for the duration of the fundraiser & business inventory liquidation sale at night so everything doesn’t need to be dragged around the end of the building.

Outside we have items that are half the original prices and sales from GrandmothersAttic.net, a store located in the same mall, are also being donated to Relief Share to help.  We are hoping to have enough money from the fundraising to be able to purchase the material needed for the hospital gowns for Shriners, the x-ray shorts, and the twin size quilts for the patient’s beds.  We also have many other projects we need supplies for  – mama pads, diaper bags, diaper covers, bibs, clothing and quilts for sick and needy families.

Relief Share is blessed to have the Lucky Dollar Store down the road in Licking who has fabric at very reasonable prices and gives us a discount because it’s for charity.  Now that our local Wal Mart no longer carries fabrics (don’t get us started on that…), we are grateful for the Lucky Dollar Store and Mel Porter – the owner.

A huge thank you to Ashley Green who has set up, taken down and spend the entire time monitoring and running the sales.  She has been sunburned, tired, sore from dragging heavy items in and out of buildings and pressed into service more than she could ever imagine.  What started out as a weekend sale has now turned into three weeks.  She needs a medal and we are most grateful to her.  A thank you to all the wonderful people who donated their time and effort helping.

Today 100 baby hats were donated out to Tennessee for the babies there.  We pray none of them suffered from the recent flooding that has caused so much problems in that state.  We also donated out preemie clothing to a little baby born to soon and only lived long enough for momma to say goodbye.  A tiny baby doll was donated to baby’s older brother so he would have something to remember her by.  A large donation went out to an expectant abandoned mother for her little one.  Donations of household items to needy folks were given out and baby blankets and clothing were given out to a young family in need.  Yarn donations have gone out to volunteers who are knitting and crocheting for the sick and needy in their area – those donations were possible from a large donation of cone yarn from a shop that shut down.  Beautiful tiny baby blankets with gorgeous hand crocheted edges done by a very special volunteer were donated to the local hospital – thank you Roberta – your work is lovely and the hospital so appreciative.

Share

Relief Share has been very blessed with donations to help the sick and/or needy families we serve. Donations of baby and toddler clothing, shoes, diaper bags, quilts, blankets, sheets, and toys came in and very quickly were donated out to where they were needed the most.

A generous donation of books from Alma Mooney of Licking was received as a fundraiser to raise money needed to purchase flannel for the backing of the Relief Share Quilts for Kids project.

Donations out include helping a family with a young child and another on the way with nursing pillow covers, household goods, food, baby clothing and bedding, essential supplies, toys, and other needed items. Newborns in Need Ozarks Chapter was the recipient of a large donation of cone yarn, baby clothing, bedding, fabric and diaper bags.

Donations of clothing to area residents in need of warmer seasonal clothing and food was also given out.

Wonder what you can help with? Here is a handy urgent needs list that you can print out and take with you when you do your shopping. Just get one or two extra items and send them to:
Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225
All donations are tax deductible.

Urgent Needs List:

Basic food item suggestions – Sugar, flour, salt, pepper, oil, cereal, tinned food such as beans, vegetables, fruit, soup, etc. Baby food, formula, crackers, tuna, etc. Many of the families we serve are very grateful for the food given them. A package of animal crackers, macaroni and cheese or juice boxes can make the world of difference to a hungry child. A Wal Mart gift card is also a great donation item as volunteers in our Relief Share office are happy to take the list of what is needed and purchase food and personal items, like toilet paper and shampoo and deliver it to the needy family – this also saves on shipping cost to us.

Clothing – clean gently used clothing or new. Socks, pants, tops, coats, shoes, undergarments, hats, mittens, etc. Accessories like purses or wallets, belts and backpacks are very gratefully accepted by recipients.

Bedding – home made, clean gently used or new. sheets, blankets, baby blankets, receiving blankets, pillows, pillow cases, crib sets, afghans.

Personal hygiene items – shampoo, conditioner, soap, razors, deodorant, moisturizer, lotion, wet wipes, baby oil, baby diaper cream, baby powder, etc.

Books, toys, movies, games, and furniture is also welcome. Christmas is coming and many of the families we care for have little or nothing for the holiday. Full size filled stockings are a huge blessing at the Christmas season. We donate the stockings, when available, to foster homes, hospitals, medical centers, crisis centers, homeless shelters and area churches who care for the sick and needy. A doll or book can make a wonderful difference in a little one’s holiday season. A mother struggling to care for her family with no partner for support is grateful for a soft warm scarf from a donor to show her someone cares for her.

You can make Christmas brighter and more blessed by showing your love to a stranger who has need of your care.

Here are some ideas for you to consider making items to donate:
Sewing – quilts, baby clothing, bedding, blankets, tote bags, diaper bags, toys, dresses, diapers
Quilting – baby quilts, twin size quilts, toys, Christmas ornaments, tree skirts, wall hangings, totes
Knitting – hats, sweaters, mittens, socks, pants, tops, blankets, afghans, toys
Crochet – afghans, blankets, hats, dish cloths, toys, clothing, sweaters, mittens
Tat – handkerchiefs, bonnets, doilies , lace trim for baby gowns
Embroider – blankets, hats, clothing, toys

If you have questions or would like to talk with representatives from Relief Share – please feel free to email info@ReliefShare.org or call 417-967-3340 and ask for Stephanie or Carol. Please note: all Relief Share workers are volunteers – no one is paid – this is a work of the heart in Christ’s name giving relief through sharing to God’s children. We are his hands and feet showing mercy to the less fortunate – join us and make a difference today.

Share
Basket weave crochet

Basket weave crochet

Well, I am back with Ashley from Dallas and the American Idol tryouts.  It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed our experience.   There were 10,000 people there and only 200 chosen according to the scuttlebutt that was going around. Everyone had fun and was very pleasant.

While I was there waiting (and that was a large part of it), I tried out some new patterns and yarn and found this was a quick easy pattern to do that you didn’t have to pay too much attention to.  As we stood for hours in the 105 degree heat outside the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium, I tucked a ball of yarn under my elbow and went to town with a size G hook. 

Here is the pattern that can be used for something as small as a face cloth and can be made as big as an afghan to give to the hospital for the sick and needy.

Make a chain row as long as you want the item you are making.  For the second row, double crochet in each chain, starting from the 3rd chain from the end.  For the third row, instead of DC in the top of the chain, alternate from crocheting around the front of the dc in the first stitch to crocheting around the back of the dc for the next stitch, and so forth to the end of the row.  This makes a basketweave looking pattern and if you use a rougher yarn, it makes a wonderful scrubber for the kitchen. Use a soft yarn with a larger hook and you can make a beautiful soft baby afghan or a larger afghan for a cancer patient.

Share
Comments (0)
Jun
25

Crocheting at American Idol!

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Its’ been a really fun 2 days.  My daughter, Ashley, is trying out for American Idol and we made a strafing run from Missouri to Dallas Texas in 9 hours so she could be here and audition.  Yesterday we stood in line for 3 hours in the wee hours of the morning to get registered and I was really glad I had my crocheting with me.  I made 2 washcloths and started a third one that I will finish tomorrow as we are there for auditions.

The washcloths are for Shriners Hospital for the parents of  the children needing surgery who stay at the parent’s wing.  You can either make them as wash cloths or you can double them over and crochet them together on the bottom and sides and add a drawstring to make them into soap sacks and add a bar of soap.

Here is how to make the washcloths – Chain a row as wide as you want the cloth.  Do two rows of half double crochet, then do two rows of double crochet but crochet alternating around behind and in front of the dc stitches  to give a raised texture to the cloth instead of crocheting in the top of the chain.  Alternate the two rows of hdc with the two rows of dc and finish with 2 rows of hdc.  I like to do a slip stitch all the way around the edge of the cloth to stabilize it but you don’t have to.

Remember that the cloth will shrink after it’s washed so make it slightly larger. I use 100% cotton yarn. Wal Mart carries a nice line of cotton yarn – my favorite is the variegated colors.

Closeup of stitches - crochet

Closeup of stitches - crochet

Share

This is a super idea to handle all the left over skeins and bits of yarn from leftover projects and when you find bags of the nicest yarn remnants at garage sales or flea markets.  Children ( and adults) love the scrappy afghans. We also use them for fundraisers to get the batting and fabric needed for the twin size quilts we are making for the hospital beds.

Turning scraps into fun afghans.

Turning scraps into fun afghans.

The pattern is quick and easy.  Chain a row the size of the afghan you want to make.

  • Crib: 45 by 60 inches
  • Twin: 66 by 90 inches – the twin size quilts we are making are approx 70 to 75″ x  90″ – the extra inches allow for more cuddle room side to side for children in body casts.
  • Double: 80 by 90 inches
  • Queen: 90 by 90 to 100 inches
  • King: 108 by 90 to 100 inches

After you have chained your first row, insert hook into third stitch from hook, under the two upper strands and make a dc.  Skip one stitch and make 2 double crochet stitches in the next stitch.  Do this until the end of the row.  In other words – instead of making a dc in each stitch, you are making 2 dc in a stitch, skipping the next stitch and then doing 2 dc in the next stitch.

This is the pattern for the entire afghan.  Use a large hook and keep your stitches uniform and loose.  When changing color, either make a square knot or tie both ends together by making a loop, passing the ends through the loop, and pulling it tight to make a knot. Leave an inch of ends when you change colors to make the afghan even more scrappier – see picture.

This type of afghan crochets up very quickly and is a lot of fun to do.  When you are done, put your afghan (or afghans) in a box and send them to:

Relief Share

6078 Lundy Rd

Houston, MO 665483-2225

Please include a note in the box with your name and address so we can send you a thank  you letter and tax deductible receipt.

Snuggle blanket from scrap yarn.

Snuggle blanket from scrap yarn.

Happy colors make for happy kids.

Happy colors make for happy kids.

Look what a difference a bit of eyelash yarn can make.

Look what a difference a bit of eyelash yarn can make.

If you don’t have time to make the afghans – please send your yarn skeins and scraps to us and our volunteers will be happy to crochet them up into bundles of love.

Hugs

Carol

Share


© 2014 Relief Share. All Rights Reserved

PLEASE SEND DONATIONS TO:

Relief Share,
6078 Lundy Rd,
Houston, Missouri 65483-2225


Phone 417-260-2505
Web site: www.ReliefShare.org
Blog: www.ReliefShare.org/wordpress
E-mail: info@ReliefsShare.org 

Relief Share is a 501 (c) 3 non profit charity. All donations are tax deductible.

"Relief Share" "love in action" and "giving relief through sharing" are trademarks of Relief Share, Inc