Knit-wit and a New Year’s Resolution


During the winter months in Michigan when gardening is not an option, I can be a bit of a knit-wit. I also like to crochet.

The other day a friend shared a story from 2011 of a campaign, after an oil spill near New Zeeland, to knit adorable little sweaters for penguins. The sweaters kept the penguins from preening the deadly slime from their feathers until the birds could be washed by cleanup crews.

His sharing of that charitable act of knitting reminded me of another. It is knitting (or crocheting) sweaters for kids started years ago through Guideposts and is now a part of World Vision. I’ve loved doing this and may just start knitting for them again this year. The patterns are super simple and can be enhanced by an advanced crafter…like this pattern from Lion Brand Yarns.

So, if you’re still pondering a New Year’s resolution—one that doesn’t involve modification of nutritional intake—then consider this: knit or crochet a kids sweater. If you’re not a needle worker collaborate with someone who is and buy them yarn.

It’s a good thing (and works well for Lent too!). Remember as you stitch to pray for the little recipient of your gift. Then they’ll not only be wrapped in warmth, but also in prayer—and prayer doesn’t wash out.

For knitters, start here.

Want to crochet? Start here.

Here’s their Facebook page.

There are a lot of yarn websites and local stores with free knitting/crocheting patters for charity that include more than sweaters, if sweaters aren’t your thing. Using your favorite search engine, just type in Knitting for Charity and go!

Post pictures of your sweater donations in the comments section. If you’ve done other charitable needlework, share what you made and the name of the organization.

Read more reflections and prayers by Margaret Rose Realy, Obl OSB, at Morning Rose Prayer Garden, on Patheos Catholic channel.

Copyright 2014 Margaret Rose Realy


About Author

Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB lives an eremitic life and is the author of Cultivating God’s Garden through Lent, A Garden of Visible Prayer: Creating a Personal Sacred Space One Step at a Time, 2nd Edition, and A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac. A freelance writer with a Benedictine spirituality, Margaret has a master’s degree in communications and is a Certified Greenhouse Grower, Advanced Master Gardener, liturgical garden consultant, and workshop/retreat leader.


  1. This is a great idea, Margaret! My grandma used to knit sweaters, hats and mittens year-round for the missions. I have only knitted one prayer shawl ( It was for a local convent that collects shawls for the sick. What a joyful, prayer-filled project! I hope to knit more for charity in the future! I like your suggestion of doing this for Lent, as it would give me time to wrap up a few other projects I’m working on 🙂

  2. I hope I am not leaving the same comment twice … Not sure what happened the first time around!

    Anyway … Thank you for this great idea, Margaret! My grandma used to knit sweaters, hats & mittens year-round for the missions. So much of what she created she gave away.

    I’ve only knitted one prayer shawl for a local convent that gives them to the sick ( It was such a prayer-filled project! I really enjoyed working on it. I like your suggestion of doing this for Lent, as it would give me some time to finish up some other projects 🙂

    Happy Knitting! God bless!

  3. Awesome! I crochet baby blankets for Sisters of Life, who then give them to pro-life mothers in need. An amazing group of nuns!

  4. Oh wow, this is so strange,
    last month I was reading an older guidepost magazine while waiting for my daughter at a VA facility and it talked about this program but I forgot to write the name down and when I got home I couldn’t find mention of it on the guideposts web site.
    Guess I better get out the hook!

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