Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fall Updates


A big warm thank you to knitters and stitchers all across the country who have been sending warm and wooly hats and scarves out our way. Once cold weather sets in, everyone living in Minnesota needs a hat. As folks inquire about where these items come from, they are really touched when told that the hats and scarves were made just for them. It is very heart-warming to watch the folks look over the items and choose one they really like.  


  • we need adult large and extra large hats
  • preferable washable wool or nice soft acrylic/wool blends
  • men prefer dark solid colors...long enough to cover their ears and fold up the cuff
  • women and kids like more colorful hats
  • when in doubt, knit the hat an inch or two longer to give ears extra protection
  • if you are a loose knitter, drop down a needle size to knit a tight stitch

  • 3rd Saturday of every month, we meet at Butter Bakery on the corner of 37th and Nicollet in South Minneapolis from 11:00 to 1:00. Good food and reasonable prices.
  • October 26th---an all day “Knit for Charity” event at Steven Be’s on the corner of 35th and Chicago in South Minneapolis starting at 11:00 and ending at 6:00. Bring a snack to share and your knitting supplies. Beverages provided.
  • November 9th, 10th, and 11th---Vogue Knitting Live will be here at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Look for our table and drop off any hats you have to donate.
This is all the knitting news for now. Questions, my email address is:

Many thanks, 


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Day of Charity Knitting

Knit for Charity is Wednesday, July 11th at StevenBe's on 35th and Chicago. It is an all day event starting at 11:00 am. Pack your needles and join us for the day. Bring a snack to share, beverages are provided. Bring along any hats you have finished.

In 2017 we collected and delivered around 2700 hats/scarves and mittens. We definitely need hats for elementary age children. The list of schools needing hats continues to grow every year. Children's heads are the same size as an adult head. If the hat is too small for your head, chances are it will be too small for a child's head.

3448 Chicago Avenue South Minneapolis, MN

Thursday, April 19, 2018

April Blizzard

Mother Nature has taken a detour this year. Here we are, April 15th, with 15 inches of new snow and temperatures in the 20’s. Giving a hat or a scarf to a homeless person is definitely a gift of kindness.

Review of 2017
People who google find “Hats for the Homeless” and many knitters from at least 12 states have sent “gifts of warmth” out our way for the 2017 collection. We have received more than 2700 hats and about 200 scarves; and even a dozen pair of mittens.

This wraps up our 9th year for this community project which has continued to grow every year. One big change is the number of schools contacting us for hats for kids. A reminder: a kid’s head is the same size as an adult head and kids love color.

Scroll back to the December 6th, 2017 post for "tips" on knitting super warm hats for our climate and hats that fit. We need hats for adults as well as children.

Upcoming Event
There is a “charity knitting” event set up for Wednesday, July 11th at the Steven Be yarn store located at 3448 Chicago Avenue South in Minneapolis. This all day event brings knitters together from all over the Twin City area.

So we thank you and remind you, that beginning in September 2018, we will be looking for your donations of warm and wooly hats and scarves.

Thank you for making this outreach possible. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Hats for the Homeless 2017

Thank you for your beautiful contributions of hats and scarves to help those in need in Minneapolis this winter! Once again, we are floored by the generosity of knitters. We have a couple of reminders, FAQs, and a bit of a new direction this year, so read on for some great tips on knitting warm hats!
Spotlight on Kids

We have been taking hats to local elementary schools over the years to share with kids in need. The teachers, social workers, and school administrators have been so grateful for the bags of hats from you all. The great news about knitting hats for kids is that bright colors and patterns are welcome...a knitter’s dream! So use up your wool scraps, combine colors for patterns, and whip up some fun hats for the kids. We’ll get them out there.

Heads Are Bigger Than You Think

When in doubt, knit your hats larger. For kids, for women, and for men. With Minnesota winters being so cold, we need these hats to be functional garments that cover the ears and foreheads--not just fashionable accessories that sit atop heads. So knit that extra inch or two in length at the beginning of the hat, knowing that you’re helping someone keep the wind out this year. It can always be folded up at the brim! 

Here is a general rule of thumb for head sizes:

Babies - 17-18” circumference, 7” length
Little kids - 19” circumference, 8” length
Big kids - 20” circumference, 8.5” length
Women and teens - 21-23” circumference, 10-11” length
Men - 23-24” circumference, 11.5” length

Plain is Still the Name of the Game for the Guys

Our male homeless friends at various local shelters have repeated the same thing to us over and over each year: they really prefer hats that are dark colors, simple, and without patterns. No pompoms needed, either. Large, plain gray and black ribbed hats are ideal for these guys. Stockinette hats work great too. Folks living on the fringe in unstable housing situations may not like to stick out with a brightly colored or patterned hat. Let’s help keep them warm without making them feel uncomfortable.

Scarves and Mittens and Cowls, OH MY!

Many of you have asked if other items are needed beyond just hats, and the answer is a resounding YES! Try to make sure that your scarves can be wrapped around a couple of times and tied; mittens and cowls are great too. 

What Pattern Should I Use?

You can use any pattern you like! Just keep the size and recipients in mind:
  • bigger is better, but tight gauge for warmth is best
  • kids and teens like patterns and colors
  • women like both patterned and plain hats
  • men are all about the plain ones
Here are some of our favorite hat patterns:

Barley Hat from Tin Can Knits

Grand Marais Hat from Katie Chameleon

What Material Should I Use?

Whenever possible, please use wool. There is nothing like wool for keeping the cold out and regulating temperature (it wicks sweat away, and actually keeps skin cool and dry too). Superwash is great if you have it, but handwash-only wool is fine too.

Where Can I Drop Off My Hats?

We are lucky to have many local yarn stores as collaborators! Please drop your hats off at any of these locations:

Thank you for donating your time, skills and resources to this project. We are grateful for your gifts of love!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Day of Charity Knitting at SteveBe

Friday, November 10
11:00 am - 6:00 pm

We're just like you. We're teachers, business executives, parents, retirees, name it. But the one thing we all have in common is our dedication to those in need. Join us at StevenBe for this day where we combine our Passion, our Neighbors, and our Community in the ultimate acts of charity.

Barb Melom and Joan Gilbertson head up this charity knitting day bringing groups and individuals from all over the city to support Hats for the Homeless.

We will have a selection of needles and yarns available for a minimal fee to cast on your hat or scarf, as well as patterns that can serve as a jumping off point for your charitable project.
We look forward to seeing you for this amazing day, whether you drop off a hat or knit all day. See you at StevenBe on November 10th.

Click Here to register at StevenBe that you plan to attend (there is no fee). Scroll through the classes to "Day of Charity Knitting" and click on this class and add your name.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Events and Updates

Knitters arrived on Labor Day with yarn and needles in hand to work on hats and scarves to be handed out this’s not that far away.  Knitters have been dropping off donations all summer so we are off to a good start. Eleven years ago when this project started, our mission was to knit dark colored watch caps for men, but as the project evolved and more and more hats were being knit, our mission has expanded to include hats for women and school age children. Remember kids heads are larger than you think...use a pattern for an adult size head. We do not need hats for infants or newborns; other knitters in our community knit for this cause.
Boxes of hand knit hats come in from all over the country!

 I would like to introduce you to some of the knitters in Minneapolis:
Georgia is working on her 68th hat for this year.
Joan and Dyan are teaching teens to knit when they are not busy knitting hats.
Mary loves knitting hats for kids, but is taking a break from hats and working on cowls for teens.
Gail likes adding a bit of pizazz to her hats.
Barb is always on the lookout for new patterns and manages the blog when she is not knitting a hat
Kathy likes knitting big hats and then felting them.
Karen likes the waffle hat pattern.
Michele has an eye for color and is always combining scraps of yarn and coming up with colorful creations.
Jeni knits warm and wooly hats by combining mohair and worsted weight yarn.
Ingrid puts her Scandinavian knitting skills to work on her favorite hat pattern..the Grand Marais Hat.
Raquel is knitting her first hat.
Yvonne is our fastest knitter and designer of the Minnesota Hat. Everything she knits is donated to a good cause.
Barb organizes the events, knits hats and delivers them to the schools and shelters.

Our next big all day knitting event is 
Friday, November 10th
at Steven Be’s
3448 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN
This is also a drop off site for finished items.

Knitters also get together at Butter Bakery over on 37th and Nicollet, the 3rd Saturday of every month  from 11:00 to 1:00.

We like to start delivering hats in November and continue through the winter as hats/scarves continue to arrive.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Charity Knitting

Join kindred spirits for a day of charity knitting at StevenBe's over on 35th and Chicago on Wednesday, July 12th. Doors open at 10:00 am and we will be gathering throughout the day until closing time at 6:00 pm. Charity knitters knit items to be given away and our focus is knitting hats...and scarves...actually I like to tell people "Give the Gift of Warmth". We are getting more requests from schools to knit hats for kids. So colorful hats...and remember that kids heads are the same size as an adult head. We will have patterns and bins of yarn available at give away prices.

Last year this generous community of knitters knit over 2200 items that we distributed to shelters, schools and hospitals. The Head Start program, not far from the shop, has already contacted us asking for hats and diapers. It would be great if you would consider donating a package of diapers...size 3 and 4.

One more thing...bring along a snack to share. We will provide beverages throughout the day.

Packs your needles and yarn and invite a friend.  See you July 12th.

Barbara Melom