That feeling you get when you look over a finished knitting or crochet project is hard to beat, but if the road to getting there has been paved with dropped stitches, tangled yarn and errant stuffing, starting the next one can be a bit daunting. If this is the case then look no further, as we've put together a few helpful hacks to make finishing your next project a little bit easier.
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World Kindness Day
World Kindness Day falls on 13th November 2017, but as crafters we don’t need just one dedicated day to be kind. We’re always spreading joy to our loved ones through the art of handmade gifts, but we think it’s time to spread that joy through entire communities. Read on to discover the ways you can make a crafty difference throughout the festive season. Hint: you'll find free projects!
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (randomactsofkindness.org) is an international company set up with one clear goal: to make the world a friendlier place. It features plenty of ideas on how to begin your first act of kindness, how to connect with your community, and initiatives to get involved with – including crafty activities, of course. We caught up with the company’s Vice President – and keen crafter – Brooke Jones, to ask her about whether crafting for your community is a successful way to spread Christmas cheer. “My daughter and I did this by making winter scenes in apothecary jars. We sold them to neighbours and friends to raise money for endangered Red Pandas. It was a huge success and we had so much fun! The jars became keepsakes for those who purchased them and they were able to fund a charity in the process.” Whether you leave a knitted toy at the park for someone to find, or crochet your neighbour a gift, it can be incredibly thoughtful, and even beneficial to your health. Brooke explains that a simple act like this generates the production of serotonin which makes you happier. “Our bodies create these ‘feel good’ chemicals when we participate in an act of kindness, receive one, or even when we witness one.”
Want to become a RAKtivist? Short for ‘Random Acts of Kindness activist’, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation believes that a RAKtivist lies in each and every one of us, perhaps we just don’t know it yet. “They are the folks who want to take their kindness to the next level and share or be inspired by others online. In a few short years we’ve grown to almost 12,000 members worldwide.” Before you get started, Brooke has some great advice for you. “Be open to doing an act when the chance presents itself. If you notice an abandoned shopping trolley in a car park, return it. There’s always an opportunity to be kind, just look for it and then act!” She says that it can be as simple as holding open a door, or letting someone go in front of you at the supermarket. The way you carry out your chosen act is important too, according to Brooke. “Only do something that you feel comfortable with. If you’re someone who likes to do things anonymously, quietly perform your acts of kindness with no expectation of being recognised. If you’re someone who is loud with your acts, then go for it and share it with the world! No act of kindness is ever wasted, be kind in your own way and feel the joy that comes with being nice to others. Let it fuel you to do more, and become more creative with each act.”
“Knit a hat or crochet a scarf for a homeless person in your community – it’s a truly thoughtful act of kindness”
Jessica Elkin, Deputy Editor
Your kind and crafty journey starts here…
Crochet mini chocolate cosies and place a tasty treat inside!
Try knitted and crocheted stockings – why not add a candy cane to them and pop them on someone’s desk?
These little Christmas trees will certainly brighten someone’s Christmas – put them through the door of a friendly neighbour.
Workshop elves will represent the hard work you’ve put into crafting these knitted goodies! Tie your Let’s Get Crafting tag around their necks.
These cute characters will bring a big smile to the recipient’s face. Place them in a public area for someone to find.
FREE GIFT TAG!
Why not leave a little note on your crafty gift? Download your exclusive Let’s Get Crafting tag here.
You could even add your email address if you want to find out where it ends up.
Brighten the lives of those in need
The Blue Cross accepts blankets, comforters and socks for animals to wear. Visit the website to find out how you can get involved. bluecross.org.uk
Click here to read all about the charity which is taking the world by storm, and more importantly, how you can help.
Help those suffering from dementia by donating your crafty skills to the Alzheimer’s Society. Check out alzheimers.org.uk/contactus to find your local charity office.
We caught up with the founders of Woolly Hugs – read all about it here and find out how to join the projects they’re involved in.
Share your random acts of kindness with us on Facebook.
More from Top Crochet Patterns blog
Let's Get Crafting hits the shelves this month with an impressive 47 patterns for you to make with your free six-ball yarn kit. It's filled to the crafty brim with plenty of giveaways, great reads, the latest news and essential shopping guides. If that wasn't enough, this issue marks the return of The Woolly Writer competition – so if you like penning short stories or poems, you NEED to grab hold of the latest issue on sale 1st March. Of course, you'll also find amazing Easter projects, here's a few you can look forward to...
Beards are cool. Babies are cute. So of course the natural thing to do is merge the two together.
Want to learn how to crochet or just got started? Below you'll find 11 free projects to help you on your crochet journey. Simply click on the images and you'll be able to download the pattern straight to your computer. If you get stuck, just watch our video tutorials here. Once you're ready to step up your hooking game, you'll find plenty of other projects here on our website. More of a knitter? Click here for thousands of knitting projects.