Saturday, January 4, 2014

Summary of 2013

One can only say “Thank You”
in just so many ways.
We hope the method chosen here
will be one that truly stays.
Hats for the Homeless has grown
in the hands of knitters whose caring
will put 2160 beautiful caps
on the heads of folks who’ll be wearing
much more than colorful cotton
as they face Minnesota weather-
they’ll know that the gift they’re wearing
means we’re all truly knit together.
So “Thank you” to all who created these gifts.
Each year we give more and the mission is true
to reach out in love and experience the blessing
to tell folks “We care about you.”

Items have come in from all across the country. Ragga from Iceland sent us a hat as well as Steven West who lives in Amsterdam....both well known knitting designers! Start your projects for next year!

We’ll be meeting the 3rd Saturday of every month at Butter Bakery on 37th and Nicollet from 11:00 until 1:00. Bring your yarn and knitting needles and join other knitters from the neighborhood. Hope to see you on Saturday, January 18th.

We never really have a final count as hats keep coming year of mid December 2013 we had received 2160 hats and many scarves, some socks, and a few pair of mittens. So far we have delivered hats to 16 agencies in town who serve the homeless and those living on the edge. As you all know it has been an extremely cold and snowy winter in Minneapolis.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Barbara Melom

Tuesday, December 3, 2013



Thanks to the knitters from General Mills who arrived at Steven Be’s a few Sundays ago with a huge pile of hats...well, 212 to be exact. They spent the afternoon knitting, shopping, and looking for new hat patterns. It was a fun day to meet some of the knitters in our community who are knitting for Hats for the Homeless. 


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Question: "How many hats does it take to fill a Volkswagon?" 

Answer: "Nobody knows, there is still room for more hats."

Grandma Bernice says: "Better keep knitting so we can fill up the car!” 
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The greatest need is for basic hats knit for men in dark solid blue, black, grey, and brown...preferably washable wool. Large and extra large...when in doubt knit it an inch longer to cover the ears.

We will be collecting hats throughout the winter. Hats can be dropped off at Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Shop on Lake St. and 16th Avenue, Linden Hills Yarn and Textile Center on Excelsior Blvd, Steven Be’s Yarn Shop on 35th and Chicago, or at the front desk at the YMCA on York Avenue in Edina.

Next Event: Knitters will be getting together on Saturday, December 21 st. at Butter Bakery located on 37th and Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis. We will meet at 11:00 am until 1:00 pm or as late as you want to stay. Butter Bakery, a locally owned neighborhood restaurant, has delicious food at reasonable prices and good lighting for knitting. Bring along the latest hat you are working on and spend this time with other kindred spirits. We will be meeting there regularly on the 3rd Saturday of each month. Join us and bring along a friend.
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Friday, November 8, 2013

In the newspaper

Yesterday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune had a really nice story about the Hats for the Homeless project. How it began and how it has expanded. Here is a link to the newspaper article. A big thank you to all community knitters who have helped expand this charity project.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lots of knitting happening.

Knitters from all over the Twin Cities attended our “Hats for the Homeless” kick-off on October 15th at StevenBe Studio/Yarn Garage. Thirty-five knitters logged in 99 hours of knitting time; many arrived with bags full of hats that they had knit over the summer. We are off to a good start....having collected 215 hats on October 15th.

Who are we? We are everyday people who have a passion for knitting and want to share the “Gift of Warmth” with folks who have hit hard times in their lives; many are living in shelters and others don’t know from one night to another where they will be sleeping.

What happens at a charity knitting event? It’s a very exciting and busy day watching all the knitters working on their project and connecting with other knitters in the community; we exchange patterns, knitting tips, talk about wool vs. acrylic (everyone has their favorite) and whether we pick or throw when we knit. Let’s take a look...

  • Jean is newly retired and loves spending an afternoon with other knitters
  • Michele is weaving in ends on the big pile of hats she has finished
  • Lisa just finished her first hat
  • Mary is teaching Jean how to knit
  • Linda knows lots of knitters and has promised to spread the word about knitting “Hats for the Homeless”
  • Ann arrives with four bags full of hats that her church knitting group has made
  • Joyce can knit Latvian mittens but wonders if she can figure out how to knit a hat
  • Jeremy and Bridget are kept busy answering questions, helping with yarn selections and keeping the coffee pot and teapot full.
We need adult large and extra large hats knit in darker heads are bigger than you think.

Hats are due early December at the various drop-off sites listed.
Linden Yarn & Textile, Inc.
5814 Excelsior Boulevard
St. Louis Park, MN 55416

StevenBe Studio/Yarn Garage
3448 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55407

1601 E. Lake Street.
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Let’s meet up at Butter Bakery on 37th and Nicollet.....on Saturday, November 16th at 11:00 a.m. Bring along your knitting.

Questions, please contact:
Barb Melom

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Charity Knitters

Hats for the Homeless will be having a fall “kick-off” for all the charity knitters in the community. Join us for this fun filled day of knitting and connecting with other knitters in our community. Bring your current charity knitting project. Also bring along a snack to share and we’ll provide the beverages. We have some new patterns to share and as usual, Steven will have bargain baskets of yarn for us to dig through....yarn ideal for hats. We will have experienced knitters on hand to help. Come for the day ...or as long as your schedule permits.
Date: Tuesday, October 15th
Time: 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Place: StevenBe Yarn Shop
35th and Chicago Ave So
Minneapolis, MN

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Upcoming Events

We are into our 5th season of knitting “Hats for the Homeless” that are donated to shelters and schools in Minneapolis. We are off to a good start – over 300 hats have arrived so far and it’s only September and was 95 degrees outside a few days ago, but we all know cooler weather is on the way.

We have several events on the calendar, our way of connecting the knitters in our community. We will be knitting in public at these two markets:

  • Saturday, September 15 at Midtown Farmers Market on 23rd and East Lake Street
    from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.
  • Saturday, October 5 at Fulton Farmers Market on 49th and Chowen Avenue South
    from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.

Bring along a knitting project, a chair and shopping bag for picking up fresh locally grown veggies. We’ll have patterns and experienced knitters on hand to help out newer knitters.

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Calling all “Charity Knitters in the Community” for a big get-together on Thursday, October 10th at StevenBe’s located at 35th and Chicago. We’ll begin at 5:00 pm – bring along a snack to share, beverages will be provided. RSVP for this event to Bring your knitting, such as your current hat project, to work on and invite a friend to enjoy this gathering.
Please note: date for this gathering has changed to Tuesday, October 15th, 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm.

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Drop off sites are as follows:

Linden Yarn & Textile, Inc.
5814 Excelsior Boulevard
St. Louis Park, MN 55416

3448 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55407

1601 E. Lake Street.
Minneapolis, MN 55407

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Hats are due the first week of December 2013.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Summary of 2012



 A big warm thank you to knitters and stitchers all across the country who sent beautiful warm and wooly hats and scarves to cold Minneapolis to be given to the homeless and other people in need. Close to twenty agencies received donations from us. Several of the shelters allowed us to come in and hand out our hats and scarves….as the folks inquired about where the items had come from, they were really touched when told that the hats and scarves were made just for them. It was very heart-warming to watch the folks look over the new hats/scarves and choose one they really liked.

With the help of Ravelry and other social media, the number of hats received this year exceeded 1,550 and as of today, January 23, 2013, hats are still arriving in the mail and knitters are dropping off items at our local yarn shops. Scarves numbered over 200.

Just this week on the front page of the Star Tribune was this article “Homeless numbers hit highs not seen in a decade.” The Wilder Foundation research on homelessness in 2009 counted over 9,600 homeless adults, youth, and children living in shelters, transitional housing and on the streets. This increase in homelessness can be attributed to job loss, housing foreclosures, lack of affordable housing, and tough economic times. Keep sending hats and scarves our way!

Looking ahead in 2013, we will be scheduling several “Knit for Charity” days throughout the year at Steven Be’s on 35th and Chicago Ave. In Minneapolis, we’ll continue to “knit in public” at farmers’ markets – talking to new stitchers about the project. Knitting groups are popping up in coffee shops and I’ve been told there is even a group of knitters who meet on Friday nights at an Irish pub to knit hats. Church and senior knitting groups also donate to the cause.

A few reminders:
·         Adult large and extra large
·         Preferably washable wool
·         Men prefer dark solid colors
·         Women and kids like more colorful hats
·         When in doubt, knit the hat an inch or two longer, to give the ears extra protection
·         Drop down a needle size to get a nice tight stitch

Hats for the Homeless drop off sites:

Linden Yarn & Textile, Inc.
5814 Excelsior Boulevard
St. Louis Park, MN  55416

3448 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN  55407

1601 E. Lake Street.
Minneapolis, MN  55407

Again, With Warmest Wishes and Thanks to all the stitchers, the yarn shops for collecting the items and being there to answer questions, those who helped sort and count the hats and scarves,...those who helped with delivery,...all of you who showed up on Saturdays to knit in public at the farmers’ market,...thanks to the knitters who helped new people learn to knit, those who donated yarn,...the tech support – hope I didn’t miss anyone. Hats for the Homeless is truly a community wide project that brings people together – knitting for a cause.

Barbara Melom