You know, it really sucks getting the flu over Thanksgiving week. I came down with it Monday night after Len started getting sick over the weekend, and it escalated until Thanksgiving day, when we were stuck home with a fever, aches, and chills. We were looking forward to having a nice Thanksgiving dinner at our friend Rick's, but we had to cancel that as we didn't want to spread our germs. And even if I could have managed to bake anything to bring, I don't think anyone would have wanted to eat food made by flu-infested hands.
However, I did use the time in recovery today and yesterday to work on the new Knitting for Charity site. Now that we've sold most of our items that we knitted for hurricane Katrina relief efforts, I wanted to parlay the effort into an ongoing charity drive. It should work out well, and I think my only stumbling block is that the name "Knitting for Charity" isn't terribly creative.
Here's how it works: as I and the other knitters interested in participating knit items, we'll be putting them up for auction on eBay. Because eBay partners with MissionFish.org, you can choose any charity listed to donate your sale to, in any percentage. We'll each be choosing our favorite charities and donating 90% of the money from the sale of each item directly to that charity (the other 10% will offset the eBay listing fees). New items should be listed regularly, so keep an eye out. The three charities that I plan to donate to will be The Red Cross, The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and The I Have a Dream Foundation. As new items are posted, I'll show them off in the little box to the left there and probably link them here.
We've mostly been selling scarves as those are quick and inexpensive items to knit. But I want to branch out a bit and make some small knitted and felted bags, some hats, and similar items. I've thought about doing afghans too since they're fairly inexpensive when you choose a soft acrylic yarn (while it'd be nice to knit an afghan made of wool, I've always felt that you want to be able to clean and use an afghan without having to worry about ruining it). Those could be higher priced items since they take a long time to do. The drawback is that they take a long time to do, which could mean a delay in other items.
Regardless, this should be a fun and fulfilling spare-time project. We really enjoyed doing this for hurricane relief and it seemed a shame to stop it once we sold our first batch of items. It'll be interesting to see how this works out, too. I'm managing the project myself, which means posting items, shipping items, and taking the pictures of the items, all in my spare time. I'd definitely like it to become popular enough that the items are considered must-haves (thus getting more bids, thus getting more money for the charities). But I also have to make sure I don't bite off more than I can chew. Fortunately I'm always knitting, and since I can only wear so many items and can only give so many to my friends, I should always have something to post.
I also hope to eventually be able to approach the local knit shops and ask if they would like to donate yarn to us to knit into items for the cause. I have no idea how responsive they'd be to that. Right now we're each just buying the yarn ourselves, which is fine (like I said, I have to knit regardless, I'm a compulsive knitter). But it'd be even better if the local knitting businesses got into the charitable act as well.
So check out the items. There might be a nice gift in there for someone you know!