Tuesday, February 13, 2024

We made it!

The official total is now 3030 items! We made it! We crossed the 3000 mark for the first time. A huge thank you to EVERYONE who has contributed and made this milestone possible. Just think of all the wam heads, necks, and hands you've had a part in!

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Updated total: ALMOST 3000!

We have reached an official 2988 items received. We'll be at 3000 for the first time ever this season in no time. 12 crafters sending one more item will get us there. Can we do it?

Friday, November 10, 2023

Fist sorting of the season

Last Sunday, the first large sorting of this season took place at Walker Place in South Minneapolis. It happened in a beautiful large room (as compared to a small basement room last year) where instead of being cool and wearing sweaters and coats we were on the wam side and layers of clothing came off repeatedly as we sorted. Who knew this could be such warm work!

The hats were flying across the table in many directions to reach their appropriate piles, as several of us were sorting. Kathy kept us well organized with instructions and took on the bulk of packing sorted items into large bags when the piles on the tables were getting top-heavy and starting to lean precariously. Soon all items were ready in their designated bags to be taken to specific locations in the days to come. Barb had her usual moment of slight panic when everything was sorted and packed and we officially hat NO more hats in our stash anymore (Oh no! And it’s only the start of November!!!).

from left to right: Barb, Joan, Peggy, Kathy

But no worries, we KNOW that there are more hats out there ready to come and that more will be on the needles or crochet hooks in the weeks to come. Winter has not yet started for real, and we believe there will be more incoming items to be sorted and distributed yet again very soon.

So if you have a few items ready and you were holding off on mailing or dropping them off for when you had a few more to add to them, you might decide to get them to one of the collections points soon and then continue your creative streak for the next shipment/drop-off. Distrubtions will continue strong into December and usually slow down a bit after New Year (but not stop until spring is around the corner).

P. S. We were pleasantly surprised by how many hats there were in man-colors and sizes. They are not always the most fun to make, but they sure are needed. Keep them coming!

Monday, September 4, 2023

Yes, we are still very active!

The question comes up periodically as to whether this group is still active. YES, WE ARE, very much so. Most of our members don't do much online, but at least 25 of us are VERY active and about 15 of us meet monthly, even over the summer. Twice a year, there is a day of charity knitting for this project at Steven Be’s yarn shop in Minneapolis. And we are present at some farmers markets and Bachman's in the fall. There is one volunteer who coordinates everything online, like here and on Ravelry. We also have two very very active in-person coordinators who manage the sorting and distribution. We don't know how many contributors we have, as many donate anonymously; probably at least 100 contributors). So many people are directly involved that if someone steps down, someone else is always there to continue their tasks. 

If you've collected items over the summer and would like to get them out now, feel free to send them soon so we can start organizing the first distributions in a couple of months or so (that'll be November!! hard to believe). As always, feel free to send year-round. 

Happy Knitting/Crocheting/Weaving/Felting, etc.

Friday, January 27, 2023

So many hats collected!

 1912 donated items have been distributed to over 30 agencies, schools, etc. 

Good work knitters!

Distributions will continue as hats come in. As most Minnesotans know all too well, we still have at least a couple of months of winter ahead of us. Keep knitting and sending/dropping off! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Sorting Hats

November 28, 2022

This is what 500 sorted hats look like:

Sorting Hats November 28 2022

And these are the main 2 sorting elves after the sorting and starting the next step: distribution:

Sorting Hats November 28 2022

We should have taken a photo of an SUV stuffed with about 1000 hats to go out.

At least 1000 hats have been distributed so far, and more are coming in . We are now starting the coldest part of the start of this winter, and distributions will continue for at least another month as more hats come in. Hats are collected year-round, so it's never too late to drop them off at the yarn stores in our list. 

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Thursday, 11/17, 11:30-4:30 Knitting for Charity

Winter has arrived and you know what that means!  We are busy collecting "gifts of warmth" to hand out to those in need.  

This is our 15th year for this project....join the the kindred spirit knitters at Steven Be's on Thursday, November 17th from 11:30 to 4:30.  Pack up your needles , yarn, and any donations you might have.  We do collect year round and drop off items in the big basket right inside the door at the shop.
Bring a snack to share and a beverage with a lid..on case of spills. 

Looking forward to seeing you there!

map and phone number: https://www.stevenbe.com/contact.htm

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Knitting at Kingfield Farmers' Market, Sunday 10/30

The knitters have a table at the Kingfield Farmers' Market this Sunday, October 30th from 9:00 to 1:00.  This is an opportunity to bring awareness to our Hats for the Homeless project in hopes that new knitters join the circle.  Bring a knitting project and any hats that you may have finished.  We will have patterns  available.

The Kingfield Market is located at 4055 Nicollet Avenue So. There will be lots of vendors so you can also shop for locally grown produce.

RSVP if you are planning to come. In another few weeks we will begin to deliver our "gifts of warmth" to those in need...schools, shelters, foodshelves, and community service agencies.

Thanks for your continued support of this project...this is our 15th year. Since I have moved, we will no longer be dropping off donations on my front porch. Drop off your donations at these 3 local yarn shops...Harriet and Alice at 50th and France, Steven Be's at 35th and Chicago, and Ingebretsen's at 1601. E. Lake Street.

Questions:  612-598-4919Barbara Melom

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Greetings to the Hat Knitters!

Yes, we are still knitting hats and other "gifts of warmth" for those in need. Our plan is to start delivering hats toward the end of October.

A big change for this year. Out of town donations should be mailed to:
Kathy Zanner
6450 York Avenue So.
Edina, Minnesota 55435

If you live in Minneapolis, please drop off your donations at one of the neighborhood yarn shops:
Harriet and Alice's at 3922 W 50th Street, Edina, MN 55424,
Steven Be's on 3448 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407 or 
Ingebretsen's at 1601 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Thanks for your continued support of this project.

Barbara Melom

Wednesday, January 19, 2022


There's a maxim floating around the internet these days that goes something like this: "If you do not find joy in the snow, you will have less joy but the same amount of snow."

One of the take-aways from that wisdom is it message to those of us who don’t ski jump or go ice fishing. We live with the challenge of finding some way to find joy at a time of year we’re tempted to stay home, look out the window, and hope the “January freeze” is nature’s promise that we will soon find joy in warmer and warmer and warmer ……………  and, so on. Joy will arrive  --  if not real soon.

But for some of our neighbors, joy is a far reach. For many, snow and cold are simply seasonal barriers complicating their lives. Joy is just that mulch more difficult to find.

So Hats for the Homeless has always been about more than just bringing the gift of physical warmth. We’ve always carried the feeling of giving the warmth of our hearts.  This is the essence of reaching out to those who struggle to find their place in the community – simply to bring them hats both for their heads and their hearts. To let them know their community holds them in the warmth of love and regard.

And this is about our finding a joy in “the snow”. It is about the joy we feel in seeing hats go on heads and, more importantly, smiles appear on faces.

The 2021-22 Hats for the Homeless project has distributed over 4,200 hats this year. As before, we bring hats to shelters, group homes, hospital ERs, schools, churches, food shelves, drop-in centers, just to name the more common recipient sites. In addition to hats, scarves and mittens, we received 25 pairs of warm and wooly socks.

Thank you to all the generous knitters for your “gifts of warmth”. Keep the needles clicking. We still have a few more weeks of winter.

For patterns and more details, check out the blog:  www.hats4thehomeless.blogspot.com

Best wishes for the upcoming year, Barbara Melom

Sunday, November 28, 2021

An update!

Checking in to let the knitters know we are still a very active group of charity knitters in Minneapolis. Winters are long and cold out here and your hats are welcomed. Please check out the blog for more details and free patterns for knitting warm and wooly hats. We collect hats year round.

Many thanks, Barbara Melom

Monday, February 1, 2021

February 2021

It’s been an amazing year for hat and scarf donations. THANK YOU KNITTERS.

Knitters from all across the country have shipped hats out to Minnesota where everyone needs a hat to make it through our bitter cold winters. We have received over 2700 hat donations; but didn’t keep track of mittens and scarves.

With schools being closed we had to get creative on how to distribute the hats to kids.  

It turned out that even with schools closed, families went to neighborhood schools to pick up lunches and homework assignments. The schools had also set up “warm tables” for distribution of winter clothing. We also connected with food shelves that have stayed open throughout the pandemic.

Now it’s February, another two months of winter and people are still knitting and sending us donations and we keep getting requests from agencies needing warm items to give their clients. Yes, we are still accepting donations.


  • 100% wool yarn knits into a warmer hat than acrylic yarn
  • Before starting to decrease, try the hat on your own head and make sure it is long enough to come down and cover the ears, if not, knit a few more rows
  • We need hats for kids, women, and men….kids heads are bigger than you think
  • Men prefer darker solid colors, while women and kids like colorful hats

Scroll through the blog and check out some of our favorite patterns. Newest pattern is the MINNESOTA HAT.

Thank you for your generosity for folks who need a bit of warmth in their life.  The true measure of caring is sticking with a project….this is our 13th year. Thank you knitters for showing that you care.

Friday, September 11, 2020

September 2020

We don't know from day to day what the news will be bringing us, but one thing for certain is that Minnesota winters are cold and everyone needs a hat.

This is our 14th year for collecting hats and distributing them to schools, shelters and social service agencies serving those in need. With covid19 and social distancing, knitting groups aren't getting together...we are at home knitting by ourselves.  I am asking you to spread the word to your friends...hats for kids, women and men.  More information about the project can be found in the blog.

One of our knitters has written up her favorite hat pattern for charity knitting including several sizes which we are including in the blog. Check out the Very Basic Knit Hat now in the Knitting Patterns tab.

Hat distribution will begin in October and continue as long as we are receiving hats.  We will be doing things a bit differently this year...I will be coordinating drop off sites with school social workers and also taking donations to area food shelves.

My mailing address:  5314 Penn Ave. So. 
                                  Minneapolis, MN 55419

Thanks for giving "The Gift of Warmth"

Barbara Melom

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

April 2020

Knitters all across America have set aside their knitting needles and are now sitting at their sewing machines making masks to be donated to nursing homes, shelters and hospitals. We’re living out the saying: “Just because you’re the only person in the room, doesn’t mean you’re alone.”  We call each other to compare notes or share information about web sites where new mask patterns are shown. We share complaints about shoulders and backs getting stiff before we reach our self-imposed productivity goals. We share bad jokes intended to keep us “in stitches”.    …… and we share the good feeling of being part of an army of people rising to the shared challenge of getting through this life-changing trauma as a community bonded by caring and doing.

And The People Stayed Home

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.      Kitty O'Meara

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Your House Just Burned Down


On Christmas Day, a raging fire took the homes of 250 people living in the Francis Drake Hotel in Minneapolis. Erupting in the middle of the night, the fire tore through this historic building serving as rental housing for low income people and temporary homeless shelter for Hennepin County families. That first night, city busses provided safe sources of warmth – the first step to refuge while the Red Cross, the Minneapolis Foundation, churches and other organizations mobilized to provide care for these newly displaced neighbors.

And the city turned out in force. Downtown near the still-burning Drake became an open air rescue site where we brought whatever might be useful to someone who had just lost everything. That part of downtown became a beautiful traffic snarl as people from every neighborhood brought everything from diapers and blankets to coats, shoes and toothbrushes.

And it was a wonderful feeling to bring some Hats for the Homeless to this site of tragedy.

We brought the colors of 
warmth, care and neighborly 
support to people who had just 
lost their precarious place in 
life one more time. We will 
continue to work with service 
providers to bring the gift of 
warmth as these disaster 
victims work toward stability.

Hats 4 the Homeless began distributing hats and scarves in early November to schools and social service agencies serving those in need.  Luckily we still had hats on hand to deliver to folks who had just lost their home in the fire.   

Thank you KNITTERS!  We do make a difference.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Attention Knitters!

Hats for the Homeless is looking for HATS FOR KIDS!
We have plenty for babies, women and men so far, but we have a hole in the “hats for school-age kids” category so far this year. These hats are driven around to local schools by dedicated volunteers and given to school social workers for the kids. You knit a hat, we get it to the kids who need them. Win-win!

How can I help?

Knit a warm hat between 19”-21” around in any colors, pattern, or style you like! Wool is best for warmth and be sure to make it long enough to cover the ears. Kids’ heads are deceptively large so if in doubt, knit it a little bigger and a little longer.

What pattern should I use?

Any pattern is great, but here are two simple (free) patterns to get you started!
Barley Hat from TinCanKnits
Citrus Hat from Laura Treadway

Where should I take my hats?

You can drop your hats off at any of our generous yarn store sponsors:
StevenBe Studios
Harriet & Alice
Needle & Skein

Is there a deadline?

We are accepting hats through January but we all know it’s getting colder NOW. So the sooner, the better. We’ve got volunteers mobilized and ready to go to get your hats out there.


Hats for the Homeless began in 2009 when one friend asked another friend “do you think we could get 50 hand-knit hats to give to the homeless shelter this year?” and the friends put the call out to knitters. Instead of 50 hats, 300 hats came in that December! Ten years and thousands of hats later, the dedicated volunteers are still going strong delivering hand-knit hats to homeless shelters, women’s shelters and schools. 
Thank you for your continued support!


Monday, November 11 is Charity Knitting Day at StevenBe's
11:00 am until 6:00 pm.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Charity Knitting Event

Circle the date, Monday, November 11th on your calendar and join us for a day of charity knitting at Steven Be's located at 3448 Chicago Avenue So. in Minneapolis, MN. Doors open at 11:00--- invite a friend, bring your knitting, your finished projects, a healthy snack to share and spend the day with kindred spirits as we knit "gifts of warmth" to be donated to those in need living in our community. We begin delivering our donations in late November and as more donations arrive, we continue throughout the winter.

This is our 11th year and I would like to thank all the knitters who donate to this project. Boxes of scarves and hats have started arriving....our farthest away knitter mails us hats and scarves from Hawaii.

Scroll through some of the older blogs for patterns and tips. Please note that my email address has changed: barbmelom@gmail.com

Many thanks,


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Charity Knitting

Join us on Wednesday July 24, 2019 at StevenBe for a day of charity knitting. Doors open at 11:00 am. Location of StevenBes is 3500 and Chicago Ave South, Minneapolis, MN. Bring a healthy snack to share. There will be some yarn for sale. If you have a favorite hat patten please bring it as we would like to see.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Updates for 2018

Minnesota winters made the news all around the country in January with our -30 temperatures and it looks like February will be another brutal month.  Sometimes you even need more than one hat to keep your head and ears warm.

 Thanks to all the knitters who have donated hats, scarves, and gloves to be given to those in need.  You do make a difference…2300+ folks have warm scarves and hats to wear this winter. Another group of women donated 100 pairs of mittens made from recycled sweaters with polar fleece linings…super warm!

Every fall a group of us gather at our local neighborhood yarn shop to count, sort, and bag up our donations.  We deliver them to schools, shelters, and social service agencies serving those in need.  This year, 2019, knit items are still arriving and volunteers are out delivering the donations.

To read more about Hats for the Homeless, scroll back through some of our older entries;  find some of our favorite patterns, suggested yarns to use, and  where to send the hats.  Most important thing to keep in mind…knit hats that are long enough to cover the ears and have a cuff to turn up….9 to 12 inches long.

A big warm thank you….many of you have already started knitting for the 2019 season.

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: bjm@visi.com

Many thanks,